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OCT 1 6 1934 

7 3 4- 



The following Compilation not being admissible into the 
Library of the Fathers from the date of some few of the 
authors introduced into it, the Editors of the latter work 
have been led to publish it in a separate form, being assured 
that those vvho have subscribed to their Translations of the 
entire Treatises of the ancient Catholic divines, will not feel 
less interest, or find less benefit, in the use of so very 
judicious and beautiful a selection from them. The Editors 
refer to the Preface for some account of the natural and 
characteristic excellences of the work, which will be found 
as useful in the private study of the Gospels, as it is well 
adapted for family reading, and full of thought for those who 
are engaged in religious instruction. 

Oxford^ May 6, 1841. 


1. And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in 
a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples 
said unto him. Lord, teach us to pray, as John also 
taught his disciples. 

2. And he said unto them. When ye pray, say. 
Our Father which art in heaven. Hallowed be thy 
name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in 
heaven, so in earth. 

3. Give us day by day our daily bread. 

4. And forgive us our sins ; for we also forgive 
every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not 
into temptation ; but deliver us from evil. 

Bede; After the account of the sisters, who signified the 
two lives of the Church, our Lord is not without reason related 
to have both Himself prayed, and taught His disciples to pray, 
seeing that the prayer which He taught contains in itself 
the mystery of each life, and the perfection of the lives 
themselves is to be obtained not by our own strength, but 
by prayer. Hence it is said, And it came to pass, that, 
as he was praying in a certain place. Cyril; Now whereas 
He possesses every good in abundance, why does He pray, 
since He is full, and has altogether need of nothing? To this 
we answer, that it befits Him, according to the manner of His 
dispensation in the flesh, to follow human observances at 
the time convenient for them. For if He eats and drinks, 
He rightly was used to pray, that He might teach us not to be 

VOL. III. 2 c 

6 SS-L 


lukewarm in this duty, but to be the more diligent and 
earnest in our prayers. 
Tit. in Tit. Bost. The disciples having seen a new way of life, 
desire a new form of prayer, since there were several prayers 
to be found in the Old Testament. Hence it follows, When 
he ceased, one of his disciples said to him. Lord, teach us to 
pray, in order that we might not sin against God in asking 
for one thing instead of another, or by approaching God 
in prayer in a manner that we ought not. 

Origen; And that he might point out the kind of teaching, 
the disciple proceeds, as John also taught his disciples. Of 
whom in truth thou hast told us, that among them that are 
born of women there had arisen none greater than he. And 
because thou hast commanded us to seek things that are great 
and eternal, whence shall we arrive at the knowledge of these 
but from Thee, our God and Saviour ? 
Greg. Greg. Nyss. He unfolds the teaching of prayer to His dis- 
2^^** ciples, who wisely desire the knowledge of prayer, directing 
Serm. 1. them how they ought to beseech God to hear them. Basil ; 
Basil. There are two kinds of prayer, one composed of praise 
Monastwith humiliation, the other of petitions, and more subdued, 
cap. 1. 'VYhenever then you pray, do not first break forth into 
petition ; but if you condemn your inclination, supplicate 
God as if of necessity forced thereto. And when you 
begin to pray, forget all visible and invisible creatures, but 
commence with the praise of Him who created all things. 
Hence it is added. And he says unto them, When you 
Fseudo' pray, say. Our Father. Pseudo-Aug. The first word, how 
■A^ug. gracious is it ? Thou durst not raise thy face to heaven, and 
Serm. suddenly thou receivest the grace of Christ. From an evil 
servant thou art made a good son. Boast not then of thy work- 
ing, but of the grace of Christ; for therein is no arrogance, 
but faith. To proclaim what thou hast received is not pride, 
but devotion. Therefore raise thy eyes to thy Father, who 
begot thee by Baptism, redeemed thee by His Son. Say 
Father as a son, but claim no especial favour to thyself. 
Of Christ alone is He the especial Father, of us the common 
Father. For Christ alone He begot, but us he created. 
Matt. 6, And therefore according to Matthew when it is said. Our 
Father, it is added, which art in heaven, that is, in those 

VEK. 1 — 5. ST. LUKE. 387 

heavens of which it was said, The heavens declare M^P^.J^,!. 
glory of God. Heaven is where sin has ceased, and where 
there is no sting of death. Theophyl. But He says not, ivhich 
art in heaven, as though He were confined to that place, 
but to raise the hearer up to heaven, and draw him away from 
earthly things. Greg. Nyss. See how great a preparation Greg. 
thou needest, to be able to say boldly to God, O Father, for 2^^" 
if thou hast thy eyes fixed on worldly things, or courtest the^erm. 2. 
praise of men, or art a slave to thy passions, and utterest 
this prayer, I seem to hear God saying, ' Whereas thou that 
art of a corrupt life callest the Author of the incorruptible 
thy Father, thou pollutest with thy defiled lips an incor- 
ruptible name. For He who commanded thee to call Him 
Father, gave thee not leave to utter lies. But the highest of et serm. 
all good things is to glorify God's name in our lives. Hence * 
He adds. Hallowed be thy name. For who is there so de- 
based, as when He sees the pure life of those who believe, 
does not glorify the name invoked in such a life. He then 
who says in his prayer, Be thy name, which I call upon, 
hallowed in me, prays this, " May I through Thy concurring 
aid be made just, abstaining from all evil." Chrys. For as 
when a man gazes upon the beauty of the heavens, he says, 
Olory be thee, O God; so likewise when He beholds a man's 
virtuous actions, seeing that the virtue of man glorifies God 
much more than the heavens. Pseudo-Aug. Or it is said, Pseudo- 
Hallowedbe thy name; that is, let Thy holiness be known to all ^"&; 
the world, and let it worthily praise Thee. For praise becometh Ps. 33. 
the upright, and therefore He bids them pray for the cleansing 
of the whole world. Cyril ; Since among those to whom the 
faith has not yet come, the name of God is still despised. 
But when the rays of truth shall have shined upon them, they Dan. 9, 
will confess the Holy of Holies. Tit. Bost. And because in the ?^^- 
name of Jesus is the glory of God the Father, the name of the ubi sup. 
Father will be hallowed whenever Christ shall be known. 

Origen; Or, because the name of God is given by idolaters, 
and those who are in error, to idols and creatures, it has not 
as yet been so made holy, as to be separated from those 
things from which it ought to be. He teaches us therefore 
to pray that the name of God may be appropriated to the only 
true God ; to whom alone belongs what follows, Thy king- 

2 c 2 


dom come, to the end that may be put down all the rule, 
authority, and power, and kingdom of the world, together 
Greg, with sin which reigns in our mortal bodies. Greg. Nyss. 
^ ^ ^^P" w^e beseech also to be delivered by the Lord from corruption, 
to be taken out of death. Or, according to some, TJiy king- 
dom come, that is, May Thy Holy Spirit come upon us to 
purify us. 
ubi sup. PsEUDO-AuG. For then comeththekingdomof God, when we 
Lukei7, j^^^^^ obtained His grace. For He Himself says. The kingdom 
of God is within you. Cyril ; Or they who say this seem 
to wish to have the Saviour of all again illuminating the 
world. But He has commanded us to desire in prayer that 
truly awful time, in order that men might know that it behoves 
them to live not in sloth and backwardness, lest that time 
bring upon them the fiery punishment, but rather honestly 
and according to His will, that that time may weave 
crowns for them. Hence it follows, according to Matthew, 
" 77/?/ imll be done, as in hearen, so in earth. Chrys. As if 
He says. Enable us, O Lord, to follow the heavenly life, that 
Greg. vvhateverThouwillest,we may will also. Greg Nyss. For since 
Dom. He says that the lifo of man after the resurrection will be like 
serm. 4. |q ^j^^^ of Angels, it follows, that our life in this world should 
be so ordered with respect to that which we hope for here- 
after, that living in the flesh we may not live according to 
the flesh. But hereby the true Ph} sician of the souls destroys 
the nature of the disease, that those who have been seized 
with sickness, whereby they have departed from the Divine will, 
may forthwith be released from the disease by being joined 
to the Divine will. For the health of the soul is the due 
fulfilment of the will of God. 
Aug. in Aug. It seems according to the Evangelist Matthew, that 
•^ the Lord's prayer contains seven petitions, but Luke has 
c. 116. comprehended it in five. Nor in truth does the one dis- 
agree from the other, but the latter has suggested by his 
brevity how those seven are to be understood. For the name 
of God is hallowed in the spirit, but the kingdom of God is 
about to come at the resurrection of the body. Luke then, 
shewing that the third petition is in a manner a repetition of 

^ This verse is omitted in the follow- For. Mm. Gat. and by Origen, Jerome, 
ing MSS. of St. Luke, B. L. 1 , 22, 130, Aug. Bede, Scholz in loo. 
346. in the Versions Arm. Vulg.Corb, 

VER. 1 — 4. ST. LUKE. 389 

the two former, wished to make it so understood by omitting it. 
He then added three others. And first, of daily bread, saying, 
Give lis diy by day our daily bread. Pseudo-Aug. In theApp. 
Greek the word is liriova-iov, that is, something added to^^^ 
the substance. It is not that bread which goes into the^^P^''- 
body, but that bread of everlasting life, which supports thetialem. 
substance of our soul. But the Latins call this " daily" 
bread, which the Greeks call " coming to." If it is 
daily bread, why is it eaten a year old, as is the custom 
with the Greeks in the east.? Take daily what profits thee 
for the day; so live that thou mayest daily be thought worthy 
to receive. The death of our Lord is signified thereby, and 
the remission of sins, and dost thou not daily partake of that 
bread of life.^ He who has a wound seeks to be cured ; the 
wound is that we are under sin, the cure is the heavenly and 
dreadful Sacrament. If thou receivest daily, daily does 
" To-day" come unto thee. Christ is to thee To-day; Christ Heb.i3, 
rises to thee daily. Tit. Bost. Or the bread of souls is the 
Divine power, bringing the everlasting life which is to come, as 
the bread which comes out of the earth preserves the temporal 
life. But by saying " daily," He signifies the Divine bread 
which comes and is to come, which we seek to be given 
to us daily, requiring a certain earnest and taste of it, seeing 
that the Spirit which dwells in us hath wrought a virtue 
surpassing all human virtues^ as chastity, humility, and the rest. 
Cyril; Now perhaps some think it unfit for saints to seek 
from God bodily goods, and for this reason assign to 
these words a spiritual sense. But granting that the chief 
concern of the saints should be to obtain spiritual gifts, 
still it becomes them to see that they seek without blame, 
according to our Lord's command, their common bread. 
For from the fact that He bids them ask for bread, that is 
daily food, it seems that He implies that they should possess 
nothing, but rather practise an honourable poverty. For it 
is not the part of those who have bread to seek it, but 
rather of those who are oppressed with want. Basil; As if Basil. 
He said. For thy daily bread, namely, that which serves for jJJ-p^^f *^ 
our daily wants, trust not to thyself, but fly to God for it, inter. ^ 
making known to Him the necessities of thy nature. Chrys. chVvs. 
We must then require of God the necessities of life ; not ^of^. 
varieties of meats, and spiced wines, and the other things Matt. 


which please the palate, while they load thy stomach and 

disturb thy mind, but bread which is able to support the 

bodily substance, that is to say, which is sufficient only for 

the day, that we may take no thought of the moiTow. But 

we make only one petition about things of sense, that the 

present life may not trouble us. 

trreg. Greg. Nyss. Having taught us to take confidence through 

Dom. good works, He next teaches us to implore the remission 

Serm. 5. of our offences, for it follows. And forgive us our sins. 

Tit. in XiT. BosT. This also was necessarily added, for no one 

Matt. ... . 

is found without sin, that we should not be hindered from 
the holy participation on account of man's guilt. For 
whereas we are bound to render unto Christ all manner of 
holiness, who maketh His Spiiit to dwell in us, we are to be 
blamed if we keep not our temples clean for Him. But this 
defect is supplied by the goodness of God, remitting to 
human frailty the severe punishment of sin. And this act 
is done justly by the just God, when we forgive as it were 
our debtors, those, namely, who have injured us, and have not 
restored what was due. Hence it follows, For we also forgive 
every one that is hidehted to us, Cyril; For He wishes, 
if I may so speak, to make God the imitator of the patience 
which men practise, that the kindness which they have 
shewn to their fellowservants, they should in like manner 
seek to receive in equal balance from God, who recompenses 
to each man justly, and knows how to have mercy upon all 
men. Chrys. Considering then these things, we ought to 
shew mercy to our debtors. For they are to us if we are 
wise the cause of our greatest pardon ; and though we 
perform only a few things, we shall find many. For we owe 
many and great debts to the Lord, of which if the least 
part should be exacted from us, we should soon perish, 
ubi Slip. PsEUDO-AuG. But what is the debt except sin } If thou hadst 
not received, thou wouldest not owe money to another. And 
therefore sin is imputed to you. For thou hadst money mth 
which thou wert born rich, and made after the likeness and 
image of God, but thou hast lost what thou then hadst. 
As when thou puttest on pride thou losest the gold of 
humility, thou hast receipted the devil's debt which was not 
necessary; the enemy held the bond, but the Lord crucified 
it, and cancelled it with His blood. But the Lord is able, 

VER. 5—8. ST. LUKK. 391 

who has taken away our sins and forgiven our debts, to 
guard us against the snares of the devil, who is wont to 
produce sin in us. Hence it follows. And lead us not into 
temptation, such as we are not able to bear, but like 
the wrestler we wish only such temptation as the condition 
of man can sustain. Tit. Bost. For it is imposible not to Tit. 
be tempted by the devil, but we make this prayer that we"^'"""^' 
may not be abandoned to our temptations. Now that which 
happens by Divine permission, God is sometimes in Scripture 
said to do. And in this way by hindering not the increase 
of temptation which is above our strength, he leads us 
into temptation. Max. Or, the Lord commands us to pray, in Orat. 
Lead us not into temptation, that is, let us not have experience ^^™- 
of lustful and self-induced temptations. But James teaches 
those who contend only for the truth, not to be unnerved by 
involuntary and troublesome temptations, saying, My brethren, James 
count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations. ^' ^' 

Basil; It does not however become us to seek by our Basil, 
prayers bodily afflictions. For Christ has universally com- {JJJ^^^^j 
manded men everywhere to pray that they enter not into'^ter. 
temptation. But when one has already entered, it is fitting 
to ask fi-om the Lord the power of enduring, that we may 
have fulfilled in us those words. He that endureth to the end Mat. lo, 
shall he saved. Aug. But what Matthew has placed at the ^^* 
end. But deliver us from evil, Luke has not mentioned, that in En- 
we might understand it belongs to the former, which was^, ug*. 
spoken of temptation. He therefore says, But deliver us, not, 
" And deliver us," clearly proving this to be but one petition, " Do 
not this, but this." But let every one know that he is therein 
delivered from evil, when he is not brought into temptation. 
PsEUDO-AuG. For each man seeks to be delivered from evil, that ubi sup. 
is, from his enemies and sin, but he who giveshimself uptoGod, 
fears not the devil, ioxifGod is for us, who can he against us? Kom. 8, 


5. And he said unto them, Which of you shall 
have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, 
and say unto him. Friend, lend me three loaves ; 

6. For a friend of mine in his journey is come to 
me, and I have nothing to set before him ? 


7. And he from within shall answer and say. 
Trouble me not : the door is now shut, and my children 
are with me in bed ; I cannot rise and give thee. 

8. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and 
give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his 
importunity he will rise and give him as many as he 

Cyril; The Saviour had before taught, in answer to the 
request of His apostles, how men ought to pray. But it 
might happen that those who had received this wholesome 
teaching, poured forth their prayers indeed according to the 
form given to them, but carelessly and languidly, and then 
when they were not heard in the first or second prayer, left 
off praying. That this then might not be our case, he shews 
by means of a parable, that cowardice in our prayers is 
hurtful, but it is of great advantage to have patience in them. 
Hence it is said. And he says unto tliein, IVIiich of you shall 
have a friend. Theophyl. God is that friend, who lov^eth all 
men, and wills that all should be saved. Ambrose ; Who is 
a greater friend to us, than He who delivered up His body 
for us? Now we have here another kind of command given 
us, that at all times, not only in the day, but at night, prayers 
should be offered up. For it follows, And shall go into him 
Ps. 119 (^t midiiight. As David did when he said. At midnight 
^^* / will rise and give thanks unto thee. For he had no fear 
of awakening them from sleep, whom he knew to be ever 
watching. For if David who was occupied also in the 
necessary affairs of a kingdom was so holy, that seven times 
Ps. 119 in the day he gave praise to God, what ought we to do, 
^^^' who ought so much the more to pray, as we more frequently 
sin, through the weakness of our mind and body ? But if 
thou lovest the Lord thy God, thou wilt be able to gain favour, 
not only for thyself, but others. For it follows, And say 
Aug. unto hiniy Friend, lend me three loaves, 8$c. Aug. But 
Serm. ■yyhat are these three loaves but the food of the heavenly 


mystery } For it may be that one has had a friend asking 
for what he cannot supply him with, and then finds that 
he has not what he is compelled to give. A friend then 

VER. 5—8. ST. LUKE. 393 

comes to you on his journey, that is, in this present hfe, in 
which all are travelling on as strangers, and no one remains 
possessor, but to every man is told. Pass on, O stranger, (jive Ecclus. 
place to him that is coming. Or perhaps some friend oi^^'^''* 
yours comes from a bad road, (that is, an evil life,) wearied 
and not finding the truth, by hearing and receiving which he 
may become happy. He comes to thee as to a Christian, and 
says, " Give me a reason," asking perhaps what you from 
the simplicity of your faith are ignorant of, and not having 
wherewith to satisfy his hunger, are compelled to seek 
it in the Lord's books. For perhaps what he asked is 
contained in the book, but obscure. You are not permitted 
to ask Paul himself, or Peter, or any prophet, for all that family 
is now resting with their Lord, and the ignorance of the 
world is very great, that is, it is midnight, and yoiu* friend 
who is urgent from hunger presses this, not contented with 
a simple faith; must he then be abandoned? Go therefore 
to the Lord Himself with whom the family is sleeping. Knock, 
and pray; of whom it is added, A}id he from within 
shall ansfcer and sag, Trouhle me not. He delays to give, 
wishing that you should the more earnestly desire what is 
delayed, lest by being given at once it should grow common. 
Basil; For perhaps He delays purposely, to redouble your Basil, 
earnestness and coming to him, and that you may know ]y^°^** 
what the gift of God is, and may anxiously guard what is c. i. 
given. For whatever a man acquires with much pains he 
strives to keep safe, lest with the loss of that he should lose 
his labour likewise. 

Gloss. He does not then lake away the liberty of asking. Gloss. 
but is the more anxious to kindle the desire of praying, by °^"^°* 
shewing the difficulty of obtaining that we ask for. 
For it follows. The door is noiv shut. Ambrose; This is 
the door which Paul also requests may be opened to him, Col.4,3. 
beseeching to be assisted not only by his own prayers, but 
those also of the people, that a door of utterance may be 
opened to him to speak the mystery of Christ. And perhaps 
that is the door which John saw open, and it was said to him, j^g^^ 4 
Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must he i- ^ 
hereafter. Aug. The time then referred to is that of the Ev. 1. ii. 
famine of the word, when the understanding is shut up, and ^j^^g'g 



they who dealt out the wisdom of the Gospel as it were bread, 
preached throughout the world, are now in their secret rest with 
the Lord. And this it is which is added, And my children 
are with me in bed. Greg. Nyss. Well does he call those, 
who by the arms of righteousness have claimed to them- 
selves freedom from passion, shewing that the good which 
by practice we have acquired, had been from the beginning 
laid up in our nature. For when any one renouncing the 
flesh, by living in the exercise of a virtuous life, has 
overcome passion, then he becomes as a child, and is 
insensible to the passions. But by the bed we understand 
Gloss, the rest of Christ. Gloss. And because of what has gone 
before he adds, / cannot rise and give thee, which must have 
Aug. dereference to the difficulty of obtaining. Aug. Or else, the 
Quaest. fj-jg^jj ^q whom the visit is made at midnight, for the loan of 
ii.qu.2i.the three loaves, is evidently meant for an allegory, just 
as a person set in the midst of trouble might ask God 
that He would give him to understand the Trinity, by which 
he may console the troubles of this present life. For his 
distress is the midnight in which he is compelled to be so 
urgent in his request for the three. Now by the three 
loaves it is signified, that the Trinity is of one substance. 
But the friend coming from his journey is understood the 
desire of man, which ought to obey reason, but was 
obedient to the custom of the world, which he calls the way, 
from all things passing along it. Now when man is con- 
verted to God, that desire also is reclaimed from custom. 
But if not consoled by that inward joy arising from the 
spiritual doctrine which declares the Trinity of the Creator, 
he is in great straits who is pressed down by earthly sorrows, 
seeing that from all outward delights he is commanded to 
abstain, and within there is no refreshment from the delight 
of spiritual doctrine. And yet it is effected by prayer, that 
he who desires should receive understanding from God, even 
though there be no one by whom wisdom should be preached. 
For it follows. And if that man shall continue, 8fc. The 
argument is drawn from the less to the greater. For, if a 
friend rises from his bed, and gives not from the force of 
friendship, but from weariness, how much more does God give 
who without weariness gives most abundantly whatever we ask ? 

VEH. 9 13. ST. LUKE. 395 

Aug. But when thou shalt have obtained the three loaves, Aug. 
that is, the food and knowledge of the Trinity, thou hast^^^""P- 
both the source of life and of food. Fear not. Cease not. 
For that bread will not come to an end, but will put an end 
to your want. Learn and teach. Live and eat. 

Theophyl. Or else, The midnight is the end of life, at which 
many come to God. But the friend is the Angel who receives 
the soul. Or, the midnightis the depth of temptations, in which 
he who has fallen, seeks from God three loaves, the relief of 
the wants of his body, soul, and spirit ; through w hom we 
run into no danger in our temptations. But the friend who 
comes from his journey is God Himself, who tries by tempt- 
ations him who has nothing to set before him who is 
weakened in temptation. But when He says, And the door 
is shut, we must understand that we ought to be prepared 
before temptations. But after that we have fallen into them, 
the gate of preparation is shut, and being found unprepared, 
unless God keep us, we are in danger. 

9. And I say unto you. Ask, and it shall be given 
you ; seek, and ye shall find ; knock, and it shall be 
opened unto you. 

10. For every one that asketh receiveth ; and he 
that seeketh findeth ; and to him that knocketh it 
shall be opened. 

IL If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is 
a father, will he give him a stone ? or if he ask a fish, 
will he for a fish give him a serpent ? 

12. Or if he shall ask an egg, will he ofiPer him a 
scorpion ? 

13. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good 
gifts unto your children : how much more shall your 
heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask 
him ? 

Aug. Having laid aside the metaphor, our Lord added an Aug. 
exhortation, and expressly urged us to ask, seek, and knock. 


until we receive what we are seeking. Hence he says, A?id I 
say unto you., Ask, and it shall be given you. Cyril ; The 
words, I say unto you^ have the force of an oath. For God 
doth not lie, but whenever He makes known any thing to His 
hearers with an oath, he manifests the inexcusable littleness 
Chrys. of our faith. Chrys. Now by asking, He means prayer, but 
23. in by seeking, zeal and anxiety, as He adds, Seek, and ye 
^3,tt. shall find. For those things which are sought require great 
care. And this is particularly the case with God. For there 
are many things which block up our senses. As then we 
search for lost gold, so let us anxiously seek after God. He 
shews also, that though He does not forthwith open the gates, 
we must yet wait. Hence he adds. Knock, and it shall be 
opened unto you ; for if you continue seeking, you shall surely 
receive. For this reason, and as the door shut makes you 
knock, therefore he did not at once consent that 3^ou might 
Severus entreat. Greek Ex. Or by the word knock perhaps he 
ntioc -j^g^jjg seeking effectually, for one knocks with the hand, but 
the hand is the sign of a good work. Or these three may be 
distinguished in another way. For it is the beginning of 
virtue to ask to know the way of truth. But the second 
step is to seek how we must go by that way. The third 
step is when a man has reached the virtue to knock at the 
door, that he may enter upon the wide field of knowledge. 
All these things a man acquires by prayer. Or to ask indeed 
is to pray, but to seek is by good works to do things becom- 
ing our prayers. And to knock is to continue in prayer 
Aug. without ceasing. Aug. But He would not so encourage us 
105? ^^ ^^^ ^'^^'^ -^^ ^^* willing to give. Let human slothfulness 
blush, He is more willing to give than we to receive. 

Ambrose ; Now he who promises any thing ought to 
convey a hope of the thing promised, that obedience may 
follow commands, faith, promises. And therefore he adds, 
For every o)ie that asketh receiveth. Origen ; But some 
one may seek to know, how it comes that they who pray 
are not heard? To which we must answer, that whoso 
sets about seeking in the right way, omitting none of 
those things which avail to the obtaining of our requests, 
shall really receive what he has prayed to be given him. 
But if a man turns away from the object of a right petition. 


VER. 10—12. ST. LUKE. 307 

and asks not as it becomes him, he docs not ask. And therefore 
it is, that when he does not receive, as is here promised, there 
is no falsehood. For so also when a master says, " Who- 
ever will come to me, he shall receive the gift of instruction ;" 
we understand it to imply a person going in real earnest to a 
master, that he may zealously and diligently devote himself to 
his teaching. Hence too James says. Ye ask and receue not, Jaines4, 
because ye ask amiss, namely, for the sake of vain pleasures. ^' 
But some one will say. Nay, when men ask to obtain divine 
knowledge, and to recover their virtue they do not obtain ? 
To which we must answer, that they sought not to receive 
the good things for themselves, but that thereby they might 
reap praise. 

Basil; If also any one from indolence surrenders himself Basil. 
to his desires, and betrays himself into the hands of his'"^^ 
enemies, God neither assists him nor hears him, because by 
sin he has alienated himself from God. It becomes then 
a man to offer whatever belongs to him, but to cry to God to 
assist him. Now we must ask for the Divine assistance not 
slackly, nor with a mind wavering to and fro, because 
such a one will not only not obtain what it seeks, but will 
the rather provoke God to anger. For if a man standing 
before a prince has his eye fixed v/ithin and without, lest 
perchance he should be punished, how much more before 
God ought he to stand watchful and trembling? But if when 
awakened by sin you are unable to pray stedfastly to the 
utmost of your power, check yourself, that when you stand 
before God you may direct your mind to Him. And God 
pardons you, because not from indifference, but infirmity, 
you cannot appear in His presence as you ought. If then you 
thus command yourself, do not depart until you receive. 
For whenever you ask and receive not, it is because your 
request was improperly made, either without faith, or lightly, 
or for things which are not good for you, or because you left 
off praying. But some frequently make the objection," Why 
pray we.? Is God then ignorant of what we have need?" 
He knows undoubtedly, and gives us richly all temporal 
things even before we ask. But we must first desire good 
w^orks, and the kingdom of heaven; and then having 
desired, ask in faith and patience, bringing into our prayers 


whatever is good for us, convicted of no offence by our own 

Ambrose ; The argument then persuading to frequent 
prayer, is the hope of obtaining what we pray for. The 
ground of persuasion was first in the command, afterwards 
it is contained in that example which He sets forth, 
adding, If a son shall ask bread of any of yoi(, will he 
give Mm a stone? S^c. Cyril; In these words our Saviour 
gives us a very necessary piece of instruction. For often- 
times we rashly, from the impulse of pleasure, give way 
to hurtful desires. When we ask any such thing from God, 
we shall not obtain it. To shew this. He brings an obvious 
example from those things which are before our eyes, in our 
daily experience. For when thy son asks of thee bread, 
thou givest it him gladly, because he seeks a wholesome 
food. But when from want of understanding he asks for a 
stone to eat, thou givest it him not, but rather hinderest him 
from satisfying his hurtful desire. So that the sense may be. 
But which of you asking his father for bread, (which the father 
gives,) will he give him a stone ? (that is, if he asked it.) 
There is the same argument also in the serpent and the fish ; 
of which he adds. Or if he asks a fish, will he for a fish give 
him a serpent? And in like manner in the egg and scorpion, 
of which he adds. Or if he ask an egg, will he offer him a 
scorpion ? 

Origen; Consider then this, if the bread be not indeed 

the food of the soul in knowledge, without which it can not 

be saved, as, for example, the well planned rule of a just 

life. But the fish is the love of instruction, as to know the 

constitution of the world, and the efiects of the elements, and 

whatever else besides wisdom treats of. Therefore God does 

not in the place of bread offer a stone, which the devil wished 

Christ to eat, nor in the place of a fish does He give a 

serpent, which the Ethiopians eat who are unworthy to eat 

fishes. Nor generally in the place of what is nourishing does 

he give what is not eatable and injurious, which relates to 

the scorpion and e^g. 

Aug. de Aug. Or by the bread is meant charity, because we have a 

Ev^lib greater desire of it, and it is so necessary, that without it all 

ii.qu. 22. other things are nothing, as the table without bread is mean. 

VEIL 9 — 13. ST. LUKE. 391) 

Opposed to which is hardness of heart, which he compared 
to a stone. But by the fish is signified the belief in invisible 
things, either from the waters of baptism, or because it is 
taken out of invisible places which the eye cannot reach. 
Because also faith, though tossed about by the waves of this 
world, is not destroyed, it is rightly compared to a fish, in 
opposition to which he has placed the serpent on account of 
the poison of deceit, which by evil persuasion had its first 
seed in the first man. Or, by the egg is understood hope. For 
the egg is the young not yet formed, but hoped for through 
cherishing, opposed to which he has placed the scorpion, 
whose poisoned sting is to be dreaded behind; as the contrary 
to hope is to look back, since the hope of the future reaches 
forward to those things which are before. Aug. What great Aug. 
things the world speaks to thee, and roars them behind thy ^q^^' 
back to make thee look behind ! O unclean world, why 
clamourest thou ! Why attempt to turn him away ! Thou 
wouldest detain him when thou art perishing, what wouldest 
thou if thou wert abiding for ever ? Whom wouldest thou 
not deceive with sweetness, when bitter thou canst infuse 
false food .? 

Cyril; Now from the example just given he concludes, 
If then ye being evil, (i.e. having a mind capable of wicked- 
ness, and not uniform and settled in good, as God,) know how 
to give good gifts ; how much more shall your heavenly 
Father ? Bede ; Or, he calls the lovers of the world evil, 
who give those things which they judge good according to 
their sense, which are also good in their nature, and are 
useful to aid imperfect life. Hence he adds, Know how to 
give good gifis to your cJiildren. The Apostles even, who 
by the merit of their election had exceeded the goodness of 
mankind in general, are said to be evil in comparison with 
Divine goodness, since nothing is of itself good but God 
alone. But that which is added. How much more shall your 
heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him, 
for which Matthew has written, will give good things to them 
that ask him, shews that the Holy Spirit is the fulness of 
God's gifts, since all the advantages which are received from 
the grace of God's gifts flow from that source. Athan. a than. 
Now unless the Holy Spirit were of the substance of God, je Trin 


Who alone is good, He would by no means be called good, 

since our Lord refused to be called good, inasmuch as He was 

Aug. made man. Aug. Therefore, O covetous man, what seekest 

105. * thou.? or if thou seekest any thing else, what will suffice thee 

to whom the Lord is not sufficient ? 

14. And he was casting out a devil, and it was 
dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was 
gone out, the dumb spake ; and the people wondered. 

15. But some of them said. He casteth out devils 
through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. 

16. And others, tempting him, sought of him a 
sign from heaven. 

non occ. 

Gloss. Gloss. The Lord had promised that the Holy Spirit 
should be given to those that asked for it; the blessed 
effects whereof He indeed clearly shews in the following 
miracle. Hence it follows, J?id Jesus was casthig out a 
devil^ and it was dumb. Theoppiyl. Now he is called xcxx^og^ 
as commonly meaning one who does not speak. It is also 
used for one who does not hear, but more properly who 
neither hears nor speaks. But he who has not heard from 
his birth necessarily cannot speak. For we speak those 
things which we are taught to speak by hearing. If however 
one has lost his hearing from a disease that has come upon 
him, there is nothing to hinder him from speaking. But He 
w^ho was brought before the Lord was both dumb in speech, 

Tit. in and deaf in hearing. Tit. Bost. Now He calls the devil 
deaf or dumb, as being the cause of this calamity, that the 
Divine word should not be heard. For the devil, by taking 
away the quickness of human feeling, blunts the hearing of 
our soul. Christ therefore comes that Fie might cast out the 
devil, and that we might hear the word of truth. For He 
healed one that Fie might create a universal foretaste of man's 
salvation. Hence it follows, And ichen he had cast out the 
devil, the dumb spake. 

Bede ; But that demoniac is related by Matthew to have 
been not only dumb, but blind. Three miracles then were 
performed at the same time on one man. The blind see, the 


VER. 17 — 20. ST. LUKE, 401 

dumb speaks, and he that was possessed by a devil is set free. 
The like is daily accomplished in the conversion of believers, 
so that the devil being first cast out, they see the light, and 
then those mouths which were before silent are loosened to 
speak the praises of God. Cyril; Now when the miracle was 
performed, the multitude extolled Him with loud praises, and 
the glory which was due to God. As it follows, And the 
people ivondered. Bede ; But since the multitudes who 
were thought ignorant always marvelled at our Lord's actions, 
the Scribes and Pharisees took pains to deny them, or to per- 
vert them by an artful interpretation, as though they were not 
the work of a Divine power, but of an unclean spirit. Hence 
it follows. But some of them said, He casteth out devils 
through Beelzehuh the prince of the devils. Beelzebub was 
the God Accaron. For Beel is indeed Baal himself. But 
Zebub means a fly. Now he is called Beelzebub as the 
man of flies, from whose most foul practices the chief of the 
devils was so named. Cyril; But others by similar darts 
of envy sought from Him a sign from heaven. As it follows, 
And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. 
As if they said, " Although thou hast cast out a devil from 
the man, this is no proof however of Divine power. For 
we have not yet seen any thing like to the miracles of former 
times. Moses led the people through the midst of the Exod. 
sea, and Joshua his successor stayed the sun in Gibeon. \'^\ ^ 

n ^ ^ . Josh.lO, 

But thou hast shewn us none of these thmgs." For to 13, 
seek signs from heaven shewed that the speaker was at 
that time influenced by some feeling of this kind towards 

17. But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto 
them. Every kingdom divided against itself is brought 
to desolation ; and a house divided against a house 

18. If Satan also be divided against himself, how 
shall his kingdom stand ? because ye say that I cast 
out devils through Beelzebub. 

19. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by 

VOL. III. 2 D 

ubi sup. 


whom do your sons cast them out ? therefore shall 
they be your judges. 

20. But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, 
no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. 

Chrys. Chrys. The suspicion of the Pharisees being utterly without 
41. in reason, they dared not divulge it for fear of the multitude, but 
Matt, pondered it in their minds. Hence it is said. But he, knowing 
their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided 
against itself tcill he brought to desolation. Bede; He 
answered not their words but their thoughts, that so at least 
they might be compelled to believe in His power, who saw 
Chrys. into the secrets of the heart. Chrys. He did not answer 
them from the Scriptures, since they gave no heed to them, 
explaining them away falsely; but he answers them from things 
of every day occurrence. For a house and a city if it 
be divided is quickly scattered to nothing; and likewise a 
kingdom, than which nothing is stronger. For the harmony 
of the inhabitants maintains houses and kingdoms. If then, 
says He, I cast out devils by means of a devil, there is dissen- 
sion among them, and their power perishes. Hence He 
adds, But if Satan he divided against himself how shall he 
stand? For Satan resists not himself, nor hurts his soldiers, 
but rather strengthens his kingdom. It is then by Divine 
powder alone that I crush Satan under my feet. Ambrose ; 
Herein also He shew^s His own kingdom to be undivided and 
everlasting. Those then who possess no hope in Christ, but 
think that He casts out devils through the chief of the devils, 
their kingdom. He says, is not everlasting. This also has 
reference to the Jewish people. For how can the kingdom 
of the Jews be everlasting, when by the people of the law 
Jesus is denied, who is promised by the law ? Thus in part 
does the faith of the Jewish people impugn itself; the glory of 
the wicked is divided, by division is destroyed. And therefore 
the kingdom of the Church shall remain for ever, hecause its 
faith is undivided in one body. Bede ; The kingdom also 
of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is not divided, because 
it is sealed with an eternal stability. Let then the Arians 
cease to say that the Son is inferior to the Father, but the 

VER. 17 — 20. ST. LUKE. 40:^ 

Holy Spirit inferior to the Son, since whose kingdom is one, 
their power is one also. 

Chrys. This then is the first answer; the second which Chrys. 
relates to His disciples He gives as follows, A?id if I by Beel-^.^^^^ 
zebuh cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out ? Matt. 
He says not, " My disciples," but your sons, wishing to soothe 
their wrath. Cyril ; For the disciples of Christ were Jews, 
and sprung from Jews according to the flesh, and they had 
obtained from Christ power over unclean spirits, and delivered 
those who were oppressed by them in Christ's name. Seeing 
then that your sons subdue Satan in My name, is it not very 
madness to say that I have My power from Beelzebub? Ye 
are then condemned by the faith of your children. Hence 
He adds, Therefore shall they be your judges. Chrys. For^^'^y^* 
since they who come forth from you are obedient unto Me, 
it is plain that they will condemn those who do the contrary. 
Bede ; Or else, By the sons of the Jews He means the 
exorcists of that nation, who cast out devils by the invocation 
of God. As if He says, If the casting out of devils by your 
sons is ascribed to God, not to devils, w^hy in My case has 
not the same work the same cause } Therefore shall they be 
your judges, not in authority to exercise judgment, but in 
act, since they assii^n to God the casting out of devils, you to 
Beelzebub, the chief of the devils. 

Cyril; Since then what you say bears upon it the mark of 
calumny, it is plain that by the Spirit of God I cast out devils. 
Hence He adds, But if 1 by the finger of God cast out devils, 
no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. Aug. Aug de 
That Luke speaks of the finger of God, where Matthew! 
said, the Spirit, does not take aw^ay from their agreement in 
sense, but it rather teaches us a lesson, that we may know 
what meaning to give to the finger of God, whenever we read it 
in the Scriptures. Aug. Now the Holy Spirit is called 
finger of God, because of the distribution of gifts which are Ey^i^^Jj 
given through Him, to every one his own gift, whether he beq"- 17. 
of men or angels. For in none of our members is division more 
apparent than in our fingers. Cyril ; Or the Holy Spirit is 
called the finger of God for this reason. The Son was said Ps. 98, 
to be the hand and arm of the Father, for the Father 
worketh all things by Him. As then the finger is n o t jieri^'T ., ^ nT*^ 

2 D ^^ X^.X)^^" - — - •W/ 

^ f ST. MICHA£.L*S 

^ ^ COLLEGE y ^ 


rate from the hand, but by nature a part of it; so the 
Holy Spirit is con substantially united to the Son, and through 
Him the Son does all things. Ambrose; Nor would you 
think in the compacting together of our limbs any division of 
power to be made, for there can be no division in an un- 
divided thing. And therefore the appellation of finger must 
be referred to the form of unity, not to the distinction of 
Athan. power. Athan. But at this time our Lord does not 
^^^^ ' ' ke&itate because of His humanity to speak of Himself as 
Arian. inferior to the Holy Spirit, saying, that He cast out devils by 
Him, as though the human nature was not sufficient for the 
casting out of devils without the power of the Holy Spirit. 
Cyril ; And therefore it is justly said, The kingdom of God 
is come upon you, that is, " If I as a man cast out devils by 
the Spirit of God, human nature is enriched through Me, and 
the kingdom of God is come." 
Chrys. Chrys. But it is Said, upon you, that He might draw them 
Horn. ^Q Him ; as if He said. If prosperity comes to you, why do 
ffup. you despise your good things ? Ambrose ; At the same time 
He shews that it is a regal power which the Holy Spirit 
possesses, in whom is the kingdom of God, and that we in 
Tit. whom the Spirit dwells are a royal house. Tit. Bost. Or He 
' says. The kingdom of God is come upon you, signifying, " is 
come against you, not for you." For dreadful is the second 
coming of Christ to faithless Christians. 

21. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, 
his goods are in peace : 

22. But when a stronger than he shall come upon 
him and overcome him, he taketh from him all his 
armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. 

23. He that is not with me is against me : and he 
that gathereth not with me scattereth. 

Cyril ; As it was necessary for many reasons to refute the 
cavils of His opponents, our Lord now makes use of a very plain 
example, by which He proves to those who will consider it 
that He overcomes the power of the world, by a power inherent 
in Himself, saying, Whe7i a strong man armed keepeth his 

VER. 21 — 23. ST. LUKE. 405 

palace. Ciirys. He calls the devil a strong man, not because Chrys. 
be is naturally so, but referring to his ancient dominion, of^j^j^ 
which our weakness was the cause. Cyril ; For he used belbre ^^-^^^ 
the coming of the Saviour to seiz€ with great violence upon 
the flocks of another, that is, God, and carry them as it were 
to his own fold. 

Theophyl. The Devil's arms are all kinds of sins, trusting 
in which he prevailed against men. Bede; But the world he 
calls his palace, which lietli in wickedness, wherein up to i John 
our Saviour^s cominp^ he enjoyed supreme power, because he "*' 
rested in the hearts of unbelievers without any op]:)Osition. 
But with a stronger and mightier power Christ has comjuered, 
and by delivering all men has cast him out. Hence it is added. 
But if a stronger than he shall come upon him, andovercome, ^c. 
Cyril; For as soon as the Word of the Most High God, the 
Giver of all strength, and the Lord of Hosts, was made man, 
He attacked him, and took away his arms. Bede; His arms 
then are the craft i..nd the wiles of spiritual wickedness, but 
his spoils are the men themselves, who have been deceived 
by him. 

Cyril; For the Jews who had been a long time entrapped 
by him into ignorance of God and sin, have been called out by 
the holy Apostles to the knowledge of the truth, and pre- 
sented to God the Father, through faith in the Son. Basil; 
Christ also divides the spoil, shewing the faithful watch which 
angels keep over the salvation of men. Bede; As conqueror 
too Christ divides the spoils, which is a sign of triumph, for 
leading captivity captive He gave gifts to men, ordaining 
some Apostles, some Evangelists, some Prophets, and some Ephesi. 
Pastors and Teachers. ' 

Chry^s. Next we have the fourth answer, where it is added, Chrys. 
He who is not with me is against me; as if He says, I wdsh" ' ^^P' 
to present men to God, but Satan the contrary. How then 
would he who does not work with Me, but scatters what is 
Mine, become so united wath Me, as with Me to cast out 
devils ? It follows. And he who gathereth not with me, 
scattereth. Cyril; As if He said, I came to gather together 
the sons of God whom he hath scattered. And Satan him- 
self as he is not with Me, tries to scatter those which I ha\e 
gathered and saved. How then does he whom I use all 


Chrys. My efforts to resist, supply Me with power ? Chrys. But if he 

41. in ^'^^ does not work with Me is My adversary, how much more 

Matt. }.Q y^yi^Q opposes Me ? It seems however to me that he here 

under a figure refers to the Jews, ranging them with the 

devil. For they also acted against, and scattered those whom 

He gathered together. 

24. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, 
he walketh through dry places, seeking rest ; and 
finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house 
whence I came out. 

25. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and 

26. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other 
spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, 
and dwell there: and the last state of that man is 
worse than the first. 

Cyril; After what had gone before, our Lord proceeds to 
shew how it was that the Jewish people had sunk to these 
opinions concerning Christ, saying. When the unclean spirit 
is gone out of a man^ %-c. For that this example relates to 
iviatt. the Jews^ Matthew has explained when he says, Even so 
' ^' shall it he also unto this wicked generation. For all the 
time that they were living in Egypt in the practice of the 
Egyptians, there dwelt in them an evil spirit, which was drawn 
out of them when they sacrificed the lamb as a type of Christ, 
and were sprinkled with its blood, and so escaped the 

Ambrose; The comparison then is between one man and 
the whole Jewish people, from whom through the Law the 
unclean spirit had been cast out. But because in the Gentiles, 
whose hearts were first barren, but afterwards in baptism 
moistened with the dew of the Spirit, the devil could find no 
rest because of their faith in Christ, (for to the unclean spirits 
Christ is a flaming fire,) he then returned to the Jewish people. 
Hence it follows. And finding none, he saith^ I will return 
to my house whence I came. 

VER. 24 26. ST. LUKE. 407 

Origen; That is, to those who are of Israel, whom he saw 
possessmg nothing divine in them, but desolate, and vaccint 
for him to take up his abode there ; and so it follows, A?id 
when he came, he Jindeth it swept and garnished. Am- 
brose; For Israel being adorned with a mere outward and 
superficial beauty, remains inwardly the more polluted in her 
heart. For she never quenched or allayed her fires in the 
water of the sacred fountain, and rightly did the unclean 
spirit return to her, bringing with him seven other spiiits 
more wicked than himself. Hence it follows. And he goeth 
and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than 
himself, and t/iey enter in and dwell there. Seeing that 
in truth she has sacrilegiously profaned the seven weeks of 
the Law% (i. e. from Easter to Pentecost,) and the mystery 
of the eighth day. Therefore as upon us is multiplied the 
seven-fold gifts of the Spirit, so upon them falls the whole 
accumulated attack of the unclean spirits. For the number 
seven is frequently taken to mean the whole. 

Chrys. Now the evil spirits who dwell in the souls of the Chrys. 
Jews, are worse than those in former times. For then the Jews 43, \^ 
raged against the Prophets, now they lift up their hands against ^^^'^* 
the Lord of the Prophets, and therefore suffered worse things 
from Vespasian and Titus than in Egypt and Babylon. Hence 
it follows, And the last state of that man is w'orse than the 
former. Then too they had with them the Providence of God, 
and the grace of the Holy Spirit; but now they are de- 
prived even of this protection, so that there is now a greater 
lack of virtue, and their sorrows are more intense, and the 
tyranny of the evil spirits more terrible. 

Cyril; The last state also is worse than the first, according 

to the words of the Apostle, It were better not to have2Vet.2, 

known the way of truth, than after they have known it 

to turn back from it. Bede; This may also be taken to 

refer to certain heretics or schismatics, or even to a bad 

Catholic, from whom at the time of his baptism the evil 

sphit had gone out. And he wanders about in dr}^ places, that 

is, his crafty device is to try the hearts of the faithful, which 

have been purged of all unstable and transient knowledge, 

if he can plant in them any where the footsteps of his iniquity. 

But he says, / will return to my house whence I came out. 


And here we must beware lest the sin which we supposed 
extinguished in us, by our neglect overcome us unawares. 
But he finds his house swept and garnished, that is, purified 
by the grace of baptism from the stain of sin, yet re- 
plenished with no diligence in good works. By the seven evil 
spirits which he takes to himself, he signifies all the vices. 
And they are called more wicked, because he will have not 
only those vices which are opposed to the seven spiritual 
virtues, but also by his hypocrisy he will pretend to have the 
virtues themselves. 
Chryg. Chrys. Let US receive the words which follow, as said 
^^^' not only to them, but also to ourselves, A7id the last state of 
that man shall be worse than the first; for if enlightened and 
released from our former sins we again return to the same 
course of wickedness, a heavier ])unishment will await our 
latter sins. 

Bede; It may also be simply understood, that our Lord 
added these words to shew the distinction between the works 
of Satan and His own, that in truth He is ever hastening to 
cleanse what has been defiled, Satan to defile with still 
greater pollution what has been cleansed. 

27. And it came to pass, as he spake these things, 
a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, 
and said unto him. Blessed is the womb that bare 
thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 

28. But he said. Yea rather, blessed are they that 
hear the word of God, and keep it. 

Bede; While the Scribes and Pharisees were tempting our 
Lord, and uttering blasphemies against Him, a certain woman 
with great boldness confessed His incarnation, as it follows. 
And it came to j)ass, as he spake these things, a certain 
woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto 
him. Blessed is the womb that bare thee, S^c. by which she 
refutes both the calumnies of the rulers present, and the un- 
belief of I'uture heretics. For as then by blaspheming the 
works of the Holy Spirit, the Jews denied the true Son of 

VER. 29 — 32. ST. LUKE. 409 

God, so in after times the heretics, by denying that the Ever- 
virgin Mary, by the cooperating power of the Holy Spirit, 
ministered of the substance of her flesh to the birth of the 
only-begotten Son, have said, that we ought not to confess 
Him who was the Son of man to be truly of the same sub- 
stance with the Father. But if the flesh of the Word of God, 
who was born according to the flesh, is declared alien to 
the flesh of His Virgin Mother, what cause is there why the 
womb which bare Him and the paps which gave Him suck 
are pronounced blessed? By what reasoning do they sup- 
pose Him to be nourished by her milk, from whose seed 
they deny Him to be conceived.? Whereas according to the 
physicians, from one and the same fountain both streams are 
proved to flow. But the woman pronounces blessed not only 
her who was thought worthy to give birth from her body to 
the Word of God, but those also who have desired by the hear- 
ing of faith spiritually to conceive the same Word, and by dili- 
gence in good works, either in their own or the hearts of 
their neighbours, to bring it forth and nourish it ; for it follows, 
But he saidj Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the 
word of God, and keep it. 

Chrys. In this answer He sought not to disown His mother, Chrys. 
but to shew that His birth would have profited her nothing, had 1^°™* 
she not been really fruitful in works and faith. But if it Matt, 
profited Mary nothing that Christ derived His birth from 
her, without the inward virtue of her heart, much less will 
it avail us to have a virtuous father, brother, or son, v/hile 
we ourselves are strangers to virtue. 

Bede ; But she was the mother of God, and therefore 
indeed blessed, in that she was made the temporal minister 
of the Word becoming incarnate; yet therefore much more 
blessed that she remained the eternal keeper of the same 
ever to be beloved Word. But this expression startles the 
wise men of the Jews, who sought not to hear and keep the 
word of G od, but to deny and blaspheme it. 

29. And when the people were gathered thick 
together, he began to say. This is an evil genera- 


tion : they seek a sign ; and there shall no sign be 
given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. 

30. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, 
so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. 

31. The queen of the south shall rise up in the 
judgment with the men of this generation, and 
condemn them ; for she came from the utmost parts 
of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon ; and, 
behold, a greater than Solomon is here. 

32. The men of Nineve shall rise up in the 
judgment with this generation, and shall condemn 
it : for they repented at the preaching of Jonas ; 
and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. 

Bede ; Our Lord had been assailed with two kinds of 
questions, for some accused Him of casting out devils 
through Beelzebub, to whom up to this point His answer was 
addressed; and others tempting Him, sought from Him 
a sign from heaven, and these He now proceeds to answer. 
As it follows. And when the people were gathered thick 
together^ he began to say, This is an evil generation, Sj-c. 
Ambrose ; That you may know that the people of the Syna- 
gogue are treated with dishonour, while the blessedness of the 
Church is increased. But as Jonas was a sign to the Nine- 
vites, so also will the Son of man be to the Jews. Hence it 
is added. They seek a sign ; and there shall no sign he given 
Basil, them hut the sign of Jonas the prophet, Basil; A sign is 
7] ^^'* a thing brought openly to view, containing in itself the 
manifestation of something hidden, as the sign of Jonas 
represents the descent to hell, the ascension of Christ, and His 
resurrection from the dead. Hence it is added. For as 
Jonas was a sign to the Ninevites, so shall also the Son 
of man he to this generation. He gives them a sign, not 
from heaven, because they were unworthy to see it, but from 
the low^est depths of hell; a sign, namely, of His incarnation, 
not of His divinity; of His passion, not of His glorification. 
Ambrose ; Now as the sign of Jonas is a type of our 
Lord's passion, so also is it a testimony of the grievous sins 

VER. 29—32. ST. LUKE. 411 

which the Jews have committed. We may remark at once 
both the mighty voice of warning, and the declaration of 
mercy. For by the example of the Ninevites both a punish- 
ment is denounced, and a remedy promised. Hence even 
the Jews ought not to despair of pardon, if they will but 
practise repentance. Theophyl. Now Jonas after he came 
forth from the whale's belly converts the men of Nineveh by 
his preaching, but when Christ rose again, the Jewish nation 
believed not. So there was a sentence already passed upon 
them, of which there follows a second example, as it is said, 
The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with- the 
men of this generation^ and condemn them. Bede ; Not 
certainly by any authority to judge, but by the contrast of 
a better deed. As it follows. For she came from the utmost 
27arts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon ; and, behold, 
a greater than Solomon is here. Here in this place is not the 
pronoun, but the adverb of place, that is, " there is one present 
among you who is incomparably superior to Solomon." He 
said not, " I am greater than Solomon," that he might teach 
us to be humble, though fruitful in spiritual graces. As if he 
said, " The barbarian woman hastened to hear Solomon, taking 
so long a journey to be instructed in the knowledge of visible 
living creatures, and the virtues of herbs. But ye when ye stand 
by and hear Wisdom herself teaching you invisible and hea- 
venly things, and confirming her words with signs and wonders, 
are strangers to the word, and senselessly disregard the miracles." 
Bede ; But if the queen of the South, who doubtless is of 
the elect, shall rise up in judgment together with the wicked, 
we have a proof of the one resurrection of all men, good 
as well as bad, and that not according to Jewish fables 
to happen a thousand years before the judgment, but at the 
judgment itself. Ambrose; Herein also while condemning 
the Jewish people, He strongly expresses the mystery of the 
Church, which in the queen of the South, through the desire 
of obtaining wisdom, is gathered together from the uttermost 
parts of the whole earth, to hear the words of the Peace- 
making Solomon ; a queen plainly whose kingdom is un- 
divided, rising up from different and distant nations into 
one body. Grkg, Nyss. Now as she was queen of the Greg. 
Ethiopians, and in a far distant countr}^, so in the beginning ^°"J' '^' 


the Church of the Gentiles was in darkness, and far off from 
the knowledge of God. But when Christ the Prince of peace 
shone forth, the Jews being still in darkness, thither came 
the Gentiles, and offered to Christ the frankincense of 
piety, the gold of divine knowledge, and precious stones, 
that is, obedience to His commands. Theophyl. Or because 
the South is praised in Scripture as warm and life-giving, 
therefore the soul reigning in the south, that is, in all spiritual 
conversation, comes to hear the wisdom of Solomon, the 
Prince of peace, the Lord our God, (i. e. is raised up to 
contemplate Him,) to whom no one shall come except 
he reign in a good life. But He brings next an example 
from the Ninevites, saying, TJie men of Nineveh sJiall rise 
up in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it. 
Chrys. Chrys. The judgment of condemnation comes from men 
'like or unlike to those who are condemned. From like, 
for instance, as in the parable of the ten virgins, but from 
unlike, when the Ninevites condemn those who lived at the 
time of Christ, that so their condemnation might be the 
Horn, more remarkable. For the Ninevites indeed were barbarians. 
Matt. ^^^^ these Jews. The one enjoying the prophetic teaching, 
the other having never received the divine word. To the 
former came a servant, to the latter the Master, of whom the 
one foretold destruction, the other preached the kingdom of 
heaven. To all men then was it known that the Jews ought 
rather to have believed, but the contrary happened ; therefore 
he adds. For they repented at the preaching of Jonas, and, 
behold, a greater than Jonas is here. Ambrose; Now in a 
mystery, the Church consists of two things, either ignorance 
of sin, which has reference ra.ainl}^ to the queen of the South, 
or ceasing to sin, which relates indeed to the repentant 
Ninevites. For repentance blots out the offence, wisdom 
guards against it. 
Aug- Aug. Luke indeed relates this in the same place as 

Ev. lib.' Matthew, but in a somewhat different order. But who does 
ii.c. .39.jjQ^ see that it is an idle question, in what order our Lord 
said those things, seeing that we ought to learn by the most 
precious authority of the Evangelist, that there is no false- 
hood. But not every man will repeat another's words in the 
same order in which they proceeded from his month, seeing 

VKR. 33—36. ST. LUKE. 413 

that the order itself makes no difference with respect to the 
fact, whether it be so or not. 

33. No man, when he hath lighted a candle, 
putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, 
but on a candlestick, that they which come in may 
see the light. 

34. The light of the body is the eye : therefore 
when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full 
of light ; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is 
full of darkness. 

35. Take heed therefore that the light which is in 
thee be not darkness. 

36. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, 
having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, 
as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee 

Cyril; The Jews said, that our Lord performed His 
miracles not for faith, i. e. that they might believe on Him, but 
to gain the applause of the spectators, i. e. that He might have 
more followers. He refutes therefore this calumny, saying, 
No man ^ when he hath Uglited a candle, piitteih it in a secret 
place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick. Bede ; 
Our Lord here speaks of Himself, shewing that although He 
had said above that no sign should be given to this wicked 
generation but the sign of Jonas, yet the brightness of His 
light should by no means be hid from the faithful. He 
Himself indeed lights the candle, who filled the vessel of 
our nature with the fire of His divinity ; and this candle 
surely He wished neither to hide from believers, nor to place 
under a bushel, that is, enclose it in the measure of the 
law, or confine it within the limits of the single nation of the 
Jews. But He placed it upon a candlestick, that is, the 
Church, for He has imprinted on our foreheads the faith of 
His incarnation, that they who with a true faith wish to enter 
the Church, might be able to see clearly the light of the 


truth. Lastly, He bids them remember to cleanse and purify 
not only their works, but their thoughts, and the intentions 
of the heart. For it follows, 77/e light of the body is ihe eye, 
Ps. 119, Ambrose ; Either faith is the light, as it is written. Thy word, 
O Lord, is a lanlern to my feet. For the word of God is 
our faith. But a lantern cannot shine except it has received 
its quality from something else. Hence also the powers of our 
mind and senses are enlightened, that the piece of money which 
had been lost may be found. Let no one then place faith 
under the law, for the law is bound by certain limits, grace is 
unlimited; the law obscures, grace makes clear. Theophyl. 
Or else, because the Jews, seeing the miracles, accused them 
out of the malice of their heart, therefore our Lord tells 
them, that, receiving the light, that is, their understanding, 
from God, they were so darkened with envy, as not to 
recognise His miracles and mercies. But to this end 
received we our understanding from God, that we should 
place it upon a candlestick, that others also who are entering 
in may see the light. The wise man indeed has already entered, 
but the learner is still walking. As if He said to the Pharisees, 
You ought to use your understanding to know the miracles, 
and declare them to others, seeing that what you see are the 
works not of Beelzebub, but the Son of God. Therefore, 
keeping up the meaning, He adds. The light of the body is the 
eye. Origen; For He gives the name of the eye especially 
to our understanding, but the whole soul, although not 
corporeal. He metaphorically calls the body. For the whole 
soul is enlightened by the understanding. 

Theophyl. But as if the eye of the body be light the 
body will be light, but if dark the body will be dark also, so 
is it with the understanding in relation to the soul. Hence it 
follows. If thine eye be single, thy ichole body will be full 
of light; but if evil, thy whole body will be full of 
darkness. Origen ; For the understanding from its very 
beginning desires only singleness, containing no dissimulation, 
Chrys. ^^ g^ilc, or division in itself. Chry'S. If then we have 
Horn, corrupted the understanding, which is able to let loose the 

20. u\ ,^ , ° 

Matt, passions, we have done violence to the whole soul, and suffer 
dreadful darkness, being blinded by the perversion of our 
understanding. Therefore adds he, Take heed, therefore. 

VER. 33—36. ST. LUKE. 415 

that the light which is in thee he not darkness. He speaks 
of a darkness which may be perceived, but which has its 
origin within itself, and which we every where carry 
about with us, the eye of the soul being put out. Con- 
cerning the power of this light He goes onto say, If thy 
whole body therefore he full of light, 8^c. Sfc. Origen ; 
That is, If thy material body, when the light of a candle 
shines upon it, is made full of light, so that not one of thy 
members is any longer in darkness ; much more when thou 
sinnest not, shall thy whole spiritual body be so full of light, 
that its brightness may be compared to the shining of a 
candle, while the light which was in the body, and which 
used to be darkness, is directed whithersoever the under- 
standing may command. Greg. Naz. Or else; The light Greg, 
and eye of the Church is the Bishop. It is necessary then^jP^^** 
that as the body is rightly directed as long as the eye keeps 
itself pure, but goes wrong when it becomes corrupt, so also 
with respect to the Prelate, according to what his state may 
be, must the Church in like manner suffer shipwreck, or be 

Greg. Or else; By the name body each particular action Gre^. 
is understood which follows its own intention, as it were the^^'J 
eye of the spectators. Therefore it is said. The light of the 
body is the eye, because by the ray of a good intention the 
deserving parts of an action receive light. If then thy eye 
be single, thy whole body will be full of light, for if we intend 
rightly in singleness of heart, we accomplish a good work, 
even though it seem not to be good. And if thy eye be evil, 
thy whole body will be full of darkness, because when with 
a crooked intention even a right thing is done, although it 
appears to glitter in men's sight, yet before the bar of the 
internal judge it is covered with darkness. Hence too it is 
rightly added, Take heed therefore that the light which is in 
thee be ?wt darkness. For if what we think we do well we 
cloud by a bad intention, how many are the evils themselves 
which even when we do them we know to be evil ? Bede ; 
Now when He adds, Jf thy whole body therefore, 8^c. by 
the whole of our body He means all our works. If then 
thou hast done a good work with a good intention, having 
in thy conscience nothing approaching to a dark thought, 


though it chance that thy neighbour is injured by thy 
good actions, nevertheless for thy singleness of heart shalt 
thou be rewarded with grace here, and with glorious light 
hereafter; which he signifies, adding, And as the bright 
s}niii7ig of a candle shall it give thee light. These words 
were especially directed against the hypocrisy of the Phari- 
sees, who sought for signs that they might catch him. 

37. And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought 
him to dine with him, and he went in, and sat down 
to meat. 

38. And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled 
that he had not first washed before dinner. 

39. And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye 
Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the 
platter ; but your inward part is full of ravening and 

40. Ye fools, did not he that made that which is 
without make that which is within also ? 

41. But rather give alms of such things as ye have; 
and, behold, all things are clean unto you. 

42. But woe unto you, Pharisees ! for ye tithe 
mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over 
judgment and the love of God : these ought ye to 
have done, and not to leave the other undone. 

43. Woe unto you, Pharisees ! for ye love the 
uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in 
the markets. 

44. Woe unto you. Scribes and Pharisees, hypo- 
crites ! for ye are as graves which appear not, and 
the men that walk over them are not aware of them. 

Cyril; The Pharisee, while our Lord still continued on 
speaking, invites Him to his own house. As it is said. 
And while he was speaking, a certain Pharisee besought 
liini to dine with him. Bede; Luke expressly says. And 
as he spake these things, to shew that He had not quite 

VER. 37— 4i. ST. LUKE. 417 

finished what He had puiposed to say, but was somewhat 
interrupted by the Pharisee asking Him to dine. Aug. Aug. 
For in order to relate this, Luke has made a variation from^® ^°"' 

' . Evan. 

Matthew, at that place where both had mentioned what our lib. ii. 
Lord said concerning the sign of Jonah, and the queen of ^* ' 
the south, and the unclean spirit ; after which discourse 
Matthew says. While he yet talked to the jjeople^ behold his 
another and his brethren stood without desiring to speak to 
him; but Luke having also in that discourse of our Lord 
related some of our Lord's sayings which Matthew omitted, 
now departs from the order which he had hitherto kept with 

Bede ; Accordingly, after that it was told Him that His 
mother and brethren stood without, and He said, For he that 
doeth the loill of God^ the same is my brother, and sister, 
and mother, we are given to understand that He by the 
request of the Pharisee went to the dinner. 

Cyril ; For Christ, knowing the wdckedness of those 
Pharisees, Himself purposely condescends to be occupied 
in admonishing them, after the manner of the best physi- 
cians, who bring remedies of their own making to those who 
are dangerously ill. Hence it follows, And he went in and 
sat down to meat. But what gave occasion for the words 
of Christ was, that the ignorant Pharisees were offended, 
that while men thought Him to be a great man and a prophet, 
He conformed not to their unreasonable customs. Therefore 
it is added, But the Pharisee began to think and say within 
himself, Why had he not first washed before dinner? 

Aug. For every day before dinner the Pharisees washed Aug. 
themselves with water, as if a daily washing could be a jq™* 
cleansing of the heart. But the Pharisee thought within 
himself, yet did not give utterance to a word; neverthe- 
less. He heard who perceived the secrets of the heart. Hence 
it follows. And the Lord said unto him. Now do ye Pharisees 
make clean the outside of the cup and the platter ; but your 
inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. 

Cyril ; Now our Lord might also have used other words 
to admonish the foolish Pharisee, but he seizes the oppor- 
tunity and framed his reproof from the things that were 
ready before him. At the hour, namely, of meals He takes 

vol. III. 2 e 


for His example the cup and the platter, pointing out that it 
became the sincere servants of God to be washed and clean, 
not only from bodily impurity, but also from that which lies 
concealed within the power of the soul, just as any of the 
vessels which are used for the table ought to be free from all 
inward defilement. 

Ambrose ; Now mark that our bodies are signified by the 
mention of earthly and fragile things, which when let fall 
a short distance are broken to pieces, and those things which 
the mind meditates within, it easily expresses through the 
senses and actions of the body, just as those things which the 
cup contains within make a glitter without. Hence also here- 
after, by the word cup doubtless the passion of the body is 
spoken of You perceive then, that not the outside of the 
cup and platter defiles us, but the inner parts. For he said. 
But your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. 
Aug. Aug. But how was it that He spared not the man by whom 

IQG. * He was invited ? Yea rather. He spared him by reproof, that 
when corrected He might spare him in the judgment. 
Further, He shews us that baptism also which is once given 
cleanses by faith ; but faith is something within, not without. 
The Pharisees despised faith, and used washings which were 
without ; while within they remained full of pollution. The 
Lord condemns this, saying, Ye fools, did not he that made 
that which is without make that which is within also ? 
Bede ; As if He says. He who made both natures of man, 
will have each to be cleansed. This is against the Mani- 
cheans, who think the soul only was created by God, but the 
flesh by the devil. It is also against those who abominate 
the sins of the flesh, such as fornication, theft, and the like ; 
while those of the Spirit, which are* no less condemned by 
the Apostle, they disregard as trifling. 

Ambrose ; Now our Lord as a good Master taught us how 
we ought to purify our bodies from defilement, saying. But 
rather give alms of such things as ye have over : and,behold,all 
things are clean unto you. You see what the remedies are ; 
almsgiving cleanseth us, the word of God cleanseth us, 
Johnl5, according to that which is written, Now ye are clean through 

the word which I have spoken unto you, 
O^ ^ e/^ Cyprian ; The Merciful bids us to shew mercy ; and because 


VER. 37— 44. ST. LUKK. 419 

He seeks to save those whom He has redeemed at a great price, 
He teaches that they who have been defiled after the grace 
of baptism may again be made clean. 

Chrys. Now He says, give alms, not injury. For alms- Chrys. 
giving is that which is free from all injury. It makes all 72. in 
things clean, and is more excellent than fasting ; v^'hich '^°^"* 
though it be the more painful, the other is the more 
profitable. It enlightens the soul, enriches it, and makes it 
good and beautiful. He who resolves to have compassion 
on the needy, will sooner cease from sin. For as the 
physician who is in the habit of healing the diseased is 
easily grieved by the misfortunes of others ; so we, if we 
have devoted ourselves to the relief of others, shall easily 
despise things present, and be raised up to heaven. The 
unction of almsgiving then is no slight good, since it is 
capable of being applied to every wound. 

Bede ; He speaks of " what is over and above" our quod 
necessary food and clothing. For you are not commanded ^^^^^' 
to give alms so as to consume yourself by want, but that after 
satisfying your wants, you should supply the poor to the 
utmost of your power. Or it must be taken in this way. Do that 
which remains within your power, that is, which is the only 
remedy remaining to those who have been hitherto engaged in 
so much wickedness ; give alms. Which word applies to every 
thing which is done with profitable compassion. For not he 
alone gives alms who gives food to the hungry and things of 
that kind, but he also who gives pardon to the sinner, and 
prays for him, and reproves him, visiting him with 
some correcting punishment. Theophyl. Or He means, 
" That which is uppermost." For wealth rules the covetous 
man's heart. 

Ambrose; The whole then of this beautiful discourse 
is directed to this end, that while it invites us to the study of 
simplicity, it should condemn the luxury and worldhness of 
the Jews. And yet even they are promised the abolition 
of their sins if they will follow mercy. 

Aug. But if they cannot be cleansed except they believe Aug. 
on Him who cleanses the heart by faith, what is this which \qq^' 
He says, Give alms, and behold all tilings are clean to you? 
Let us give heed, and perhaps He Himself explains it to us. 

2 E 2 


For the Jews withdrew a tenth part from all their produce, 
and gave it in alms, which rarely a Christian does. There- 
fore they mocked Him, for saying this to them as to men who 
did not give alms. God knowing this adds, But woe unto 
you, Pharisees! fo?^ ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of 
herbs, and pass over judy?nent and the love of God. This 
thtjn is not giving alms. For to give alms is to shew mercy. 
If thou art wise, begin with thyself: for how art thou merciful 
to another, if cruel to thyself? Hear the Scripture, which 
Ecclus. says unto thee. Have mercy on thy own soul, and please God, 
' • Return unto thy conscience, thou that livest in evil or un- 
belief, and then thou findest thy soul begging, or perhaps 
struck dumb with want. In judgment and love give alms to 
thy soul. What is judgment? Do what is displeasing to 
thyself What is charity? Love God, love thy neighbour. If 
thou neglectest this alms, love as much you like, thou 
doest nothing, since thou doest it not to thyself. 

Cyril ; Or He says it by way of censure upon the 
Pharisees, who ordered those precepts only to be strictly 
observed by their people, which were the cause of fruitful 
returns to themselves. Hence they omitted not even the 
smallest herbs, but despised the work of inspiring love to God, 
and the just awarding of judgment. Theophyl. For because 
they despised God, treating sacred things with indifference, 
He commands them to have love to God; but by judgment 
He implies the love of our neighbour. For when a man 
judges his neighbour justly, it proceeds from his love to him. 
Ambrose; Or judgment, because they do not bring to 
examination every thing that they do ; charity, because they 
love not God with their heart. But that He might not make 
us zealous of the faith, to the neglect of good works. He 
sums up the perfection of a good man in a few words, these 
ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 
Chrys. Chrys. Where indeed the subject treated was the Jewish 
73 jjj cleansing. He altogether passed it by, but as the tithe is 
Matt, a kind of almsgiving, and the time was not yet come for 
absolutely destroying the customs of the law, therefore He 
says, tliese ought ye to have done. 

Ambrose; He reproves also the arrogance of the boasting 
Jews in seeking the preeminence : for it follows, Woe unto you. 

VER. 45 54. ST. LUKE. 421 

Pharisees, for ye love the uppermost seats in the synayoyues, 
^c. Cyril; By means of those things for which He blames 
us He makes us better. For He would have us be free from 
ambition, and not desire after vain show rather than the 
reality, which the Pharisees were then doing. For the 
greetings of men, and the rule over them, do not move us 
to be really useful, for these things fall to men though they 
be not good men. Therefore he adds, IVoe unto you, who 
are as yraves which appear not. For in wishing to receive 
greetings from men and to exercise authority over them, that 
they might be accounted great, they differ not from hidden 
graves, which glitter indeed with outward ornaments, but 
within are full of all uncleanness. Ambrose ; And like 
yraves which appear not, they deceive by their outside 
beauty, and by their look impose upon the passers by ; 
as it follows. And the men that walk over them, are not 
aivare of them ; so much that in truth, though they give 
outward promise of what is beautiful, inwardly they enclose 
all manner of pollution. 

Chrys. But that the Pharisees were so, cannot be won- Chrys. 


dered at. But if we who are counted worthy to be the is, 
temples of God suddenly become graves full only of cor- 
ruption, this is indeed the lowest wretchedness. 

Cyril; Now here the apostate Julian says, that we must Cyril, 
avoid graves which Christ says are unclean; but he knew j^JJlj^^^ 
not the force of our Saviour's words, for He did not command ^i^- ^^• 
us to depart from the graves, but likened to them the 
hypocritical people of the Pharisees, 

45. Then answered one of the Lawyers, and said 
unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us 

46. And he said. Woe unto you also, ye Lawyers ! 
for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, 
and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of 
your fingers. 

47. Woe unto you ! for ye build the sepulchres of 
the prophets, and your fathers killed them. 


48. Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds 
of your fathers : for they indeed killed them, and ye 
build their sepulchres. 

49. Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will 
send them prophets and apostles, and some of them 
they shall slay and persecute: 

50. That the blood of all the prophets, which was 
shed from the foundation of the world, may be 
required of this generation ; 

51. From the blood of Abel unto the blood of 
Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the 
temple : verily I say unto you. It shall be required of 
this generation. 

52. Woe unto you, Lawyers ! for ye have taken 
away the key of knowledge : ye enter not in your- 
selves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. 

53. And as he said these things unto them, the 
Scribes and Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, 
and to provoke him to speak of many things : 

54. Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch 
something out of his mouth, that they might accuse 

Cyril; A reproof which exalts the meek is generally 
hateful to the proud man. When therefore our Saviour 
was blaming the Pharisees for transgressing from the 
right path, the body of Lawyers were struck with conster- 
nation. Hence it is said, Then answered one of the Law- 
yers, and said unto Mm, Master, thus saying thou 
reproacliest us also. Bede ; In what a grievous state is 
that conscience, which hearing the word of God thinks it 
a reproach against itself, and in the account of the punish- 
ment of the wicked perceives its own condemnation. 

Theophyl. Now the Lawyers were different from the 
Pharisees. For the Pharisees being separated from the rest 
had the appearance of a religious sect; but those skilled 
in the Law were the Scribes and Doctors who solved legal 

VER. 45 — 54. ST. LUKE. 423 

questions. Cyril ; But Christ brings a severe charge against 
the Lawyers, and subdues their foolish pride, as it follows, 
And he said^ Woe unto you also, ye Lawyers, for ye lade 
men, 8fc. He brings forward an obvious example for their 
direction. The Law was burdensome to the Jews as the 
disciples of Christ confess, but these Lawyers binding to- 
gether legal burdens which could not be borne, placed 
them upon those under them, taking care themselves to 
have no toil whatever. Theofhyl. As often also as the 
teacher does what he teaches, he lightens the load, offering 
himself for an example. But when he does none of the 
things which he teaches others, the loads appear heavy to 
those who learn his teaching, as being what even the^ir teacher 
is not able to bear. 

Bede ; Now they are rightly told that they would not 
touch the burdens of the Law even with one of their fingers, 
that is, they fulfil not in the slightest point that law which 
they pretend to keep and transmit to the keeping of others, 
contrary to the practice of their fathers, without faith and the 
grace of Christ. 

Greg. Nyss. So also are there now many severe judges of 
sinners, yet weak combatants; burdensome imposers of laws, 
yet weak bearers of burdens ; who wish neither to apj)roach 
nor to touch strictness of life, though they sternly exact it 
from their subjects. 

Cyril ; Having then condemned the burdensome dealing 
of the Lawyer, He brings a general charge against all the 
chief men of the Jews, saying, IVoe to you who build the 
tomhs ofthepropJtets, and your fathers killed them . Ambrose ; 
This is a good answer to the foolish superstition of the Jews, 
who in building the tombs of the prophets condemned the 
deeds of their fathers, but by rivalling their fathers' wicked- 
ness, throw back the sentence upon themselves. For not the 
building but the imitation of their deeds is looked upon as a 
crime. Therefore He adds, Truly ye hear witness that ye 
allow, 8^c. 

Bede ; They pretended indeed, in order to win the favour 
of the multitude, that they were shocked at the unbelief of 
their fathers, since by splendidly honouring the memories of the 
prophets who were slain by them they condemned their deeds. 


But in their very actions they testify how much they coincide 
with their fathers' wicliedness, by treating with insult that 
Lord whom the prophets foretold. Hence it is added, There- 
fore also said the wisdom of God^ I will send them prophets 
and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute . 
Ambrose ; The wisdom of God is Christ. The words indeed 
in Matthew are. Behold I send unto you prophets and wise 
men. Bede ; But if the same Wisdom of God sent prophets 
and Apostles, let heretics cease to assign to Christ a beginning 
from the Virgin ; let them no longer declare one God of the 
Law and Prophets, another of the New Testament. For 
although the Apostolic Scripture often calls by the name of 
prophets not only those who foretell the coming Incarnation of 
Christ, but those also who foretell the future joys of the kingdom 
of heaven, yet I should never suppose that these were to be 
placed before the Apostles in the order of enumeration. 
Athan. Athan. Now if they kill, the death of the slain will cry 
de^fuga out the louder against them ; if they pursue, they send forth 
sua. memorials of their iniquity, for flight makes the pursuit of the 
sufferers to redound to the great disgrace of the pursuers. 
For no one flees from the merciful and gentle, but rather from 
the cruel and evil-minded man. And therefore it follows. 
That the blood of all the prophets who have been slain from 
the foundation of the world may be required of this genera- 
tion. Bede ; It is asked. How comes it that the blood of all 
the prophets and just men is required of the single generation 
of the Jews; whereas many of the saints, both before the In- 
carnation and after, have been slain by other nations t But 
it is the manner of the Scriptures frequently to reckon two 
generations of men, one of the good, and the other of the evil. 
Cyril; Although then He says pointedly of this generation, 
He expresses not merely those who were then standing by 
Him and listening, but every manslayer. For like is attri- 
Chrys. buted to like. Chrys. But if He means that the Jews are 
^°JJj' about to suffer worse things, this will not be undeserved, for 
Matt they have dared to do worse than all. And they have been 
corrected by none of their past calamities, but when they 
saw others sin, and punished, they were not made better, but 
did likewise ; yet it will not be that one shall suffer punish- 
ment for the sins of others. 

VER. 45 — 54. ST. LUKK. 425 

.Theophyl. But our Lord shews that the Jews have inhe- 
rited the malice of Cain, since he adds, From the blood of 
Abel, to the blood of Zacharias, SfC. Abel, inasmuch as he 
was slain by Cain ; but Zacharias, whom they slew between 
the temple and the altar, some say was the Zacharias of old 
time, the son of Jehoiadah the Priest. Bede ; Why He 
beginsy)o/72 the blood of Abel, who was the first martyr, we 
need not wonder ; but why, to the blood of Zacharias, is a 
question, since many were slain after him even up to our 
Lord's birth, and soon after His birth the Innocents, unless 
perhaps it was because Abel was a shepherd, Zacharias a 
Priest. And the one was killed in the field, the other in the 
court of the temple, martyrs of each class, that is, under 
their names are shadowed both laymen, and those engaged 
in the office of the altar. 

Greg. Nyss. But some say that Zacharias, the father of Greg. 
John, by the spirit of prophecy forecasting the mystery of thepjem 
immaculate virginity of the mother of God, in no wise sepa-^^*- . 
rated her fi'om the part of the temple set apart for virgins, 
wishing to shew that it was in the power of the Creator of all 
things to manifest a new birth, while he did not deprive the 
mother of the glory of her virginity. Now this part was 
between the altar and the temple, in which was placed the 
brazen altar, where for this reason they slew him. It is said 
also, that when they heard the King of the world was about to 
come, from fear of subjection they designedly attacked him who 
bore witness to His coming, and slew the priest in the temple. 
Greek Ex. But others give another reason for the destruction Geome- 
of Zacharias. For at the murder of the children the blessed*®'"' 
John was to be slain with the rest of the same age, but Eli- 
sabeth, snatching up her son from the midst of the slaughter, 
sought the desert. And so when Herod's soldiers could not 
find Elisabeth and the child, they turn their wrath against 
Zacharias, killing him as he was ministering in the temple. 

It follows, Woe to you, laicyers^for ye have taken away the 
key of knowledge. Basil; This word woe, which is uttered Basil, in 
with pain intolerable, is suited to those who were shortly after ^^^' ' 
to be cast out into grievous punishment. Cyril; Now we 
say, the law itself is the key of knowledge. For it was 
both a shadow and a figure of the righteousness of Christ, 


therefore it became the Lawyers, as instructors of" the Law of 

Moses and the words of the Prophets, to reveal in a certain 

measure to the Jewish people the knowledge of Christ. 

This they did not, but on the contrary detracted from the 

divine miracles, and spoke against His teaching. Why hear 

ye him? So then they took away the key of knowledge. 

Hence it follows. Ye entered not in yourselves, and them that 

were entered in ye hindered. But faith also is the key of 

knowledge. For by faith comes also the knowledge of 

Isa. 7,9. truth, according to that of Isaiah, Unless ye have believed, 

* ye will not understand. The Lawyers then have taken away 

the key of knowledge, not permitting men to believe in Christ. 

Aug. de Aug. But the key of know ledge is also the humility of Christ, 

l.ii.(] .23. which they would neither themselves understand, nor let be 

understood by others. Ambrose; Those also are even now 

condemned under the name of Jews, and made subject to future 

punishment, who, while usurping to themselves the teaching 

of divine knowledge, both hinder others, and do not themselves 

acknowledge that which they profess. 

Aug. de Aug. Now all these things Matthew records to have been 

lib. ii. said after our Lord had come into Jerusalem. But Luke re- 

^'1^' late s them here, when our Lord was yet on His journey to 

Jerusalem. From which they appear to me to be similar 

discourses, of which -Matthew^ has given one, Luke the 


Bede; But how true were the charges of unbelief, hypo- 
crisy, and impiety, brought against the Pharisees and Lawyers 
they themselves testify, striving not to repent, but to entrap 
the Teacher of truth; for it follows. And as he said these 
things to them, the Pharisees and Lawyers began to urge 
him vehemently. Cyril; Now this urging is taken to mean 
pressing upon Him, or threatening Him, or waxing furious 
against Him. But they began to interrupt His words in 
many ways, as it follows. And to force him to speak of 
many things. Theophyl. For when several are questioning 
a man on different subjects, since he can not reply to all at 
once, foolish people think he is doubting. This also 
was part of their wicked design against Him; but they 
sought also in another way to control His power of 
speech, namely, by provoking Him to say something by 

VER. 45 — 54. ST. LUKE. 427 

which He might be condemned ; whence it follows, Laying 
in wait for him^ and seeking to catch something out of his 
mouth, that they might accuse him. Having first spoken of 
" forcing," Luke now says to catch or seize something from His 
mouth; at one time indeed they asked Him concerning the 
Law, that they might convict as a blasphemer Him who ac- 
cused Moses; but at another time concerning Ca3sar, that 
they might accuse Him as a traitor and rebel against the 
majesty of Caesar. 


1. In the mean time, when there were gathered 
together an innumerable multitude of people, inso- 
much that they trode one upon another, he began to 
say unto his disciples first of all. Beware ye of the 
leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 

2. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be 
revealed ; neither hid, that shall not be known. 

3. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in dark- 
ness shall be heard in the light ; and that which ye 
have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed 
upon the housetops. 

Theophyl. The Pharisees sought indeed to catch Jesus 
in His talk, that they might lead away the people from Him. 
But this design of theirs is reversed. For the people came all 
the more unto Him gathered together by thousands, and so 
desirous to attach themselves to Christ, that they pressed one 
upon another. So mighty a thing is truth, so feeble every 
where deceit. Whence it is said, A?id when there were 
gathered together a great multitude, insomuch that they 
trode upon one another, he began to say unto his disciples. 
Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 
Cyril ; For they were false accusers ; therefore Christ 
warned His disciples against them. Greg. Naz. When 
leaven is praised it is as composing the bread of life, but 
when blamed it signifies a lasting and bitter maliciousness. 
Theofhyl. He calls their hypocrisy leaven, as perverting and 
corrupting the intentions of the men in whom it has sprung 
up. For nothing so changes the characters of men as hypo- 
iCor.6 crisy. Bede; For as a little leaven leaveneth a whole lump 
^* of meal, so hypocrisy will rob the mind of all the purity and 

integrity of its virtues. Ambrose ; Our Lord has introduced 


a most forcible argument for preserving simplicity, and being 
zealous for the faith, that we should not after the 
manner of faithless Jews put one thing in practice, while in 
words we pretend another, namely, that at the last day the 
hidden thoughts accusing or else excusing one another, shall be 
seen to reveal the secrets of our mind. Whence it is added, 
There is nothing hid which shall not be revealed. Origen; 
He either then says this concerning that time when God shall 
judge the secrets of men, or He says it because however much 
a man may endeavour to hide the good deeds of another 
by discredit, good of its own nature cannot be concealed. 
Chrys. As if He says to His disciples. Although now somechrys. 
call you deceivers and wizards, time shall reveal all things and ^°^- 
convict them of calumny, while it makes known your virtue. Matt. 
Therefore whatsoever things I have spoken to you in the 
small corner of Palestine, these boldly and with open brow, 
casting away all fear, proclaim to the whole world. And 
therefore He adds. Whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness 
shall be heard in light. Bede ; Or He says this, because all 
the things which the Apostles of old spoke and suffered 
amid the darkness of oppression and the gloom of the 
prison, are now that the Church is made known through 
the world and their acts are read, publicly proclaimed. 
The words, shall be proclaimed on the housetops, are 
spoken according to the manner of the country of Palestine, 
where they are accustomed to live on the housetops. For 
their roofs were not after our way raised to a point, but flat 
shaped, and level at the top. Therefore He says, proclaimed 
on the housetops ; that is, spoken openly in the hearing of all 
men. Theophyl. Or this is addressed to the Pharisees ; as 
if He said, O Pharisees, what you have spoken in darkness, 
that is, all your endeavours to tempt me in the secrets of 
your hearts, shall be heard in the light, for I am the light, and 
in My light shall be known whatsoever your darkness devises. 
And what you have spoken in the ear and in closets, that is, 
whatsoever in whispers you have poured into one another's 
ears, shall be proclaimed on the housetops, that is, was as 
audible to me as if it had been cried aloud on the housetops. 
Herein also you may understand that the light is the 
Gospel, but the housetop the lofty souls of the Apostles. 


But whatever things the Pharisees plotted together, were 
afterwards divulged and heard in the light of the Gospel, 
the great Herald, the Holy Spirit, presiding over the souls of 
the Apostles. 

4. And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid 
of them that kill the body, and after that have no 
more that they can do. 

5. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear : 
Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to 
cast into hell ; yea^ I say unto you. Fear him. 

6. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, 
and not one of them is forgotten before God ? 

7. But even the very hairs of your head are all 
numbered. Fear not therefore : ye are of more value 
than many sparrows. 

Ambrose ; Since unbelief springs from two causes, either 
from a deeply-seated raahce or a sudden fear; lest any 
one from terror should be compelled to deny the God whom 
he acknowledges in his heart, He well adds, And I say 
unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them titat kill 
the body, 8^c. Cyril ; For it is not absolutely to every 
one that this discourse seems to apply, but to those who lov^e 
Rom. 8, God with their whole heart to whom it belongs to say, WJto 
shall separate us from the love of Christ? But they who are 
not such, are tottering, and ready to fall down. Moreover 
John 15, our Lord says. Greater love hath no man than this, that a 
^^' man lay down his life for his friends. How then is it not 
most ungrateful to Christ not to repay Him what we receive.'* 
Ambrose ; He tells us also, that that death is not terrible for 
which at a far more costly rate of interest immortality is to 
be purchased. 

Cyril ; We must then consider that crowns and honours 
are prepared for the labours of those upon whom men are 
continually venting forth their indignation, and to them the 
death of the body is the end of their persecutions. Whence 
He adds, And after this have nothing more that they can do, 
Bede ; Their rage then is but useless raving, who cast the 

VER. 4 — 7. ST. LUKE. 431 

lifeless limbs of martyrs to be torn in pieces by wild beasts 
and birds, seeing that they can in no wise prevent the omni- 
potence of God from quickening and bringing them to life 
again. Chrys. Observe how our Lord makes His disciples Chrys. 


superior to all, by exhorting them to despise that very death 22°Tn 
which is terrible to all. At the same time also he brings Matt, 
them proofs of the immortality of the soul : adding, / will 
forewarn yott whom ye shall fear: fear him, which after 
he hath killed hath power to cast into hell. Ambrose ; For 
our natural death is not the end of punishment : and there- 
fore He concludes that death is the cessation of bodily 
punishment, but the punishment of the soul is everlasting. 
And God alone is to be feared, to whose power nature 
prescribes not, but is herself subject ; adding, Yea, I say 
unto you, Fear him. Theophyl. Here observe, that 
upon sinners death is sent as a punishment, since they 
are here tormented by destruction, and afterwards thrust 
down into hell. But if you will sift the words you will 
understand something farther. For He says not, " Who casts 
into hell," but has power to cast. For not every one dying in 
sin is forthwith thrust down into hell, but there is sometimes 
pardon given for the sake of the offerings and prayers which 
are made for the dead\ 

Ambrose; Our Lord then had instilled the virtue of 
simplicity, had awakened a courageous spirit. Their faith 
alone was wavering, and well did He strengthen it by adding 
with respect to things of less value, Are not five sparrows 
sold for two farthings? and not one of them is forgotten 
before God, As if He said, If God forgets not the sparrows, 
how can He man ? Bede ; The dipondius is a coin of the 
lightest weight, and equal to two asses. Gloss. Now that Gloss, 
which in number is one is in weight an ass, but that which °^ ^"* 
is two is a dipondius. Ambrose ; But perhaps some one 
will say. How is it that the Apostle says, Does the Lord care i Cor. 9, 
for oxen ? whereas an ox is of more value than a sparrow ; • 
but to care for is one thing, to have knowledge another. 

^ This opinion of Theophylact's is lib. ii. c. 1. Coccius, lib. x, art. 4. 

different from the declared doctrines Chrysost. Phil. i. 24. Trans, p. 38, 

bothof the Eoman and Greek Churches, note e. Horn, de Stat. Tr. p. 130. 

and the general language of the note c. and Tracts for the Times, 

Fathers. See Bellarmine de Purg. No.lxxii. p. 32. 


Origen ; Literally, hereby is signified the quickness of 
the Divine foresight, which reaches even to the least things. 
But mystically, the five sparrows justly represent the spiritual 
senses, whichhave perception of high and heavenly things: be- 
holding God, hearing the Divine voice, tasting of the bread of life, 
smelling the perfume of Christ's anointing, handling the Word 
of Life. And these being sold for two farthings, that is, being 
lightly esteemed by those who count as perishing whatever 
is of the Spirit, are not forgotten before God. But God is 
said to be forgetful of some because of their iniquities. 
Theophyl. Or these five senses are sold for two farthings, 
that is, the New and Old Testament, and are therefore not 
forgotten by God. Of those whose senses are given up to 
the word of life that they may be fit for the spiritual food, 
the Lord is ever mindful. Ambrose; Or else; A good 
sparrow is one which nature has furnished with the power of 
flying; for nature has given us the grace of flying, pleasure 
has taken it away, which loads with meats the soul of the 
wicked, and moulds it towards the nature of a fleshly 
mass. The five senses of the body then, if they seek the 
food of earthly alloy, cannot fly back to the fruits of higher 
actions. A bad sparrow therefore is one which has lost its 
habit of flying through the fault of earthly grovelling; such 
are those sparrows which are sold for two farthings, namely, 
at the price of worldly luxury. For the enemy sets up his, 
as it were, captive slaves, at the very lowest price. But the 
Lord, being the fit judge of His own work, has redeemed 
at a great price us, His noble servants, whom He hath made in 
His own image. Cyril; It is His care then diligently 
to know the life of the saints. Whence it follows. But the hairs 
of your heads are all numbered; by which He means, that of 
all things which relate to them He has most accurate know- 
ledge, for the numbering manifests the minuteness of the care 
exercised. Ambrose ; Lastly, the numbering of the hairs is 
not to be taken with reference to the act of reckoning, but 
to the capability of knowing. Yet they are well said to be 
numbered, because those things which we wish to preserve 
we number. 

Cyril; Now mystically, indeed, the head of a man is his 
understanding, but his hairs the thoughts, which are open to 

VER. 8 — 12. ST. LUKE. 433 

the eye of God. Theophyl. Or, by the head of each of the 
faithful, you must understand a conversation meet for Christ, 
but by his hair, the works of bodily mortification which arc 
numbered by God, and are worthy of the Divine regard. Am- 
brose; If then such is the majesty of God, that a single 
span'ow or the number of our hair is not beside His know- 
ledge, how unworthy is it to suppose that the Lord is either 
ignorant of the hearts of the faithful, or despises them so as 
to account them of less value. Hence He proceeds to 
conclude, Fear not then, ye are of more value than many 
sparrows. Bede; We must not read, Ye are more, which 
relates to the comparison of number, but ye are of moreplujis 
value, that is, of greater estimation in the sight of God. 
Athan. Now I ask the Arians, if God, as if disdaining 
to make all other things, made only His Son, but deputed all 
things to His Son; how is it that He extends His providence 
even to such trifling things as our hair, and the sparrows ? 
For upon whatever things He exercises His providence, of 
these is He the Creator by His own word. 

8. Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess 
me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess 
before the angels of God : 

9. But he that denieth me before men shall be denied 
before the angels of God. 

10. And whosoever shall speak a word against the 
Son of man, it shall be forgiven him : but unto him 
that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not 
be forgiven. 

1 1 . And when they bring you unto the synagogues, 
and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought 
how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall 

12. For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same 
hour what ye ought to say. 

Bede; It was said above, that every hidden work and word 
is to be revealed, but He now declares that this revelation is- 

VOL. III. 2 F 


to take place in the presence of the heavenly city and the 
eternal Judge and King; saying, But I say unto yoUy Who- 
soever shall confess me, ^c. Ambrose; He has also well 
introduced faith, stimulating us to its confession, and to 
faith itself He has placed virtue as a foundation. For as 
faith is the incentiv^e to fortitude, so is fortitude the strong 
Chrys. support of faith. Chrys. The Lord is not then content with 
34. in ^^ inward faith, but requires an outward confession, urging us 
Matt, to confidence and greater love. And since this is useful for 
allj He speaks generally, saying, Whosoever shall confess 
me, ^c. 
Rom. Cyril; Now Paul says, If thou wilt confess with thy 
' * mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God 
raised him from the dead, thou shall be saved. The whole 
mystery of Clu'ist is conveyed in these words. For we must 
first confess that the Word born of God the Father, that is, the 
only-begotten Son of His substance, is Lord of all, not as 
one who had gained His Lordship from without and by 
stealth, but who is in truth by His nature Lord, as well as the 
Father. Next we must confess that God raised Him from 
the dead, who was Himself truly made man, and suffered in 
the flesh for us; for such He rose from the dead. Whoever 
then will so confess Christ before men, namely, as God and 
the Lord, Christ will confess him before the angels of God 
at that time when He shall descend with the holy angels in 
the glory of His Father at the end of the world. 

EusEB. But what will be more glorious than to have the 
only-begotten Word of God Himself to bear witness in our be- 
half at the divine judgment, and by His own love to draw forth 
as a recompense for confession, a declaration upon that soul to 
whom He bears witness For not as abiding without him to 
whom He bears witness, but as dwelling in him and filling him 
with light. He will give His testimony. But having con- 
firmed them with good hope by so great promises. He again 
rouses them by more alarming threats, saying. But he that de- 
nieth me before men, shall be denied before the Angels of God. 
Chrys. Chrys. Both in condemnation a greater punishment is an- 
^"^' nounced, and in blessing a greater reward; as if He said. Now 
you confess and deny, but I then, for a far greater recom- 
pense of good and evil awaits them in the world to come. Euseb. 

VER. 8 — 12. ST. LUKE. 435 

He rightly declares this threatening, in order that none should 
refuse to confess Him by reason of the punishment, which is 
to be denied by the Son of God, to be disowned by Wisdom, 
to fall away from life, to be deprived of light, and to lose 
every blessing; but all these things to suffer before God the 
Father who is in heaven, and the Angels of God. 

Cyril; Now they who deny are first indeed those who in 
time of persecution renounce the faith. Besides these, there 
are heretical teachers also, and their disciples. Chrys. 
There are other modes also of denying which St. Paul de- 
scribes, saying, They prof ess that they know God, but in works Tit. i, 
they deny him. And again, If any provide not for his own^ ifim.s 
and specially for those of his own house ^ he hath denied the^- 
faith, and is worse than an infidel. Also, Flee from covetous- Col.5,3. 
ness, which is idolatry. Since then there are so many modes 
of denial, it is plain that there are many likewise of confession, 
which whosoever has practised, shall hear that most blessed 
voice with which Christ greets all who have confessed Him. 
But mark the precaution of the words. For in the Greek 
he says, Whosoever shall confess in Me, shewing that not by 
his own strength, but by the aid of grace from above, a man 
confesses Christ. But of him who denies. He said not " in 
Me," but me. For though being destitute of grace he denies, 
he is nevertheless condemned, because the destitution is owing 
to him who is forsaken, or he is forsaken for his own fault. 
Bede ; But lest from what He says, that those who have 
denied Him are to be denied, it should be supposed that the 
condition of all was alike, that is, both of those who deny 
deliberately, and those who deny from infirmity or ignorance, 
He immediately added. And whosoever shall speak a word 
against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him. Cyril; 
But if our Saviour means to imply, that if any injurious 
word is spoken by us against a common man, we shall obtain 
pardon if we repent, there is no difiSculty in the passage, for 
since God is by nature merciful, He restores those who are 
willing to repent. But if the words are referred to Christ how 
is he not to be condemned who speaks a word against Him ? 

Ambrose ; Truly by the Son of Man we understand Christ, 
Who by the Holy Spirit was born of a virgin, seeing that His 
only parent on earth is the Virgin. What then, is the Holy 

2 F 2 


Spirit greater than Christ, that they who sin against Christ 

should obtain pardon, while they who offend against the Holy 

Spirit are not thought worthy to obtain it ? But where there 

is unity of power there is no question of comparison. 

Athan. Athan. The ancients indeed, the learned Origen and the 

ad Se- great Theognostus, describe this to be the blasphemy against 

'^P- the Holy Ghost, when they who have been counted worthy 

of the gift of the Holy Spirit in Baptism, fall back into sin. 

For they say that for this reason they can not obtain pardon ; 

Heb. 6, as Paul says, It is impossible for those ivho have been %nade 

partakers of the Holy Ghost to renew them again, 8^c. 

But each adds his own explanation. For Origen gives 
this as his reason; God the Father indeed penetrates and 
contains all things, but the power of the Son extends to 
rational things only; the Holy Spirit is only in those who 
partake of Him in the gift of Baptism. When then catechu- 
mens and heathens sin, they sin against the Son who 
abideth in them, yet they may obtain pardon when they be- 
come wortliy of the gift of regeneration. But when the bap- 
tized commit sin, he says that their offence touches the 
Spirit, after coming to whom they have sinned, and therefore 
their condemnation must be irrevocable. 

But Theognostus says, that he who has gone beyond both 
the first and second threshold deserves less punishment, but 
he who has also passed the third, shall no more receive par- 
don. By the first and second threshold, he speaks of the doc- 
trine of the Father and the Son, but by the third the partaking 
Johnie, of the Holy Spirit. According to St. John, When the Spirit of 
truth is come, he will lead you into all truth. Not as though 
the doctrine of the Spirit was above that of the Son, but because 
the Son condescends to those who are imperfect, but the 
Spirit is the seal of those who are perfect. If then not 
because the Spirit is above the Son, blasphemy against the 
Spirit is unpardonable; but because remission of sin is indeed 
to the imperfect, but no excuse remains to the perfect, there- 
fore since the Son is in the Father, He is in those in whom the 
Father and the Spirit are not absent, for the Holy Trinity can- 
not be divided. Besides tliis, if all things were made by the 
Son, and all things consist in Him, He will Himself be truly in 
all; so that it must needs be, that he who sinneth against the 

VER. 5 6. ST. LUKE. 437 

Son, siniieth against the Father also, and against the Holy 
Spirit. But holy Baptism is given in the name of the 
Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And so they that 
sin after baptism commit blasphemy against the holy Trinity, 
But if the Pharisees had not received baptism, how did He 
condemn them as if they had spoken blasphemy against the 
Holy Spirit, of which they were not yet partakers, espe- 
cially since He did not accuse them simply of sin, but of blas- 
phemy? But these differ, for he who sins transgresses the 
Law, but he who blasphemes offends against the Deity Him- 
self. But again, if to those who sin after baptism there is no 
remission of the punishment of their offences, how does the 
Apostle pardon the penitent at Corinth ; but he travails in 

birth of the backsliding Galatians until Christ be formed 2 Cor. 

. . .. 11,10. 

agam in them. Gai. 4 

And why also do we oppose Novatus, who does away with ^^* 
repentance after baptism } The Apostle to the Hebrews does 
not thus reject the repentance of sinners, but lest they should 
suppose that as according to the rites of the Law, under 
the veil of repentance there could be many and daily baptisms, 
he therefore warns them indeed to repent, but tells them that 
there could be only one renewal, namely, by Baptism. But 
with such considerations I return to the dispensation which isoUcvo- 
in Christ, who being God was made man; as very God raised'""*' 
the dead ; as clothed with the flesh, thirsted, laboured, suffered. 
When any then, looking to human things, see the Lord athirst 
or in suffering, and speak against the Saviour as if against a 
man, they sin indeed, yet may speedily on repentance receive 
pardon, alleging as excuse the weakness of His body. And 
again when any, beholding the works of Deity, doubt concern- 
ing the nature of the body, they also sin grievously. But Cr^-^^ 
these too if they repent may be quickly pardoned, seeing that ^ ' 
they have an excuse in the greatness of the works. But 
when they refer the works of God to the Devil, justly do they 
imdergo the irrevocable sentence, because they have judged 
God to be the Devil, and the true God to have nothing more 
in His works than the evil spirits. To this unbehef then the 
Pharisees had come. For when the Saviour manifested the 
works of the Father, raising the dead, giving sight to the 
blind, and such like deeds, they said that these were the 


works of Beelzebub. As well might they say, looking at the 
order of the world and the providence exercised over it, that 
the world was created by Beelzebub. As long then as re- 
garding human tilings they erred in knowledge, saying. Is 
not this the carpentefs son, and how knoweth this man 
things which he never learnt? He suffered them as sinning 
against the Son of man ; but when they wax more furious, 
saying that the works of God are the works of Beelzebub, He 
no longer endured them. For thus also He endured their 
fathers so long as their murmurings were for bread and water; 
but when having found a calf, they impute to it the divine 
mercies they had received, they were punished. At first 
indeed multitudes of them were slain, afterwards He 

Exod. said indeed. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit I will 
' * visit their sin upon ihern. Such then is the sentence passed 
upon the Pharisees, that in the flame prepared for the devil 
they shall be together with him everlastingly consumed. Not 
then to make comparison between a blasphemy spoken against 
Himself and the Holy Spirit said He these things, as if the 
Spirit were the greater, but each blasphemy being uttered 
against Him, He shews the one to be greater, the other less. 
For looking at Him as man they reviled Him, and said that 
Plis works were those of Beelzebub. 

Ambrose; Thus it is thought by some that we should 
believe both the Son and the Holy Spirit to be the same 
Christ, preserving the distinction of Persons with the unity 
of the substance, since Christ both God and man is one 

Lam. 4, Spirit, as it is written, The Spirit before our face, Christ the 


Lord; the same Spirit is holy, for both the Father is holy, 
and the Son holy, and the Spirit holy. If then Christ is each, 
what difference is there except we know that it is not lawful 
for us to deny the divinity of Christ ? Bede ; Or else ; 
Whoso saith that the works of the Holy Spirit are those of 
Beelzebub, it shall not be forgiven him either in the pre-^ 
sent world, or in that which is to come. Not that we deny 
that if he could come to repentance he could be forgiven by 
God, but that we believe that such a blasphemer as by the 
necessity of his deserts he would never come to forgiveness, 
so neither to the fruits themselves of a worthy repentance ; 
Isa. 6, according to that. He hath blinded their eyes, so that theyi 

VER. 5 8. ST. LUKE. 439 

should not he converted^ and I shoidd heal them. Cyiul* 
But if the Holy Spirit were a creature, and not of the divine 
substance of the Father and the Son, how does an injury 
committed against Him entail upon it so great a punishment 
as is denounced against those that blaspheme against God ? 
Bede ; Nor however are all they who say that the Spirit is 
not holy, or is not God, but is inferior to the Father and the 
Son, involved in the crime of unpardonable blasphemy, be- 
cause they are led to do it through human ignorance, not a 
demoniacal hatred, as the rulers of the Jews were. Aug. Or Aug. 
if it were here said, " Who hath spoken any blasphemy what- ^^^"^• 
ever against the Holy Spirit," we ought then to understand 
thereby " all blasphemy ;" but because it was said, who blas- 
pheineth against the Holy Spirit, let it be understood of him 
that blasphemed not in any way, but in such a manner 
that it can never be pardoned him. For so when it was said, 
The Lord tempteth no man., that is not spoken of every, but only jamea 
of a certain kind of temptation. Now what that kind of bias- ^' ^^* 
phemy against the Holy Spirit is, let us see. The first bless- 
ing of believers is forgiveness of sins in the Holy Spirit. Against 
this free gift the impenitent heart speaks. Impenitence itself 
therefore is blasphemy against the Spirit, which is neither 
forgiven in this world, nor in that which is to come ; for repent- 
ance gains that forgiveness in this world which is to avail 
in the world to come. Cyril; But the Lord after having 
inspired such great fear, and prepared men to resist those 
who depart from a right confession, commanded them 
for the rest to take no care what they should answer, because 
for those who are faithfully disposed, the Holy Spirit frames 
fit words, as their teacher, and dwelling within them. Whence 
it follows. And when they shall bring you into synagogues, 
take no thouqht how or Vjhat ye shall answer. Gloss. Crloss. 
Now he says, hovj, with respect to the manner or speaking, 
ivhat, with respect to the manner of intention. How ye shall 
answer to those who ask, or what ye shall say to those who 
wish to learn. Bede ; For when we are led for Christ's sake 
before judges, we ought to offer only our will for Christ, but 
in answering, the Holy Spirit will supply His grace, as it is 
added. For the Holy Spirit will teach yon, 8^c. Chrys. ButCho^s- 
elsewhere it is said, Be ready to answer every one tchons. in 



shall ask you for a reason of the hope that is in you. When 
indeed a contest or strife arises among friends, He bids us 
take thought, but when there are the terrors of a court of 
justice and fear on every side, He gives His own strength so 
as to inspire boldness and utterance, but not dismay. Theo- 
PHYL. Since then our weakness is twofold, and either from 
fear of punishment we shun martyrdom, or because we are 
ignorant and can not give a reason of our faith, he has ex- 
cluded both; the fear of punishment in that He said. 
Fear not them which kill the body^ but the fear of igno- 
rance, when He said, Take no thought how or what ye shall 
answer, 8$c, 

13. And one of the company said unto him. Master, 
speak to ray brother, that he divide the inheritance 
with me. 

14. And he said unto him, Man, who made me a 
judge or a divider over you ? 

15. And he said unto them. Take heed, and be- 
ware of covetousness : for a man's life consisteth not 
in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 

Ambeose; I'he whole of the former passage is given to 
prepare us for undergoing suffering for confessing the Lord, or 
for contempt of death, or for the hope of reward, or for denun- 
ciation of the punishment that will await him to whom pardon 
will never be granted. And since covetousness is generally 
wont to try virtue, for destroying this also, a precept and ex- 
ample is added, as it is said, And one of the company said to 
him. Speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with 
me. Theophyl. As these two brothers were contending 
concerning the division of their paternal inheritance, it follows, 
that one meant to defraud the other; but our Lord teaches us 
that we ought not to be set on earthly things, and rebukes 
him that called Him to the division of inheritance; as it 
follows. And he said unto him, Man, loho made me a judge or 
a divider over you ? Bede ; He who wills to impose the trouble 
of division of lands upon the Master who is commending the 
joys of heavenly peace, is rightly called man, according to 

VER. 16 2\. ST. LUKE. 441 

that, whereas there is e^ivying, strife, and divisions a?no7ifj i Cor.3, 
you, are ye not men? ^^ 

Cyril; Now the Son of God, when He was made hke 
unto US, was appointed by God the Father to be King and 
Prince upon his holy Mount of Sion, to make known the 
Divine command. Ambrose ; Well then does He avoid 
earthly things who had descended for the sake of divine 
things, and deigns not to be a judge of strifes and arbiter 
of laws, having the judgment of the quick and dead and the 
recompensing of works. You should consider then, not 
what you seek, but from whom you ask it ; and you should 
not eagerly suppose that the greater are to be disturbed by 
the less. Therefore is this brother deservedly disappointed 
who desired to occupy the steward of heavenly things with 
corruptible, seeing that between brothers no judge should 
intervene, but natural affection should be the umpire to 
divide the patrimony, although immortality not riches should 
be the patrimony which men should wait for. 

Bede; He takes occasion from this foolish petitioner 
to fortify both the multitudes and His disciples alike by pre- 
cept and example against the plague of covetousness. Whence 
it follows. He said' to them. Take heed, a)id beware of all 
covetousness ; and he says, of all, because some things seem 
to be honestly done, but the internal judge decides with 
what intention they are done. Cyril; Or he says, of all covet- 
ousness, that is, great and little. For covetousness is unpro- 
fitable, as the Lord says, Ye shall build houses of hewn stone, Amos 
and shall not dwell in them. And elsewhere, Yea ten acres jg^ 5 
of vineyards shall yield one bath, and the seed of an homer ^^' 
shall yield an ephah. But also in another way it is unprofit- 
able, as he shews, adding. For a man's life consisteth not in 
the abundance, ^c. Theophyl. This our Lord says to rebuke 
the motives of the covetous, who seem to heap up riches as if 
they were going to live for a long time. But will wealth 
ever make thee long lived ? Why then dost thou manifestly 
undergo evils for the sake of an uncertain rest ? For it is 
doubtful whether thou oughtest to attain to an old age, for the 
sake of which thou art collecting treasures. 

16. And he spake a parable unto them, saying. 


The ground of a certain rich man brought forth 
plentifully : 

17. And he thought within himself, saying. What 
shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow 
my fruits? 

18. And he said, This will I do : I will pull dow^n 
my barns, and build greater; and there will T bestow 
all my fruits and my goods. 

19. And I will say to my soul. Soul, thou hast 
much goods laid up for many years ; take thine ease, 
eat, drink, and be merry. 

20. But God said unto him. Thou fool, this night 
thy soul shall be required of thee : then whose shall 
those things be, which thou hast provided ? 

2\. So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and 
is not rich toward God. 

Theophyl. Having said that the life of man is not extended 
by abundance of wealth, he adds a parable to induce belief in 
this, as it follows, And he spake a parable unto them, saying. 
The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully, 
Basil. Basil; Not indeed about to reap any good from his plenty 
de Avar! of ^^^itSj but that the mercy of God might the more appear, 
which extends its goodness even to the bad ; sending down 
His rain upon the just and the unjust. But what are the 
things wherewith this man repays his Benefactor? He re- 
membered not his fellow-creatures, nor deemed that he 
ought to give of his superfluities to the needy. His barns 
indeed bursting from the abundance of his stores, yet was 
his greedy mind by no means satisfied. He was unwill- 
ing to put up with his old ones because of his covetousness, 
and not able to undertake new ones because of the number, 
for his counsels were imperfect, and his care barren. Hence 
it follows. And he thought. His complaint is like that of the 
poor. Does not the man oppressed with want say, What 
shall I do, whence can I get food, whence clothing? Such 
things also the rich man utters. For his mind is distressed 
on account of his fruits pouring out from his storehouse, lest 

VER. 16 — 21. ST. LUKE. 443 

perchance when they have come forth they should profit the 
poor; like the glutton who had rather burst from eating, than 
give any thing of what remains to the starving. Grkg. O^^^g- 
adversity, the child of plenty. For saying, What shall I do,c. 13. 
he surely betokens, that, oppressed by the success of his 
wishes, he labours as it were under a load of goods. Basil; ^^'^i'- 

1 /• 1 • -r •It IT .-,■, ubi sup. 

It was easy lor him to say, 1 will open my barn, I will call 
together the needy, but he has no thought of want, only 
of amassing ; for it follows. And he said, This ivill I do, I 
will pull dovm my barns. Thou doest well, for the storehouses 
of iniquity are worthy of destruction. Pull down thy barns, 
from which no one receives comfort. He adds, / will build 
greater. But if thou shalt complete these, wilt thou again 
destroy them .? What more foolish than labouring on for ever. 
Thy barns, if thou wilt, are the home of the poor. But thou 
wilt say, Whom do I wrong by keeping ivhat is my own? 
For it follows also. And there will I bestow all my fruits and 
my goods. Tell me what is thine, from whence didst thou get 
it and bring it into life.? As he who anticipates the public 
games, injures those who are coming by appropriating 
to himself what is appointed for the common use, so like- 
wise the rich who regard as their own the common things 
which they have forestalled. For if every one receiving 
what is sufficient for his own necessity v/ould leave what 
remains to the needy, there would be no rich or poor. 

Cyril ; Observe also in another respect the folly of his 
words, when he says, / icill gather all my fruits, as if he 
thought that he had not obtained them from God, but that they 
were the fruits of his own labours. Basil; But if thou Basil, 
confessest that those things have come to thee from God, is" ' 
God then unjust in distributing to us unequally. • Why dost 
thou abound while another begs? unless that thou shouldest 
gain the rewards of a good stewardship, and be honoured 
with the meed of patience. Art not thou then a robber, for 
counting as thine own what thou hast received to distribute.'* 
It is the bread of the famished w^hich thou receivest, the 
garment of the naked w^hich thou hoardest in thy chest, the 
shoe of the barefooted which rots in thy possession, the money 
of the pennyless which thou hast buried in the earth. 
Wherefore then dost thou injure so many to whom thou 


Chrys. mightest be a benefactor. Chrys. But in this he errs, that 
inTad * ^^ thinks those things good which are indifferent. For there 
Tim. are some things good, some evil, some between the two. 
The good are chastity, and humiUty, and the like, which when 
a man chooses he becomes good. But opposed to these are 
the evil, which when a man chooses he becomes bad ; and 
there are the neutral, as riches, which at one time indeed 
are directed to good, as to almsgiving, at other times to evil, 
as to covetousness. And in like manner poveity at one 
time leads to blasphemy, at another to wisdom, according to 
the disposition of the user. 

Cyril; The rich man then builds barns which last not, but 
decay, and what is still more foolish, reckons for himself upon 
a long life; for it follows. And I will say unto my soul, Soul, 
thou hast much goods laid up for many years. But, O rich 
man, thou hast indeed fruits in thy barns, but as for many years 
Athan. whence canst thou obtain them? Athan. Now if any one 
non occ.jj^^gg SO as to die daily, seeing that our life is naturally 
uncertain, he will not sin, for the greater fear destroys very 
much pleasure, but the rich man on the contrary, promising 
to himself length of life, seeks after pleasures, for he says, 
Best, that is, from toil, eat, drink, and be merry, that is, with 
Basil, great luxury. Basil; Thou art so careless with respect to 
u 1 bup. ^^^ goods of the soul, that thou ascribest the meats of the 
body to the soul. If indeed it has virtue, if it is fruitful in 
good works, if it clings to God, it possesses many goods, and 
rejoices with a worthy joy. But because thou art altogether 
carnal and subject to the passions, thou speakest from thy 
Chrys. belly, not from thy soul. Chrys. Now it behoves us not to 
J^^^* . indulge in delights which fattening the body make lean the 
1 adCor. soul, and bring a heavy burden upon it, and spread darkness 
over it, and a thick covering, because in pleasure our govern- 
ing part which is the soul becomes the slave, but the subject 
part, namely the body, rules. But the body is in need not of 
luxuries but of food, that it may be nourished, not that 
it may be racked and melt away. For not to the soul 
alone are pleasures hurtful, but to the body itself, because 
from being a strong body it becomes weak, from being 
healthy diseased, from being active slothful, from being 
beautiful unshapely, and from youthful old. 

VER. 16 — 21. ST. LUKE. 445 

Basil; But he was permitted to deliberate in every thing, Basil, 
and to manifest his purpose, that he might receive a sentence loc."^' '" 
such as his inchnations deserved. But while he speaks in 
secret, his words are weighed in heaven, from whence the 
answers come to him. For it follows. But God said unto him, 
Thou fool, this night thy soid shall they require of thee. 
Hear the name of folly, which most properly belongs to thee 
which not man has imposed, but God Himself. Greg. The Greg. 
same night he was taken away, who had expected many years, c. 2. 
that he indeed who had in gathering stores for himself looked 
a long time forward, should not see even the next day. Chrys. Chrys. 
They shall require of thee, for perhaps certain dread 
were sent to require it, since if when going from city to city we Lazar. 
want a guide, much more will the soul when released from the 
body, and passing to a future life, need direction. On this 
account many times the soul rises and sinks into the deep again, 
when it ought to depart from the body. For the conscious- 
ness of our sins is ever pricking us, but most of all when we 
are going to be dragged before the awful tribunal. For when 
the whole accumulation of crimes is brought up again, and 
placed before the eyes, it astounds the mind. And as prisoners 
are always indeed sorrowful, but particularly at the time when 
they are going to be brought before the judge ; so also the 
soul at this time is greatly tormented by sin and afflicted, 
but much more after it has been removed- Greg. But in Greg, 
the night the soul was taken away which had gone forth in 
the darkness of its heart, being unwilling to have the light of 
consideration, so as to foresee what it might suffer. But He 
adds, Theit whose shall those things be which thou hast pro- 
vided^ Chrys. For here shalt thou leave those things, and not Chrys. 
only reap no advantage from them, but carry a load of sins 23. jn 
upon thy own shoulders. And these things which thou hast Gen. 
laid up will for the most part come into the hands of enemies, 
but of thee shall an account of them be required. It follows, 
So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich 
toward God. Bede; For such a one is a fool, and will be 
taken off in the night. He then who wishes to be rich to- 
ward God, will not lay up treasures for himself, but distribute 
his possessions to the poor. Ambrose; For in vain he 


amasses wealth who knows not how to use it. Neither are 
these things ours which we cannot take away with ns. Virtue 
alone is the companion of the dead, mercy alone follows us, 
which gains for the dead an everlasting habitation. 

22. And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say 
unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye 
shall eat : neither for the body, what ye shall put 

23. The life is more than meat, and the body is 
more than raiment. 

Theophyl. The Lord cames us onward by degrees to a 
more perfect teaching. For He taught us above to beware 
of covetousness, and He added the parable of the rich man, 
intimating thereby that the fool is he who desires more than 
is enough. Then as His discourse goes on, He forbids us 
to be anxious even about necessary things, plucking out the 
very root of covetousness ; whence he says, Therefore I say 
unto youj Take no tliought. As if He said, Since he is a fool, 
who awards to himself a longer measure of life, and is thereby 
rendered more covetous; be not ye careful for your soul, what 
ye shall eat, not that the intellectual soul eats, but because there 
seems no other way for the soul to dwell united to the body ex- 
cept by being nourished. Or because it is a part of the ani- 
mate body to receive nourishment, he fitly ascribes nourishment 
to the soul. For the soul is called also a nutritive power, as it 
is so understood. Be not then anxious for the nourishing 
part of the soul, what ye shall eat. But a dead body may 
also be clothed, therefore he adds. Nor for your body, what 
Chrys. V^ shall put 071. Chrys. Now the words. Take no thought, 
Horn, are not the same as do no work, but, " Have not your minds 
Matt, fixed on earthly things." For it so happens, that the man 
who is working takes no thought. Cyril; Now the soul is 
more excellent than food, and the body than clothing. Therefore 
He adds, The life is more than, meat, ^c. As if He said, " God 
who has implanted that which is greater, how will He not 
give that which is less ?" Let not our attention then be 

VER. 24 26. ST. LtJKE. 447 

stayed upon trifling things, nor our understanding serve to 
seek for food and raiment, but rather think on whatever saves 
the soul, and raises it to the kingdom of heaven. Ambrose ; 
Now nothing is more likely to produce conviction in be- 
lievers that God can give us all things, than the fact, that 
the ethereal spirit perpetuates the vital union of the soul 
and body in close fellowship, without our exertion, and the 
healthgiving use of food does not fail until the last day of 
death has arrived. Since then the soul is clothed with the 
body as w^th a garment, and the body is kept alive by the 
vigour of the soul, it is absurd to suppose that a supply of 
food will be wanting to us, who are in possession of the 
everlasting substance of life. 

24. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor 
reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and 
God feedeth them : how much more are ye better than 
the fowls ? 

25. And which of you with taking thought can add 
to his stature one cubit ? 

26. If ye then be not able to do that thing which 
is least, why take ye thought for the rest ? 

Cyril; As before in raising our minds to spiritual boldness, 
He assured us by the example of the birds, which are counted 
of little worth, saying. Ye are of more value titan many spar- 
rows ; so now also from the instance of birds, He conveys to 
us a firm and undoubting trust, saying. Consider the ravens, 
for they neither sow nor reap, which neither have storehouse 
nor ham, and God feedeth them; how much more are ye 
better than fowls ? Bede ; That is, ye are more precious, 
because a rational animal like man is of a higher order in 
the nature of things than irrational things, as the birds 

Ambrose : But it is a great thing to follow up this example 
in faith. For to the birds of the air who have no labour of 
tilling, no produce from the fruitfulness of crops, Divine Pro- 
vidence grants an unfailing sustenance. It is true then that 
the cause of our poverty seems to be covetousness. For they 


have for this reason a toilless and abundant use of food, 
because they think not of claiming to themselves by any 
special right fruits given for common food. We have lost 
what things were common by claiming them as our own* 
For neither is any thing a man's own, where nothing is per- 
petual, nor is supply certain when the end is uncertain. 

Cyril; Now whereas our Lord might have taken an 
example from the men who have cared least about earthly 
things, such as Elias, Moses, and John, and the like, He made 
mention of the birds, following the Old Testament, which sends 
us to the bee and the ant, and others of the same kind, in 
whom the Creator has implanted certain natural dispositions. 
Theophyl. Now the reason that he omits mention of the other 
birds, and speaks only of the ravens, is, that the young of 
the ravens are by an especial providence fed by God. For the 
ravens produce indeed, but do not feed, but neglect their young, 
to whom in a marvellous manner from the air their food comes, 
brought as it were by the wind, which they receive having 
their mouths open, and so are nourished. Perhaps also such 
things were spoken by synecdoche, i. e. the whole signified 
Matt. 6, by a part. Hence in Matthew our Lord refers to the birds 
of the air, but here more particularly to the ravens, as being 
more greedy and ravenous than others. 

EusEB. By the ravens also he signifies something else, for 
the birds which pick up seeds have a ready source of food, 
but those that feed on flesh as the ravens do have more diffi- 
culty in getting it. Yet birds of this kind suffer from no 
lack of food, because the providence of God extends every 
where ; but he brings to the same purpose also a third ar- 
gument, saying, A?id which of you by taking thought can add 
to his stature ? 
Chrys. Chrys. Observe, that when God has once given a soul, it 
J?°^- abides the same, but the body is taking growth daily. Pass- 
Matt, ing over then the soul as not receiving increase, he makes 
mention only of the body, giving us to understand that it is 
not increased by food alone, but by the Divine Providence, 
from the fact that no one by receiving nourishment can add 
any thing to his stature. It is therefore concluded, If ye then 
he not able to do that thing which is least, take no thought 
for the rest. Euseb. If no one has by his own skill con- 

X'ER. 27 — 31. ST. LUKE. 4 4 J) 

trived a bodily stature for himself, but can not add even the 
shortest delay to the prefixed limit of his time of life, why 
should we be vainly anxious about the necessaries of life.? 
Bede ; To Him then leave the care of directing the body, l)y 
whose aid you see it to come to pass that you have a body of 
such a stature. 

Aug. But in speaking concerning increasing the stature Aug de 
of the body. He refers to that w^hich is least, that is, to 9^: ^^* 

. ' ' I. II. qu. 

God, to make bodies. 28. 

27. Consider the lilies how they grow : they toil 
not, they spin not ; and yet I say unto you, that 
Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of 

28. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to 
day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; 
how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little 

29. And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye 
shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 

30. For all these things do the nations of the 
world seek after : and your Father knoweth that ye 
have need of these things. 

31. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God ; and 
all these things shall be added unto you. 

Chrys. As our Lord had before given instruction about Chrys. 
food, so now also about raiment, saying, Co?isider the ^^^^^-^ 22°Tii 
of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin, Matt, 
that is, to make themselves clothing. Now as above when our 
Lord said, the birds sow not, He did not reprov^e sowing, but all 
superfluous trouble ; so when He said, They toil not, neither 
do they spin. He does not put an end to work, but to all 
anxiety about it. 

EusEB. But if a man wishes to be adorned with precious 
raiment, let him observe closely how even down to the flowers 
which spring from the earth God extends His manifold 

VOL. III. 2 G 


wisdom, adorning them with divers colours, so adapting to the 
dehcate membranes of the flowers dyes far superior to gold 
and purple, that under no luxurious king, not even Solomon 
himself, who was renowned among the ancients for his riches 
as for his wisdom and pleasures, has so exquisite a work been 
devised ; and hence it follows. But I say unto you, that Solomon 
in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 
jjjj^^* Chrys. He does not here employ the example of the birds, 
22. in making mention of a swan or a peacock, but the lilies, for he 
wishes to give force to the argument on both sides, that is to 
say, both from the meanness of the things which have obtained 
such honour, and from the excellence of the honour con- 
ferred upon them ; and hence a little after He does not 
call them lilies, but grass, as it is added. If then, God so 
clothe the grass, which to-day is, He says not, which to-mor- 
row is not, but to-morrow is cast into the oven ; nor does He 
say simply, God clothe, but He says, God so clothe, which has 
much meaning, and adds, how miicJt more you, which ex- 
presses His estimation and care of the human race. Lastly, 
when it behoves Him to find fault. He deals here also with 
mildness, reproving them not for unbelief, but for littleness 
of faith, adding, O ye of little fail h, that He may so the 
more rouse us up to believe in His words, that vve should not 
only take no thought about our apparel, but not even admire 
elegance in dress. Cyril; For it is sufficient to the prudent 
for the sake of necessity only, to have a suitable garment, 
and moderate food, not exceeding what is enough. To 
the saints it is sufficient even to have those spiritual delights 
which are in Christ, and the glory that comes after. Ambrose; 
Nor does it seem of light moment, that a flower is either com- 
pared to man, or even almost more than to man is pre- 
ferred to Solomon, to make us conceive the glory expressed, 
from the brightness of the colour to be that of the 
heavenly angels ; who are truly the flowers of the other 
world, since by their brightness the world is adorned, and 
they breathe forth the pure odour of sanctification, who 
shackled by no cares, employed in no toilsome task, cherish 
the grace of the Divine bounty towards them, and the gifts of 
their heavenly nature. Therefore well also is Solomon 
here described to be clothed in his own glory, and in another 

VER. -27 — 31. ST. LUKE. 45] 

place to be veiled, because the frailty of his bodily nature he 
clothed as it were by the powers of his mind to the glory of 
his works. But the Angels, whose diviner nature remains free 
from bodily injury, are rightly preferred, although he bo the 
greatest man. We should not however despair of God's mercy 
to us, to whom by the grace of His resurrection He promises 
the likeness of angels. 

Cyril; Now it were strange for the disciples, who ought 
to set before others the rule and pattern of life, to fall into 
those things, which it was their duty to advise men to renounce ; 
and therefore our Lord adds. And seek not what ye shall 
eat^ 8^c. Herein also our Lord strongly recommends the 
study of holy preaching, bidding His disciples to cast away all 
human cares. 

Bede ; It must however be observed, that He says not, Do 
not seek or take thought about meat, or drink, or raiment, but 
what ye shall eat or drink, in which He seems to me to re- 
prove those who, despising the common food and clothing, 
seek for themselves either more delicate or coarser food 
and clothing than theirs with whom they live. 

Greg. Nyss. Some have obtained dominion and honours Greg. 
and riches by praying for them, how then dost thou forbid p^jj^'^^*^* 
us to seek such things in prayer? And indeed that all these Serm.i. 
things belong to the Divine counsel is plain to every one, yet 
are they conferred by God upon those that seek them, 
in order that by learning that God listens to our lower petitions, 
we may be raised to the desire of higher things; just as we 
see in children, who as soon as they are born cling to their 
mother's breasts, but when the child grows up it despises 
the milk, and seeks after a necklace or some such thing with 
which the eye is delighted; and again when the mind has ad- 
vanced together with the body, giving up all childish desires, 
he seeks from his parents those things which are adapted to a 
perfect life. 

Aug. Now having forbidden all thought about food, 

next goes on to warn men not to be puffed up, saying, Neither ^\ ^\ 

be ye lifted up, for man first seeks these things to satisfy 29. 

. . ' nolite in 

his wants, but when he is filled, he begins to be pufied upsublinte 

concerning them. This is iust as if a wounded man should *°i'' 

boast that he had many plasters in his house, wherea s iU wij:<; ^ 



were well for him that he had no wounds, and needed not 
even one plaster. Theophyl. Or by being lifted up 
he means nothing else but an unsteady motion of the 
mind, meditating first one thing, then another, and jumping 
from this to that, and imagining lofty things. Basil; And 
that you may understand an elation of this kind, remember 
the vanity of your own youth ; if at any time while by yourself 
you have thought about life and promotions, passing rapidly 
from one dignity to another, have grasped riches, have built 
palaces, benefitted friends, been revenged upon enemies. 
Now such abstraction is sin, for to have our delights fixed 
upon useless things, leads away from the truth. Hence He 
goes on to add. For all these things do the nations of the 
Greg, world Seek after ^ ^-c, Greg. Nyss. For to be careful about 
ubi sup. yigii^ie things is the part of those who possess no hope of 
a future life, no fear of judgment to come. Basil; But with 
respect to the necessaries of life. He adds, And your Father 
Chrys. hioweth that ye have need of these things. Chrys. He said 
22° in liot " God," but your Father^ to incite them to greater con- 
Matt, fidence. For who is a father, and would not allow the want of 
his children to be supplied.? But He adds another thing also; 
for you could not say that He is indeed a father, yet knoweth 
not that we are in need of these things. For He who has 
created our nature, knoweth its wants. 

Ambrose ; But He goes on to shew, that neither at the pre- 
sent time, nor hereafter, will grace be lacking to the faithful, if 
only they who desire heavenly things seek not earthly ; for it 
is unworthy for men to care for meats, who fight for a king- 
dom. The king knoweth wherewithal he shall support 
and clothe his own family. Therefore it follows, But 
seek ye first the kingdom of God^ and all these things shall 
Chrys. jje added unto you. Chrys. Now Christ promises not only 
^"^' a kingdom, but also riches with it; for if we rescue from cares 
those who neglecting their own concerns are diligent about 
ours, much more will God. Bede; For He declares that 
there is one thing which is primarily given, another which is 
superadded ; that we ought to make eternity our aim, the 
present life our business. 

VER. 32—34. ST. LUKE. 453 

32. Fear not, little flock ; for it is your Father's 
good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 

33. Sell that ye have, and give alms ; provide 
yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the 
heavens that faileth not, where* no thief approacheth, 
neither moth corrupteth. 

34. For where your treasure is, there will your 
heart be also. 

Gloss. Our Lord having removed the care of temporal ^loss. 
things from the hearts of His disciples, now banishes fear from """ °^^* 
them, from which superfluous cares proceed, saying, Fea7' not^ 
S^c, Theophyl. By the little flock, our Lord signifies those 
who are willing to become His disciples, or because in this 
world the Saints seem little because of their voluntary poverty, 
or because they are outnumbered by the multitude of Angels, 
who incomparably exceed all that we can boast of The 
name little our Lord gives to the company of the elect, either 
from comparison with the greater number of the reprobate, 
or rather because of their devout humility. 

Cyril ; But why they ought not to fear, He shews, adding, 
for it is your Fathey^s good pleasure; as if He says, How shall 
He who gives such precious things be wearied in shewing 
mercy towards you.? For although His flock is little both in nature 
and number and renown, yet the goodness of the Father has 
granted even to this little flock the lot of heavenly spirits, that 
is, the kingdom of heaven. Therefore that you may possess 
the kingdom of heaven, despise this world's wealth. Hence 
it is added, Sell that ye have, 8^c. Bede ; As if He says, 
Fear not lest they who warfare for the kingdom of God, 
should be in want of the necessaries of this life. But sell 
that ye have for alms' sake, which then is done worthily, when 
a man having once for his Lord's sake forsaken all that he 
hath, nevertheless afterwards labours with his hands that he 
may be able both to gain his living, and give alms. Chrys. Chrys. 
For there is no sin which almsgiving does not avail to blot 25. in 
out. It is a salve adapted to every wound. But almsgiving Act. 
has to do not only with money, but with all matters also 


wherein man succours man, as when the physician heals, 
Greg, and the wise man gives counsel. Greg. Naz. Now I fear lest 
*'-^ you should think deeds of mercy to be not necessary to you, 
but voluntary. I also thought so, but was alarmed at the 
goats placed on the left hand, not because they robbed, but did 
Chrys. not minister unto Christ among the poor. Chrys. For with- 
out alms it is impossible to see the kingdom. For as a foun- 
tain if it keeps its waters within itself grows foul, so also 
rich men when they retain every thing in their possession. 
Basil. Basil; But some one will ask, upon what grounds ought 
brev ^'^ ^^ ^^^^ ^^^* which we have ? Is it that these things are 
ad int. by nature hurtful, or because of the temptation to our souls? 
To this we must answer, first, that every thing exist- 
ing in the world if it were in itself evil, would be no creation 
1 Tim ^^ God, for every creation of God is good. And next, that 
4, 4. our Lord's command teaches us not to cast away as evil what 
we possess, but to distribute, saying, and give alms. 

Cyril; Now perhaps this command is irksome to the rich, 

yet to those who are of a sound mind, it is not unprofitable, 

for their treasure is the kingdom of heaven. Hence it follows. 

Provide for yourselves hags which wax not old, ^c. Bede; 

That is, by doing alms, the reward of which abideth for ever ; 

which must not be taken as a command that no money 

be kept by the saints either for their own, or the use of 

Matt. 4, the poor, since we read that our Lord Himself, to whom the 

Johni2 angels ministered, had a bag in which he kept the offerings of 

6« the faithfiil; but that God should not be obeyed for the sake 

of such things, and righteousness be not forsaken from fear of 

poverty. Greg. Nyss. But He bids us lay up our visible 

and earthly treasures where the power of corruption does not 

reach, and hence He adds, a treasure that failetJi not, 8^^c. 

TiJEOPHYL. As if He said, *' Here the moth corrupts, but 
there is no corruption in heaven." Then because there are 
some things which the moth does not corrupt, He goes on to 
speak of the thief For gold the moth corrupts not, but the 
thief takes away. 

Bede ; Wlicther then should it be simply understood, that 
money kept faileth, but given away to our neighbour bears 
everlasting fruit in heaven ; or, that the treasure of good 
works, if it be stored up for the sake of earthly advantage, is 

VEIL 35—40. ST. LIJKK. 405 

soon corrupted and perishes; but if it be laid up solely from 
heavenly motives, neither outwardly by the favour of men, 
as by the thief which steals from without, nor inwardly by 
vainglory, as by the motli which devours within, can it be 
defiled. Gloss. Or, the thieves are heretics and evil spirits, 
who are bent upon depriving us of spiritual things. The 
moth which secretly frets the garments is envy, which mars 
good desires, and bursts the bonds of charity. 

Theophyl. Moreover, because all things are not taken away 
by theft, He adds a more excellent reason, and one which 
admits of no objection whatever, saying, For where your 
treasure is, there will your hearts be also ; as if He says, 
" Suppose that neither moth corrupts nor thief takes away, 
yet this very thing, namely, to have the heart fixed in a buried 
treasure, and to sink to the earth a divine work, that is, the 
soul, how great a punishment it deserves." Euseb. For 
every man naturally dwells upon that which is the object 
of his desire, and thither he directs all his thoughts, where 
he supposes his whole interest to rest. If any one then has his 
whole mind and affections, which he calls the heart, set on things 
of this present life, he lives in earthly things. But if he has 
given his mind to heavenly things, there will his mind be ; so 
that he seems with his body only to live with men, but with his 
mind to have already reached the heavenly mansion. Bede; 
Now this must not only be felt concerning love of money, but 
all the passions. Luxurious feasts are treasures ; also the 
sports of the gay and the desires of the lover. 

35. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights 
burning ; 

36. And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for 
their lord, when he will return from the wedding; 
that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open 
unto him immediately. 

37. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when 
he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, 
that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit 
down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. 


38. And if he shall come in the second watch, or 
in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those 

39. And this know, that if the goodman of the 
house had known what hour the thief would come, 
he would have watched, and not have suffered his 
house to be broken through. 

40. Be ye therefore ready also : for the Son of man 
cometh at an hour when ve think not. 

Theophyl. Our Lord having taught His disciples modera- 
tion, taking from them all care and conceit of this life, now 
leads them on to serve and obey, saying. Let your loins he 
girded^ that is, always ready to do the work of your Lord, 
^ and your lamps burning^ that is, do uot lead a life in dark- 
ness, but have with you the light of reason, shewing you what 
to do and what to avoid. For this world is the night, but they 
have their loins girded, who follow a practical or active life. 
For such is the condition of servants who must have with 
them also lamps burning ; that is, the gift of discernment, that 
the active man may be able to distinguish not only what he 
ought to do, but in what way ; otherwise men rush down the 
precipice of pride. But we must observe, that He first orders 
our loins to he girded^ secondly, our lamps to he hurning. For 
first indeed comes action, then reflection, which is an enlight- 
ening of the mind. Let us then strive to exercise the virtues, 
that we may have two lamps burning, that is, the conception 
of the mind ever shining forth in the soul, by which we are our- 
selves enlightened, and learning, whereby we enlighten others. 
Maxim. Or, he teaches us to keep our lamps burning, by 
prayer and contemplation and spiritual love. Cyril; Or, to 
be girded, signifies activity and readiness to undergo evils 
from regard to Divine love. But the burning of the lamp 
signifies that we should not sufl'er any to live in the darkness of 
Gve^. ignorance. Greg. Or else, we gird our loins when by con- 
V:?"^}' tincnce we control the lusts of the flesh. For the lust of men 

J3. in 

Evang. is in their loins, and of women in their womb ; by the name of 
loins, therefore, from the principal sex, lust is signified. But 

VER. 35 — 40. ST. LUKE. 457 

because it is a small thing not to do evil, unless also men 
strive to labour in good works, it is added. And your lampa 
burning in your hands ; for we hold burning lamps in our 
hands, when by good works we shew forth bright examples 
to our neighbours. Aug. Or, He teaches us also to gird our Aug. de 
loins for the sake of keeping ourselves from the love of thelj^'jj ^' 
things of this world, and to have our lamps burning, that this^- 25. 
thing may be done with a true end and right intention. Greg. Greg. 
But if a man has both of these, whosoever he be, nothing re- ^ ' ^"P* 
mains for him but that he should place his whole expectation 
on the coming of the Redeemer. Therefore it is added, And 
be ye like to men that wait for their Lord, when he will re- 
turn from the wedding, Sfc. For our Lord went to the wed- 
ding, when ascending up into heaven as the Bridegroom He 
joined to Himself ihe heavenly multitude of angels. Theo- 
PHYL. Daily also in the heavens He betroths the souls of the 
Saints, whom Paul or another offers to Him, as a chaste ^ ^^'^' 

. . .11, 2. 

vu'gin. But He returns from the celebration of the heavenly 
marriage, perhaps to all at the end of the whole world, when 
He shall come from heaven in the glory of the Father; 
perhaps also every hour standing suddenly present at the 
death of each individual. Cyril; Now consider that He 
comes from the wedding as from a festival, which God is ever 
keeping; for nothing can cause sadness to the Incorruptible 
Nature. Greg. Nyss. Or else, when the wedding was cele- Greg, 
brated and the Church received into the secret bridal chamber, in Cant. 
the angels were expecting the return of the King to His own 
natural blessedness. And after their example we order our 
life, that as they living together without evil, are prepared to 
welcome their Lord's return, so we also, keeping watch at the 
door, should make ourselves ready to obey Him when He 
comes knocking ; for it follows, that wlien he cometh and 
knocketh, they may open to him immediately. 

Greg. For He comes when He hastens to judgment, ^ut^^'.^^^^^ 
He knocks, when already by the pain of sickness He denotes 
that death is at hand ; to whom we immediately open if we 
receive Him with love. For he who trembles to depart from 
the body, has no wish to open to the Judge knocking, and 
dreads to see that Judge whom he remembers to have despised. 
But he who rests secure concerning his hope and works, imme- 
diately opens to Him that knocks ; for when he is aware of the 


time of death drawing near, he grows joyful, because of the 
glory of his reward ; and hence it is added, Blessed are the ser- 
vants whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching. He 
watches who keeps the eyes of his mind open to behold the true 
light; who by his works maintains that which he beholds, who 
drives from himself the darkness of sloth and carelessness. 
^^^f^ Greg. Nyss. For the sake then of keeping watch, our Lord 
advised above that our loins should be girded, and our lamps 
burning, for light when placed before the eyes drives away 
sleep. The loins also when tied with a girdle, make the body 
incapable of sleep- For he who is girt about with chastity, and 
illuminated by a pure conscience, continues wakeful. 

Cyril; When then our Lord coming shall find us awake 
and girded, having our hearts enlightened. He will then pro- 
nounce us blessed, for it follows. Verily I say unto you, that 
he shall gird himself ; from which we perceive that He will 
recompense us in like manner, seeing that He will gird Him- 
Isa. 11, self with those that are gii'ded. Origen: For He will be girded 
Greg, about His loins with righteousness. Greg. By which He 
i3°'^Ev 8'^^^^ Himself, that is, prepares for judgment. Theophyl. 
Or, He will gird Himself, in that He imparts not the whole 
fulness of blessings, but confines it within a certain measure. 
For who can comprehend God how great He is ? Therefore 
are the Seraphims said to veil their countenance, because 
of the excellence of the Divine brightness. It follows, and 
will make them to sit down; for as a man sitting down causes 
his whole body to rest, so in the future coming the Saints 
will have complete rest ; for here they have not rest for the 
body, but there together with their souls their spiritual bodies 
partaking of immortality will rejoice in perfect rest. Cyril; 
He will then make them to sit down as a refreshment to the 
weary, setting before them spiritual enjoyments, and ordering 
a sumptuous table of His gifts. 
Dion, in DioNYSius Ar. The " sitting down" is taken to be the re- 
Ep. ad pose from many labours, a life without annoyance, the divine 
conversation of those that dwell in the region of light enriched 
with all holy affections, and an abundant pouring forth of all 
gifts, whereby they are filled with joy. For the reason why 
Jesus makes them to sit down, is that He might give them per- 
petual rest, and distribute to them blessings without number. 
transi- Therefore it follows, And will pass over and serve them. 


VER. 35 — JO. ST. LUKE. 4o<J 

Theophyl. That is, Give back to them, as it were, an equal 
return, that as they served Him, so also He will serve them. 
Greg. But He is said to be pasfiiny over, when He returns Greg, 
from the judgment to His kingdom. Or the Lord passes to ^^^'l^- 
us after the judgment, and raises us from the form of HisEv. 
humanity to a contemplation of His divinity. 

Cyril ; Our Lord knew the proneness of human infirmity 
to sin, but because He is merciful, He does not allow us to 
despair, but rather has compassion, and gives us repentance 
as a saving remedy. And therefore He adds, And if he shall 
come in the second watch, ^c. For they who keep watch on 
the walls of cities, or observe the attacks of the enemy, divide 
the night into three or four watches. Greg. The first watch Greg. 
then is the earliest time of our life, that is, childhood, the" ^^^^' 
second youth and manhood, but the third represents old age. 
tie then who is unwilling to watch in the first, let him keep 
even the second. And he who is unwilling in the second, 
let him not lose the remedies of the third watch, that he 
who has neglected conversion in childhood, may at least in 
the time of youth or old age recover himself. Cyril; Of 
the first watch, however, he makes no mention, for childhood 
is not punished by God, but obtains pardon; but the second 
and third age owe obedience to God, and the leading of an 
honest life according to His will. Greek Ex. Or, to the first Sevems. 
watch belong those who live more carefidly, as having 
gained the first step, but to the second, those who keep the 
measure of a moderate conversation, but to the third, those who 
are below these. And the same must be supposed of the 
fourth, and if it should so happen also of the fifth. For there 
are different measures of life, and a good rewarder metes 
out to every man according to his deserts. Theophyl. Or 
since the watches are the hours of the night which lull men 
to sleep, you must understand that there are also in our fife 
certain hours which make us happy if we are found awake. 
Does any one seize your goods ? Are your children dead .? 
Are you accused.? But if at these times you have done 
nothing against the commandments of God, He will find you 
watching in the second and third watch, that is, at the evil 
time, which brings destructive sleep to idle souls. 

Greg. But to shake off the sloth of our minds, even ourGreg.^ 


external losses are by a similitude set before us. For it is 
added, Ajid this know, that if the goodman of the house 
had known what hour the thief would come. Theophyl. 
Some understand tbis tbief to be tbe devil, tbe bouse, tbe 
soul, tbe goodman of tbe bouse, man. Tbis interpretation, 
bowever, does not seem to agree witb wbat follows. For tbe 
Lord's coming is compared to tbe tbief as suddenly at band, 
iThess. according to tbe word of tbe Apostle, The day of the Lord 


' ' so cometh as a thief in the night. And bence also it is bere 
added, Be ye also ready, for the Son of man cometh at an 
Greg, hour ivhen ye think not. Greg. Or else ; unknown to tbe 
is.inEv.^'ister tbe tbief breaks into tbe bouse, because wbile tbe 
spirit sleeps instead of guarding itself, deatb comes unex- 
pectedly, and breaks into tbe dwelling place of our flesb. 
But be would resist tbe tbief if be were watcbing, because 
being on bis guard against tbe coming of tbe Judge, 
wbo secretly seizes bis soul, be would by repentance go to 
meet Him, lest be sbould perisb impenitent. But tbe last 
hour our Lord wisbes to be unknown to us, in order as we 
cannot foresee it, we may be unceasingly preparing for it. 

41. Tben Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou 
this parable unto us, or even to all ? 

42. And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful 
and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler 
over his household, to give them their portion of 
meat in due season ? 

43. Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when 
he cometh shall find so doing. 

44. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make 
him ruler over all that he hath. 

45. But and if that servant say in his heart, My 
lord delaycth his coming; and shall begin to beat 
the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, 
and to be drunken ; 

46. The lord of that servant will come in a day 
when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when 

VER. 41 — 46. ST. LUKH. 4(; I 

he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will 
appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 

Theofhyl. Peter, to whom the Church had already been 
committed, as having the care of" all things, inquires whether 
our Lord put forth this parable to all. As it follows, Tliot Peter 
said unto hbn, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto as, or 
even unto all? Bp:de; Our Lord had taught two things in 
the preceding parable unto all, even that He would come 
suddenly, and that they ought to be ready and waiting for 
Him. But it is not very plain concerning which of these, or 
whether both, Peter asked the question, or whom he com- 
pared to himself and his companions, when he said, Speakest 
thou to us, or to all? Yet in truth by these words, us and 
«//, he must be supposed to mean none other than the Apostles, 
and those like to the Apostles, and all other faithful men; or 
Christians, and unbelievers ; or those who dying separately, 
that is, singly, both unwillingly indeed and willingly, receive 
the coming of their Judge, and those who when the universal 
judgment comes are to be found alive in the flesh. Now it 
is marvellous if Peter doubted that all must live soberly, 
piously, and justly, who wait for a blessed hope, or that the 
judgment will to each and all be unexpected. It therefore 
remains to be supposed, that knowing these two things, he 
asked about that which he might not know, namely, whether 
those sublime commands of a heavenly life in which He bade 
us sell what w^e have and provide bags which wax not old, 
and watch with our loins girded, and lamps burning, 
belonged to the Apostles only, and those like unto them, or 
to all who were to be saved. 

Cyril; Now to the courageous rightly belong the great 
and difficult of God's holy commandments, but to those who 
have not yet attained to such virtue, belong those things 
from which all difficulty is excluded. Our Lord therefore 
uses a very obvious example, to shew that the above-men- 
tioned command is suited to those who have been admitted 
into the rank of disciples, for it follows, And the Lord said, 
Wlio then is that faithful steward? Ambrose; Or else, the 
form of the first command is a general one adapted to all, 

4{)-2 gospf:l according to chap. xii. 

but the following example seems to be proposed to the stew- 
ards, that is, the priests; and therefore it follows. And the 
Lord said, Who then is that faith ftd and wise steward, whom 
his Lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them 
their portion of meat in due season? 

Theophyl. The above-mentioned parable relates to all 
the faithful in common, but now hear what suits the Apostles 
and teachers. For 1 ask, where will be found the steward, 
that possesses in himself faithfulness and wisdom ? for as in 
the management of goods, whether a man be careless 
yet faithful to his master, or else wise yet unfaithful, the 
things of the master perish ; so also in the things of God there 
is need of faithfulness and wisdom. For T have known many 
servants of God, and faithful men, who because they were 
unable to manage ecclesiastical affairs, have destroyed not 
only possessions, but souls, exercising towards sinners indis- 
creet virtue by extravagant rules of penance or unseasonable 
Chrys. Chrys. But our Lord here asks the question not as igno- 
S°™' rant, who was a faithful and wise steward, but wishing to 

n . in -^ ' o 

Matt, imply the rareness of such, and the greatness of this kind of 
chief government. 

Theophyl. Whosoever then has been found a faithful and 
wise steward, let him bear rule over the Lord's household, 
that he may give them their portion of meat in due season, 
either the word of doctrine by which their souls are fed, or 

Aug. dethe example of works by which their life is fashioned. Aug. 

ULc.26. Now he says portion, because of suiting His measure to the 
capacity of his several hearers. 

Isid.l.s. Isidore ; It was added also in their due season, because a 
^' ' 'benefit not conferred at its proper time is rendered vain, and 
loses the name of a benefit. The same bread is not equally 
coveted by the hungry man, and him that is satisfied. But 
with respect to this servant's reward for his stewardship, He 
adds, Blessed is that servant whom his Lord v:hen he 

Basil, in cometh shall find so doing. Basil ; He says not, ' doing,' as if 

i/reg^ by chance, but so doing. For not only conquest is honour- 

^"s. able, but to contend lawfully, which is to perform each 
thing as we have been commanded. Cyril; Thus the 
faithful and wise servant prudently giving out in due se?ison 

VER. 41 4G. ST. LUKK. .1(;3 

the servants' food, that is, their spiritual meat, will be blessed 
according to the Saviour's word, in that he will obtain still 
greater things, and will be thought worthy of the rewards 
which are due to friends. Hence it follows, 0/ a truth I 
say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he 
hath, Bede ; For whatever difference there is in the merits 
of good hearers and good teachers, such also there is in their 
rewards; for the one whom when He cometh He finds watch- 
ing, He will make to sit down; but the others whom He finds 
faithful and wise stewards. He will place over all that He 
hath, that is, over all the joys of the kingdom of heaven, not 
certainly that they alone shall have power over them, but that 
they shall more abundantly than the other saints enjoy 
eternal possession of them. 

Theophyl. Or, he ivill make him ruler over all that he 
hath, not only over His own household, but that earthly things 
as well as heavenly shall obey him. As it was with Joshua the 
son of Nun, and Elias, the one commanding the sun, the 
other the clouds ; and all the Saints as God's friends use the 
things of God. Whosoever also passes his life virtuously, 
and has kept in due submission his servants, that is, anger 
and desire, supplies to them their portion of food in due sea- 
son ; to anger indeed that he may feel it against those who hate 
God, but to desire that he may exercise the necessary provision 
for the flesh, ordering it unto God. Such an one, I say, will 
be set over all things which the Lord hath, being thought 
worthy to look into all things by the light of contemplation. 

Chrys. But our Lord not only by the honours kept in Chrys. 
store for the good, lut by threats of punishment upon the jrj. j^ 
bad, leads the hearer to correction, as it follows. But ?/Matt. 
that servant shall say in his heart. My Lord delayeih his 
coming. Bede ; Observe that it is counted among the vices 
of a bad servant that he thought the coming of his Lord 
slow, yet it is not numbered among the virtues of the good 
that he hoped it would come quickly, but only that he min- 
istered faithfully. There is nothing then better than to sub- 
mit patiently to be ignorant of that which can not be known, 
but to strive only that we be found worthy. 

Theophyl. Now from not considering the time of our de- 
parture, there proceed many evils. For surely if we thought 


that our Lord was coming, and that the end of our life was 
at hand, we should sin the less. Hence it follows, And shall 
begin to strike the man servants and maidens^ and to eat 
and drink and he drunken. Bede ; In this servant is declared 
the condemnation of all evil rulers, who, forsaking the fear of 
the Lord, not only give themselves up to pleasures, but also 
provoke with injuries those who are put under them. Al- 
though these words may be also understood figuratively, mean- 
ing to corrupt the hearts of the weak by an evil example; and 
to eat, drink, and be drunken, to be absorbed in the vices and 
allurements of the world, which overthrow the mind of man. 
But concerning his punishment it is added. The Lord of that 
servant will come in a day when he looketh not for hirn^ 
that is, the day of his judgment or death, and will cut him in sunder. Basil; The body indeed is not divided, so that one 
Sp'san P^^'^ indeed should be exposed to torments, the other 
c. 16. escape. For this is a fable, nor is it a part of just judgment 
when the whole has oflended that half only should suffer pu- 
nishment; nor is the soul cut in sunder, seeing that the whole 
possesses a guilty consciousness, and cooperates with the 
body to work evil ; but its division is the eternal severing of 
the soul from the Spirit. For now although the grace of the 
Spirit is not in the unworthy, yet it seems ever to be at hand 
expecting their turning to salvation, but at that time it will be 
altogether cut off from the soul. The Holy Spirit then is the 
prize of the just, and the chief condemnation of sinners, 
since they who are unworthy will lose Him. Bede ; Or He 
will cut him in sunder, by separating him from the commu- 
nion of the faithful, and dismissing him to those who have 
1 Tim. never attained unto the faith. Hence it follows. And will 
^' ^' appoint him his portion with the unbelievers ; for he who has 
no care for his otvn, and those of his own house, has denied 
the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Theophyl. Rightly 
also shall the unbelieving steward receive his portion with 
the unbelievers, because he was without true faith. 

47. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, 
and prepared not himself, neither did according to 
his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 

VER. 47, 48. ST. LUKE. 4(J5 

48. But he that knew not, and did commit things 
worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. 
For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be 
much required : and to whom men have committed 
much, of him they will ask the more. 

Theophyl. Our Lord here j^oints to something still greater 
and more terrible, for the mifaithful steward shall not only be 
deprived of the grace he had, so that it should profit him nothing 
in escaping punishment, but the greatness of his dignity 
shall the rather become a cause of his condemnation. 
Hence it is said, And that servant who knew his lord's 
will and did it not, shall be beaten with many stripes. 
Chrys. For all things are not judged alike in all, but greater Chrys. 
knowledge is an occasion of greater punishment. Therefore 26. in 
shall the Priest, committing the same sin with the people, ^^^^^ 
suffer a far heavier penalty. 

Cyril ; For the man of understanding who has given up 
his will to baser things will shamelessly implore pardon, 
because he has committed an inexcusable sin, departing as 
it were maliciously from the will of God, but the rude or un- 
learned man will more reasonably ask for pardon of the 
avenger. Hence it is added, But he that knew not, and did 
commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few 
stripes. Theophyl. Here some object, saying. He is de- 
servedly punished who, knowing the will of His Lord, 
pursues it not ; but why is the ignorant punished } Because 
when he might have known, he would not, but being himself 
slothful, was the cause of his own ignorance. 

Basil ; But you will say, If the one indeed received many Basil. 
stripes, and the other few, how do some say He assigns no brJv.^ 
end to punishments? But we must know, that what is here 267. 
said assigns neither measure nor end of punishments, but their 
differences. For a man may deserve unquenchable fire, to 
either a slight or more intense degree of heat, and the worm 
that dieth not with greater or more violent gnawings. Theo- 
phyl. But he goes on to shew why teachers and learned men 
deserve a severer punishment, as it is said. For nnio whom- 
soever much is given, of him shall be mnch ret 

vol. III. 2 H .^<^1 Or M^OMf-^^ 


Teachers indeed are given the grace to perform miracles, but 
entrusted the grace of speech and learning. But not in 
that which is given, He says, is any thing more to be sought, 
but in that which is entrusted or deposited ; for the grace of 
the word needs increase. But from a teacher more is required, 
for he should not lie idle, but improve the talent of the word. 
Bede; Or else, much is often given also to certain individuals, 
upon whom is bestowed the knowledge of God's will, and the 
means of performing what they know ; much also is given to him 
to whom, together with his own salvation, is committed the care 
also of feeding our Lord's flock. Upon those then who are gifted 
with more abundant grace a heavier penalty falls ; but the 
mildest punishment of all will be theirs, who, beyond the 
guilt they originally contracted, have added none besides ; 
and in all who have added, theirs will be the more tolerable 
who have committed fewest iniquities. 

49. I am come to send fire on the earth ; and what 
will I, if it be already kindled ? 

50. But I have a baptism to be baptized with ; and 
how am I straitened till it be accomplished ! 

51. Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on 
earth? I tell you. Nay; but rather division: 

52. For from henceforth there shall be five in one 
house divided, three against two, and two against 

53. The father shall be divided against the son, 
and the son against the father; the mother against 
the daughter, and the daughter against the mother ; 
the mother in law against her daughter in law, and 
the daughter in law against her mother in law. 

Ambrose; To stewards, that is, to Priests, the preceding 
words seem to have been addressed, that they may thereby 
know that hereafter a heavier punishment awaits them, if, in- 
tent upon the world's pleasures, they have neglected the charge 
of their Lord's household, and the people entrusted to their 

vfcli. 49 — 53. ST. LUkE. jU? 

care. But as it profitcth little to be recalled from error by 
the fear of punishment, and far greater is the privilege of charity 
and love, our liOrd therefore kindles in men the desire of 
acquiring the divine nature, saying, / came to send Jire on, 
earthy not indeed that He is the Consumer of good men, but 
the Author of good will, who purifies the golden vessels of the 
Lord's house, but burns up the straw and stubble. Cyril; 
Now it is the way of holy Scripture to use sometimes the 
term fire^ of holy and divine words. For as they who 
know how to purify gold and silver, destroy the dross 
by fire, so the Saviour by the teaching of the Gospel in 
the power of the Spirit cleanses the minds of those who 
believe in Him. This then is that wholesome and useful fire 
by which the inhabitants of earth, in a manner cold and dead 
through sin, revive to a life of piety. Chrys. For by the 
earth He now means not that which we tread under our feet, 
but that which was fashioned by His hands, namely, man, 
upon whom the Lord pours out fire for the consuming of sins, 
and the renewing of souls. Tit. Bost. And we must here be- 
lieve that Christ came down from heaven. For if He had come 
from earth to earth, He would not say, / came to send fire upon 
the earth. Cyril; But our Lord was hastening the kindling 
of the fire, and hence it follows. And what will /, save thatn\s\ ut 
it be kindled""? For already some of the Jews believed, of^atur 
whom the first were the holy Apostles, but the fire once lighted 
in Judaea was about to take possession of the whole world, yet 
not till after the dispensation of His Passion had been accom- 
plished. Hence it follows, But I have a hajjtism to he baptized 
with. For before the holy cross and His resurrection from the 
dead, in Judaea only was the news told of His preaching and 
miracles ; but after that the Jews in their rage had slain the 
Prince of life, then commanded He His Apostles, saying, Qo ^\^^^^ 
and teach all nations. Greg. Or else, fire is sent upon the 28, 19. 

Ill (^reg- 'n 

earth, when by the fiery breath of the Holy Spnit, the eartlily Ezech. 
mind has all its carnal desires burnt up, but inflamed with '^^^• 
spiritual love, bewails the evil it has done ; and so the earth 2. 
is burnt, when the conscience accusing itself, the heart of the 
sinner is consumed in the sorrow of repentance. 

* Nisi ut, is the reading of the "Vulg. others. See Scholz in loc. 
and Germ, versions, and nisi of several 

2 H -2 


Bede; But He adds, / have a baptism to be baptized with, 
that is, I have first to be sprinkled with the drops of My own 
Blood, and then to inflame the hearts of beHevers by the fire 
of the Spirit. 

Ambrose; But so great was our Lord's condescension, that 
He tells us He has a desire of inspiring us with devotion, of 
accomplishing perfection in us, and of hastening His passion 
for us ; as it follows, And how am I straitened till it be ac- 
complished? Bede ; Some manuscripts have, '^ And how am I 
coangor anguished," that is, grieved. For though He had in Himself 
nothing to grieve Him, yet was He afflicted by our woes, and 
at the time of death He betrayed the anguish which He un- 
derwent not from the fear of His death, but from the delay of 
our redemption. For he who is troubled until he reaches 
perfection, is secure of perfection, for the condition of bodily 
affections not the dread of death offends him. For he who 
has put on the body must suffer all things which are of the 
body, hunger, thirst, vexation, sorrow ; but the Divine 
nature knows no change from such feelings. At the same 
time He also shews, that in the conflict of suffering consists 
the death of the body, peace of mind has no struggle with 

Bede; But the manner in which after the baptism of His 

passion and the coming of the spiritual fire the earth will be 

burnt, He declares as follows. Suppose ye that I am to 

Eph. 2, give peace ^ ^c. Cyril; What sayest thou, O Lord ? Didst 

J,"*' thou not come to give peace, Who art made peace for us.'* 

20. ' making peace by Thy cross with things in earth and things 

Johni4,-^ heaven ; Who saidst. My peace I give unto you. But it 

is plain that peace is indeed a good, but sometimes hurtful, 

and separating us from the love of God, that is, when by it 

we unite with those who keep away from God. And for this 

reason we teach the faithful to avoid earthly bonds. Hence 

it follows, i^or yVom henceforth there shall be jive in one 

house divided^ three against two, ^c. Ambrose ; Though the 

connexion would seem to be of six persons, father and son, 

mother and daughter, mother in law and daughter in law, yet 

are they five, for the mother and the mother in law may be 

taken as the same, since she who is the mother of the son, is 

Chrys. ^\^^ mother in law of his wife. Chrys. Now hereby He 

noil oeo. 

VEK. 49 — 53. ST. LUKK. ]()}) 

declared a future event, for it so lia})pcued in the same house 
that there have been believers whose fathers wished to bring 
them to unbelief; but the power of Christ's doctrines lias so 
prevailed, that fathers were left by sons, mothers by daughters, 
and children by parents. For the faithful in Christ were con- 
tent not only to despise their own, but at the same time also 
to suffer all things as long as they were not without the wor- 
ship of their faith. But if He were mere man, how would it 
have occurred to Him to conceive it possible that He should 
be more loved by fathers than their children were, by children 
than their fathers, by husbands than their wives, and they too 
not in one house or a hundred, but throughout the world? 
And not only did he predict this, but accomplish it in deed. 

Ambrose ; Now in a mystical sense the one house is one 
man, but by two we often mean the soul and the body. 
But if two things meet together, each one has its part; 
there is one which obeys, another which rules. But there 
are three conditions of the soul, one concerned with reason, 
another with desire, the third with anger. Two then are 
divided against three, and three against two. For by the 
coming of Christ, man who was material became rational. We 
were carnal and earthly, God sent His Spirit into our hearts. Gal. 4, 
and we became spiritual children. We may also say, that in ' 
the house there are five others, that is, smell, touch, taste, sight, 
and hearing. Tf then with respect to those things which we 
hear or see, separating the sense of sight and hearing, we shut 
out the worthless pleasures of the body which we take in by 
our taste, touch, and smell, we divide two against three, be- 
cause the mind is not carried away by the allurements of vice. 
Or if we understand the five bodily senses, already are the 
vices and sins of the body divided among themselves. The 
flesh and the soul may also seem separated from the smell, 
touch, and taste of pleasure, for while the stronger sex of reason 
is impelled, as it were, to manly affections, the flesh strives to 
keep the reason more effeminate. Out of these then there 
spring up the motions of different desires, but when the soul 
returns to itself it renounces the degenerate offspring. The 
flesh also bewails that it is fastened down by its desires (which 
it has borne to itself,) as by the thorns of the world. But 
pleasure is a kind of daughter in law of the body and soul, and 


is wedded to the motions of foul desire. As long then as there 
remained in one house the vices conspiring together with 
one consent, there seemed to be no division ; but when Christ 
sent fire upon the earth which should burn out the offences 
of the heart, or the sword which should pierce the very 
secrets of the heart, then the flesh and the soul renewed by 
the mysteries of regeneration cast off the bond of connection 
with their offspring. So that parents are divided against their 
children, while the intemperate man gets rid of his in- 
temperate desires, and the soul has no more fellowship with 
crime. Children also are divided against parents when men 
having become regenerate renounce their old vices, and 
younger pleasure flies from the rule of piety, as from the dis- 
cipline of a strict house. Bede ; Or in another way. By three 
are signified those who have faith in the Trinity, by two the 
unbelievers who depart from the unity of the faith. But the 
father is the devil, whose children we were by following him, 
but when that heavenly fire came down, it separated us from 
one another, and shewed us another Father who is in heaven. 
The mother is the Synagogue, the daughter is the Primitive 
Church, who had to bear the persecution of that same 
synagogue, from whom she derived her birth, and whom she 
did herself in the truth of the faith contradict. The 
mother in law is the Synagogue, the daughter in law the 
Gentile Church, for Christ the husband of the Church is the 
son of the Synagogue, according to the flesh. The Synagogue 
then was divided both against its daughter in law, and its 
daughter, persecuting believers of each people. But they also 
were divided against their mother in law and mother, because 
they wished to abolish the circumcision of the flesh. 

54. And he said also to the people. When ye see a 
cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say. There 
Cometh a shower ; and so it is. 

55. And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say. 
There will be heat ; and it cometh to pass. 

56. Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the 
sky and of the earth ; but how is it that ye do not 
discern this time ? 

VER. 54 — 57. ST. LUKE. 471 

^7 . Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not 
what is right ? 

Theophyl. When He spoke about preaching, and called 
it a sword, His hearers may have been troubled, not knowing 
what He meant. And therefore our Lord adds, that as 
men determine the state of the weather by certain signs, so 
ought they to know His coming. And this is what he means 
by saying, WJten ye see a cloud rise out of the west ^straight- 
way ye say. There cometh a shower. And when ye see the 
south wind blowing, ye say. There will be heat, Sfc. As if 
He says, Your words and works shew me to be opposed to 
you. Ye may therefore suppose that I came noi to give 
peace, but the storm and whirlwind. For I am a cloud, and 
I come out of the west, that is, from human nature ; which 
has been long since clothed with the thick darkness of sin. 
I came also to send fire, that is, to stir up heat. For I am 
the strong south wind, opposed to the northern coldness. 
Bede ; Or, they who from the change of the elements can 
easily when they like predetermine the state of the weather, 
might if they wished also understand the time of our Lord's 
coming from the words of the Prophets. Cyril; For the 
prophets have in many ways foretold the mystery of Christ ; 
it became them therefore, if they were wise, to stretch their 
prospect beyond to the future, nor will ignorance of the 
time to come avail them after the present life. For there will 
be wind and rain, and a future punishment by fire; and this is 
signified when it is said, A shower cometh. It became them 
also not to be ignorant of the time of salvation, that is, 
the coming of the Saviour, through whom perfect piety 
entered into the world. And this is meant when it is said, 
Ye say that there will be heat. Whence it follows in censure 
of them. Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and 
the earth, but how is it that ye do not discern this time? 

Basil; Now we must observe, that conjectures concerning Basil, in 
the stars are necessary to the Hfe of man, as long as we do Hom! e* 
not push our searches into their signs beyond due limits. 4. 
For it is possible to discover some things with respect to 
coming rain, still more concerning heat and the force of the 
winds, whether partial or universal, stormy or gentle. But 


the great advantage that is rendered to life by these conjectures 
is known to every one. For it is of importance to the sailor 
to prognosticate the dangers of storms, to the traveller the 
changes of the v^^eather, to the husbandman the abundant 
supply of his fruits. 

Bede ; But lest any of the people should allege their igno- 
rance of the prophetical books as a reason why they could 
not discern the courses of the times, He carefully adds, And 
why even of yourselves judge ye not tvhat is riyht, shewing 
them that although unlearned they might still by their natural 
ability discern Him, who did works such as none other man 
did, to be above man, and to be God, and thai therefore 
after the injustice of this world, the just judgment of the 
creation would come. Origen ; But had it not been implanted 
in our nature to judge what is right, our Lord would never 
have said this. 

58. When thou goest with thine adversary to the 
magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence 
that thou mayest be delivered from him ; lest he 
hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to 
the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison. 

59. I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till 
thou hast paid the very last mite. 

Theophyl. Our Lord having described a rightful dif- 
ference, next teaches us a rightful reconciliation, saying. 
When thou goest with thine adversary to the magis- 
trate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest 
he delivered from Jiim^ ^c. As if He says. When thine adver- 
sary is bringing thee to judgment, give diligence, that is, try 
every method, to be released from him. Or give diligence, that 
is, although thou hast nothing, borrow in order that thou may 
be released from him, lest he summon thee before the judge, 
as it follows, Lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge 
deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison, 
Cyril; Where thou wilt suffer want until thou payest 
the last farthing; and this is what He adds, I say unto you, 
thou shalt not depart hence. 

VER. 58, 59. ST. LUKE. 473 

Chrys. It seems to ine that He is speaking of the present Chrys. 
judges, and of the way to the present judgment, and of the Jg^l'^j 
prison of tliis world. For by these things which are visible Matt, 
and at hand, ignorant men are wont to gain improvement. 
For often He gives a lesson, not oply from future good and 
evil but from present, for the sake of His ruder hearers. 
Ambrose ; Or our adversary is the devil, who lays his baits for 
sin, that he may have those his partners in punishment who 
were his accomplices in crime ; our adversary is also every 
vicious practice. Lastly, our adversary is an evil conscience, 
which affects us both in this world, and will accuse and be- 
tray us in the next. Let us then give heed, while we are in 
this life's course, that we may be delivered from every bad 
act as from an evil enemy. Nay, while we are going with our 
adversary to the magistrate, as we are in the way, we should 
condemn our fault. But w^ho is the magistrate, but He in 
whose hands is all power } But the Magistrate delivers 
the guilty to the Judge, that is, to Him, to whom He gives the 
power over the quick and dead, namely, Jesus Christ, through 
Whom the secrets are made manifest, and the punishment of 
wicked works awarded. He delivers to the officer, and 
the officer casts into prison, for He says. Bind him hand and 
foot, and cast him into outer darkness. And he shews that ' 
His officers are the angels, of whom he says, Tlte angels shall Matt. 
come forth, and sever the wicked from among tlie just, and ' 
shall cast them into the furnace of fire ; but it is added, J 
tell thee, thou shall not depart thence till thou hast paid 
the very laU mite. For as they who pay money on interest 
do not get rid of the debt of interest before that the 
amount of the whole principal is paid even up to the least 
sum in every kind of payment, so by the compensation of 
love and the other acts, or by each particular kind of satisfac- 
tion the punishment of sin is cancelled. Origen ; Or else, 
He here introduces four characters, the adversary, the magis- 
trate, the officer, and the judge. But with Matthew the 
character of the magistrate is left out, and instead of the 
officer a servant is introduced. They differ also in that the 
one has written a farthing, the other a mite, but each has called 
it the last. Now we say that all men have present with them 


two angels, a bad one who encourages them to wicked deeds, 
a good one who persuades all that is best. Now the former, 
our adversary whenever we sin rejoices, knowing that he has 
an occasion for exultations and boasting with the prince of the 
world, who sent him. But in the Greek, " the adversary" is 
written with the article, to signify that he is one out of many, 
seeing that each individual is under the ruler of his nation. Give 
diligence then that you may be delivered from your adversary, 
or from the ruler to w^hom the adversary drags you, by having 
wisdom, justice, fortitude, and temperance. But if you have 
Johni4, given diligence, let it be in Him who says, / am the life, 
otherwise the adversary wdll hale thee to the judge. Now he 
says, hale, to point out that they are forced unwillingly to 
condemnation. But I know no other judge but our Lord 
Jesus Christ who delivers to the officer. Each of us have our 
own officers ; the officers exercise rule over us, if we owe 
any thing. If I paid every man every thing, I come to the 
officers and answer with a fearless heart, '' I ow^e them nothing." 
But if I am a debtor, the officer will cast me into prison, 
nor wall he suffer me to go out from thence until I have 
paid every debt. For the officer has no power to let me 
off even a farthing. He who forgave one debtor five hundred 
Luke 7 pence and another fifty, was the Lord, but the exactor is not 
^^' the master, but one appointed by the master to demand the 
debts. But the last mite he calls slight and small, for our 
sins are either heavy or slight. Happy then is he who sinneth 
not, and next in happiness he w^ho has sinned slightly. Even 
among slight sins there is diversity, otherwise he would not 
say until he has paid the last mite. For if he owes a little, 
he shall not come out till he pays the last mite. But he 
w^ho has been guilty of a great debt, will have endless ages 
for his payment. 

Bede ; Or else, our adversary in the way is the vvord 
of God, which opposes our carnal desires in this life ; from 
which he is delivered who is subject to its precepts. Else 
he will be delivered to the judge, for of contempt of God's 
word the sinner will be accounted guilty in the judgment 
of the judge. The judge will deliver him to the officer, 
that is, the evil spirit for punishment. He will then be cast 

VER. 58, 59. ST. LUKE. 475 

into prison, that is, to hell, where because he will ever have 
to pay the penalty by suffering, but never by paying it 
obtain pardon, he will never come out from thence, but 
with that most terrible serpent the devil, will expiate 
everlasting punishment. 



1. There were present at that season some that 
told him of the Galilseans, whose blood Pilate had 
mingled with their sacrifices. 

2. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose 
ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the 
Galilseans, because they suffered such things ? 

3. I tell you. Nay : but, except ye repent, ye 
shall all likewise perish. 

4. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in 
Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were 
sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem ? 

5. I tell you. Nay : but, except ye repent, ye shall 
all likewise perish. 

Gloss. As He had been speaking of the punishments of 
sinners, the story is fitly told Him of the punishment of cer- 
tain particular sinners, from which He takes occasion to de- 
nounce vengeance also against other sinners: as it is said, 
There were present at that season some that told him of the 
GalilcBans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their 

Cyril; For these were followers of the opinions of Judas 
Acts 5, of Galilee, of whom Luke makes mention in the Acts of the 
Apostles, who said, that we ought to call no man master. 
Great numbers of them refusing to acknowledge Caesar as 
their master, were therefore punished by Pilate. They said 
also that men ought not to offer God any sacrifices that were 
not ordained in the law of Moses, and so forbade to offer the 
sacrifices appointed by the people for the safety ol' the 

VKIt. 1 O. ST. LUKK. 177 

Emperor and the Roman people. Pilate then, bemg enraged 
against the Galilaeans, ordered them to be slain in the midst 
of the very victims which they thought they might offer accord- 
ing to the custom of their law ; so that the blood of the 
offerers v^^as mingled with that of the victims offered. Now 
it being generally believed that these Galilaeans were most 
justly punished, as sowing offences among the people, the 
rulers, eager to excite against Him the hatred of the people, re- 
late these things to the Saviour, wishing to discover what He 
thought about them. But He, admitting them to be sinners, 
does not however judge them to have suffered such things, 
as though they were worse than those who suffered not. 
Whence it foUow^s, Afid Jie answered and said unto tliem^ 
Suppose ye iJiat these Galilaeans were sinners above all the 
GaiilcBans, S^c. 

Chrys. For God punishes some sinners by cutting off their Chrys. 
iniquities, and appointing to them hereafter a lighter pu- Conc! 3. 
nishment, or perhaps even entirely releasing them, and 
correcting those who are living in wickedness by their pu- 
nishment. Again, he does not punish others, that if they take 
heed to themselves by repentance they may escape both the 
present penalty and future punishment, but if they continue in 
their sins, suffer still greater torment. Tit. Bost. And he 
here plainly shews, that whatever judgments are passed for 
the punishment of the guilty, happen not only by the autho- 
rity of the judges, but the will of God. Whether therefore the 
judge punishes upon the strict grounds of conscience, or has 
some other object in his condemnation, we must ascribe the 
work to the Divine appointment. 

Cyril ; To save therefore the multitudes, from the intes- 
tine seditions, which were excited for the sake of religion. He 
adds, hut unless ye repent, and unless ye cease to conspire 
against your rulers, for which ye have no divine guidance, ye 
shall all likewise perish, and your blood shall be united to 
that of your sacrifices. Chrys. And herein he shews that chiys. 
He permitted them to suffer such things, that the heirs of the "^ ' ^""P' 
kingdom yet living might be dismayed by the dangers of 
others. " What then," you will say, " is this man punished, 
that I might become better ?" Nay, but he is punished for his 
own crimes, and hence arises an opportunity of salvation to 


those who see it. Bede ; But because they repented not in 
the fortieth year of our Lord's Passion, the Romans coming, 
(vvhom Pilate represented, as belonging to their nation,) and be- 
ginning from Galilee, (whence our Lord's preachinghadbegun,) 
utterly destroyed that wicked nation, and defiled with human 
blood not only the courts of the temples, where they were 
wont to offer sacrifies, but also the inner parts of the doors, 
(where there was no entrance to the Galileans.) 

Chrys. Chrys. Again, there had been eighteen others crushed to 
death by the falling of a tower, of whom He adds the same 
things, as it follows. Or those eighteen upon whom, the tower 
of Siloamfell and slew them^ think ye that they were sinners 
above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell yoit, Nay^ 
For he does not punish all in this life, giving them a time meet 
for repentance. Nor however does he reserve all for future pu- 
nishment, lest men should deny His providence. Tit. Bost. 
Now one tower is compared to the whole city, that the de- 
struction of a part may alarm the whole. Hence it is added, 
But, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish; as if He 
said. The whole city shall shortly be smitten if the inha- 
bitants continue in impenitence. 

Ambrose; In those whose blood Pilate mingled with 
the sacrifices, there seems to be a certain mystical type, 
which concerns all who by the compulsion of the Devil offer 
not a pure sacrifice, whose prayer is for a sin, as it was writ- 

Ps. 109, ten of Judas, who when he was amonorst the sacrifices de- 
vised the betrayal of our Lord's blood. 

Bede ; For Pilate, who is interpreted, " The mouth of the 
hammerer," signifies the devil ever ready to strike. The 
blood expresses sin, the sacrifices good actions. Pilate then 
mingles the blood of the Galilaeans with their sacrifices when 
the devil stains the alms and other good works of the faithful 
either by carnal indulgence, or by courting the praise of men, 
or any other defilement. Those men of Jerusalem also who 
were crushed by the falling of the tower, signify that the 
Jews who refuse to repent will perish within their own walls. 
Nor without meaning is the number eighteen given, (which 
number among the Greeks is made up of I and H, that is, of 
the same letters with which the name of Jesus begins.) And 
it signifies that the Jews were chiefly to perish, because 

VER. 6 — 9. ST. LUKE. 479 

they would not receive the name of the Saviour. That 
tower represents Him who is the tower of siren gth. And 
this is rightly in Siloam, which is interpreted, " sent;" for it 
signifies Him who, sent by the Father, came into the world, 
and who shall grind to powder all on whom He falls. 

6. He spake also this parable; A certain man had 
a fig tree planted in his vineyard ; and he came and 
sought fruit thereon, and found none. 

7. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard. 
Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on 
this fig tree, and find none ; cut it down : why cum- 
bereth it the ground ? 

8. And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it 
alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and 
dung it : 

9. And if it bear fruit, well : and if not, then after 
that thou shalt cut it down. 

Tit. Bost. The Jews were boasting, that while the eigh- 
teen had perished, they all remained unhurt. He therefore sets 
before them the parable of the fig tree, for it follows, He spake 
also this parable ; A certain man had a jig tree planted in 
his vineyard. Ambrose; There was a vineyard of the Lord 
of hosts, which He gave for a spoil to the Gentiles. And the 
comparison of the fig tree to the synagogue is well chosen, 
because as that tree abounds with wide and spreading foliage, 
and deceives the hopes of its possessor with the vain expect- 
ation of promised fruit, so also in the synagogue, while its 
teachers are unfruitful in good works, yet magnify themselves 
with words as with abundant leaves, the empty shadow of the 
law stretches far and wide. This tree also is the only one 
which puts forth fruit in place of flowers. And the fruit falls, 
that other fruit may succeed; yet some few of the former 
remain, and do not fall. For the first people of the synagogue 
fell off" as a useless fruit, in order that out of the fruitfulness 
of the old religion might arise the new people of the Church;^ 

OF MEDUfi,.^ 


yet they who were the first out of Israel whom a branch of a 
stronger nature bore, under the shadow of the law and the cross, 
in the bosom of both, stained with a double juice after the ex- 
ample of a ripening fig, surpassed all others in the grace of most 
excellent fruits; to whom it is said. You shall sit upon twelve 
thrones. Some however think the fig tree to be a figure not 
of the synagogue, but of wickedness and treachery ; yet these 
differ in nothing from what has gone before, except that 
they choose the genus instead of the species. 

Bede; The Lord Himself who established the syna- 
gogue by Moses, came born in the flesh, and frequently 
teaching in the synagogue, sought for the fruits of faith, but 
in the hearts of the Pharisees found none; therefore it follows, 
And came seeking fruit on it, and found none. 

Ambrose ; But our Lord sought, not because He was igno- 
rant that the fig tree had no fruit, but that He might shew in a 
figure that the synagogue ought by this time to have fruit. 
Lastly, fi'om what follows. He teaches that He Himself came 
not before the time who came after three years. For so it is 
said. Then said he to the dresser of the vineyard, Behold, these 
three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none. 
He came to Abraham, He came to Moses, He came to Mary, 
that is. He came in the seal of the covenant, He came in the 
law. He came in the body. We recognise His coming by 
His, gifts ; at one time purification, at another sanctification, 
at another justification. Circumcision purified, the law sanc- 
tified, grace justified. The Jewish people then could not be 
purified because they had not the circumcision of the heart, 
but of the body; nor be sanctified, because ignorant of the 
meaning of the law, they followed carnal things rather than 
spiritual; nor justified, because not workingrepentance for their 
ofiences, they knew nothing of grace. Rightly then was there 
no fruit found in the synagogue, and consequently it is ordered 
to be cut down; for it follows. Cut it down, why cumber eth it 
the ground? But the merciful dresser, perhaps meaning 
him on whom the Church is founded, foreseeing that another 
would be sent to the Gentiles, but he himself to them who 
were of the circumcision, piously intercedes that it may not 
be cut ofi"; trusting to his calling, that the, Jewish people also 
might be saved through the Church. Hence it follows, And 

VEH. — 9. ST. LUKE. 481 

he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also. 
He soon perceived hardness of heart and pride to be the 
causes of the barrenness of the Jews. He knew therefore how 
to discipHne, who knew how to censure faults. Therefore adds 
He, till I shall dig about it. He promises that the hardness 
of their hearts shall be dug about by the Apostles' spades, lest 
a heap of earth cover up and obscure the root of wisdom. 
And He adds, and dung it, that is, by the grace of humility, by 
which even the fig is thought to become finiitful toward the 
Gospel of Christ. Hence He adds, And if it bear fruit, well, 
that is, it shall be well, hut if not, then after that thou shall 
cut it down. Bede; Which indeed came to pass under the 
Romans, by whom the Jewish nation was cut off, and thrust 
out from the land of promise. 

Aug. Or, in another sense, the fig tree is the race of mankind. Aug. 
For the first man after he had sinned concealed with fig leaves " ^ ^"^" 
his nakedness, that is, the members from which we derive 
our birth. Theophyl. But each one of us also is a fig tree 
planted in the vineyard of God, that is, in the Church, or in 
the world. 

Greg. But our Lord came three times to the fig tree, Greg. 
because He sought after man's nature before the law, under ^°™^' 
the law, and under grace, by waiting, admonishing, visiting ; Evang. 
but yet He complains that for three years he found no fruit, 
for there are some wicked men whose hearts are neither cor- 
rected by the law of nature breathed into them, nor instructed 
by precepts, nor converted by the miracles of His incarnation. 
Theophyl. Our nature yields no fruit though three times 
sought for; once indeed when we transgressed the command- 
ment in paradise ; the second time, when they made the molten 
calf under the law; thirdly, when they rejected the Saviour. 
But that three years' time must be understood to mean also 
the three ages of life, boyhood, manhood, and old age. 

Greg. But with great fear and trembling should we hear Greg, 
the word which follows. Cut it down, why cumhereth it the "^' ^"P- 
ground. For every one according to his measure, in what- 
soever station of life he is, except he shew forth the fruits 
of good works, like an unfruitful tree, cumbereth the ground ; 
for wherever he is himself placed, he there denies to another 
the opportunity of working. 

VOL. III. 2 I 


De Pee- Pseudo-Basil ; For it is the part of God's mercy not silently 
to inflict punishment, but to send forth threatenings to recall 
the sinner to repentance, as He did to the men of Nineveh, 
and now to the dresser of the vineyard, saying, Cut it down, 
exciting him indeed to the care of it, and stirring up the barren 
^reg- soil to bring forth the proper fruits. Greg. Naz. Let us not 
32. then strike suddenly, but overcome by gentleness, lest we cut 
down the fig tree still able to bear fruit, which the care 
perhaps of a skilful dresser will restore. Hence it is also 
here added, And he answering said unto him. Lord, let 
alone, S^c. 
Greg. Greg. By the dresser of the vineyard is represented the 
Ey, order of Bishops, who, by ruling over the Church, take care 
of our Lord's vineyard. Theophyl. Or the master of the 
household is God the Father, the dresser is Christ, who will 
not have the fig tree cut down as barren, as if saying to the 
Father, Although through the Law and the Prophets they 
gave no fniit of repentance, I will water them with My suffer- 
ings and teaching, and perhaps they will yield us fruits of 

^!^g- Aug. Or, the husbandman who intercedes is every holy 
ubi sup. . . . 

man who within the Church prays for them that are without 

the Church, saying, O Lord, Lord, let it alone this year, 

that is, for that time vouchsafed under grace, witil L dig about 

it. To dig about it, is to teach humility and patience, for the 

ground which has been dug is lowly. The dung signifies 

the soiled garments, but they bring forth fruit. The soiled 

garment of the dresser, is the grief and mourning of sinners ; 

for they who do penance and do it truly are in soiled 


Greg. Greg. Or, the sins of the flesh are called the dung. From 
this then the tree revives to bear fruit again, for from the re- 
membrance of sin the soul quickens itself to good works. 
But there are very many who hear reproof, and yet despise the 
return to repentance; wherefore it is added. And if it hear 
fruit, well, 

Aug. Aug. That is, it will be well, hut if not, then after that 

1 sup. i^j^^y^ shall cut it down ; namely, when Thou shalt come to 

judge the quick and the dead. In the mean time it is now 

Greg, spared. Greg. But he who will not by correction grow rich 

ubi sup. 

VER. 10 — 17. ST. LUKR. 483 

unto fruitfulness, falls to that place from whence he is no more 
able to rise again by repentance. 

10. And he was teaching in one of the synagogues 
on the sabbath. 

11. And, behold, there was a woman which had 
a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bovred 
together, and could in no wise lift up herself. 

12. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, 
and said unto her. Woman, thou art loosed from thine 

13. And he laid his hands on her : and imme- 
diately she was made straight, and glorified God. 

14. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with 
indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the 
sabbath day, and said unto the people. There are six 
days in which men ought to work : in them therefore 
come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. 

15. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou 
hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath 
loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him 
away to watering ? 

16. And ought not this woman, being a daughter 
of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these 
eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the 
sabbath day ? 

17. And when he had said these things, all his 
adversaries were ashamed : and all the people re- 
joiced for all the glorious things that were done by 

Ambrose ; He soon explained that He had been speaking 
of the synagogue, shewing, that He truly came to it, who 
preached in it, as it is said, And he was teaching in one of 
the synagogues. Chrys. He teaches indeed not separately, 

2 I 2 


but in the synagogues; calmly, neither wavering in any thing, 
nor determining aught against the law of Moses; on the 
Sabbath also, because the Jews were then engaged in the 
hearing of the law. 

Cyril ; Now that the Incarnation of the Word was mani- 
fested to destroy corruption and death, and the hatred of the 
devil against us, is plain from the actual events; for it 
follows, And behold there was a woman which had a spirit 
of infirmity^ ^c. He says spirit of injirmity, because the 
woman suffered from the cruelty of the devil, forsaken by 
God because of her own crimes or for the transgression of 
Adam, on account of which the bodies of men incur infirmity 
and death. But God gives this power to the Devil, to the 
end that men when pressed down by the weight of their 
adversity might betake them to better things. He points 
out the nature of her infirmity, saying. And was bowed, 
Basil, together^ and could in no wise lift up herself. Basil; Because 
in Hex. the head of the brutes is bent down towards the ground and 
looks upon the earth, but the head of man was made erect 
towards the heaven, his eyes tending upward. For it 
becomes us to seek what is above, and with our sight to 
pierce beyond earthly things. 

Cyril ; But our Lord, to shew that His coming into this 
world w^as to be the loosing of human infirmities, healed this 
woman. Hence it follows. And when Jesus saw her, he 
called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art 
loosed from thine infirmity. A word most suitable to God, 
full of heavenly majesty; for by His royal assent He dispels 
the disease. He also laid His hands upon her, for it follows. 
He laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made 
straight, and glorified God. We should here answer, that 
the Divine power had put on the sacred flesh. For it 
was the flesh of God Himself, and of no other, as if the 
Son of Man existed apart from the Son of God, as some 
have falsely thought. But the ungrateful ruler of the 
synagogue, when he saw the woman, who before was creeping 
on the ground, now by Christ's single touch made upright, 
and relating the mighty works of God, sullies his zeal for 
the glory of the Lord with envy, and condemns the miracle, 
that he might appear to be jealous for the Sabbath. 

VER. 10 — 17. ST. LUKE. 


As it follows, And the ruler of the synagogue answered with 
indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath- 
dag, and said tin to the people, There are six days in which 
men ought to work, and not on the sabbath -day. He would 
have those who are dispersed about on the other days, and 
engaged in their own works, not come on the Sabbath to see 
and admire our Lord's miracles, lest by chance they should 
believe. But the law has not forbidden all manual work 
on the Sabbath-day, and has it forbidden that which is 
done by a word or the mouth ? Cease then both to eat and 
drink and speak and sing. And if thou readest not the 
law, how is it a Sabbath to thee } But supposing the law 
has forbidden manual works, how is it a manual work to 
raise a woman upright by a word ? 

Ambrose ; Lastly, God rested from the works of the 
world not from holy works, for His working is constant and 

everlasting ; as the Son says. My Father workeih until now, John 6, 

1 fj 

and I ivork ; that after the likeness of God our worldly, not 
our religious, works should cease. Accordingly our Lord 
pointedly answered him, as it follows. Thou hypocrite, 
doth not each one of you on the sabbath-day loose his ox or 
his ass ? S^c. 

Basil; The hypocrite is one who on the stage assumes a Basil, 
different character from his own. So also in this life some^jg^J^*.^' 
men carry one thing in their heart, and shew another on the 
surface to the world. Chrys. Well then does he call the 
ruler of the synagogue a hypocrite, for he had the appearance 
of an observer of the law, but in his heart was a crafty 
and envious man. For it troubles him not that the Sabbath 
is broken, but that Christ is glorified. Now observe, that 
whenever Christ orders a work to be done, (as when He 
ordered the man sick of the palsy to take up his bed,) He 
raises His words to something higher, convincing men by 
the majesty of the Father, as He says, My Father uorketh John 5, 
until now, and I work. But in this place, as doing every 
thing by word, He adds nothing further, refuting their 
calumny by the very things which they themselves did. 
Cyril; Now the ruler of the synagogue is convicted a 
hypocrite, in that he leads his cattle to watering on the 
Sabbath-day, but this woman, not more by birth than hy 


faith the daughter of Abraham, he thought unworthy to be 
loosed from the chain of her infirmity. Therefore He adds, 
And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, 
whom Satan has bound, lo, these eighteen years, to be loosed 
from this bond on the sabbaih-day ? The ruler preferred 
that this woman should like the beasts rather look upon the 
earth than receive her natural stature, provided that Christ 
was not magnified. But they had nothing to answer ; they 
themselves unanswerably condemned themselves. Hence 
it follows, And when he had said these things, all his 
adversaries were ashamed. But the people, reaping great 
good from His miracles, rejoiced at the signs which they 
saw, as it follows. And all the people rejoiced. For the 
glory of His worlis vanquished every scruple in them who 
sought Him not with corrupt hearts. 
Greg. Greg. Mystically the unfruitful fig tree signifies the woman 
31 hi *^^* ^^'^^ bowed down. For human nature of its own will 
Evang. rushes into sin, and as it would not bring forth the fruit of 
obedience, has lost the state of uprightness. The same fig 
tree preserved signifies the woman made upright. Ambrose; 
Or the fig tree represents the synagogue; afterwards in the in- 
firm woman there follows as it were a figure of the Churchy 
which having fulfilled the measure of the law and the resurrec- 
tion, and now raised up on high in that eternal resting place, 
can no more experience the frailty of our weak inclinations. 
Nor could this woman be healed except she had fulfilled the 
law and grace. For in ten sentences is contained the per- 
fection of the law, and in the number eight the fulness of the 
Greg, resurrection. Greg. Or else; man was made on the sixth 
utsup. ^^y^ ^^^ Q^ ^Q same sixth day were all the works of the 
Lord finished, but the number six multiplied three times 
makes eighteen. Because then man who was made on the 
sixth day was unwilling to do perfect works, but before the 
law, under the law, and at the beginning of grace, was 
Aug. weak, the woman was bowed down eighteen years. Aug. 
11^' That which the three years signified in the tree, the 
eighteen did in the woman, for three times six is eighteen. But 
she was crooked and could not look up, for in vain she heard 
Greg, the words, lift up your hearts. Greg. For every sinner who 
ut sup. ^^jj^i^g^i^ earthly things, not seeking those that are in heaven, 

VER. 18 21. ST. LUKE. 487 

is unable to look up. For while pursuing his baser desires, 
he declines from the uprightness of his state ; or his heart 
is bent crooked, and he ever looks upon that which he 
unceasingly thinks about. The Lord called her and made 
her upright, for He enlightened her and succoured her. 
He sometimes calls but does not make upright, for when 
we are enlightened by grace, we ofttimes see what should be 
done, but because of sin do not practise it. For habitual sin 
binds down the mind, so that it cannot rise to uprightness. 
It makes attempts and fails, because when it has long stood 
by its own will, when the will is lacking, it falls. 

Ambrose ; Now this miracle is a sign of the coming 
sabbath, when every one who has fulfilled the law and grace, 
shall by the mercy of God put off the toils of this weak body. 
But why did He not mention any more animals, save to shew 
that the time would come when the Jewish and Gentile 
nations should quench their bodily thirst, and this world's 
heat in the fulness of the fountain of the Lord, and so 
through the calling forth of two nations, the Church should 
be saved. Bede ; But the daughter of Abraham is every 
faithful soul, or the Church gathered out of both nations into 
the unity of the faith. There is the same mystery then in the 
ox or ass being loosed and led to water, as in the daughter 
of Abraham being released from the bondage of our affections. 

18. Then said he. Unto what is the kingdom of 
God like ? and whereunto shall I resemble it ? 

19. It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a 
man took, and cast into his garden ; and it grew, and 
waxed a great tree ; and the fowls of the air lodged 
in the branches of it. 

20. And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken 
the kingdom of God ? 

21. It is like leaven, which a woman took and 
hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was 

Gloss. While His adversaries were ashamed, and the 
people rejoiced, at the glorious things that were done by 


Christ, He proceeds to explain the progress of the Gospel 
under certain similitudes, as it follows, Then said he. Unto 
what is the kingdom of God like ? It is like a grain of 

M^t.\7, mustard seed, 8fc. Ambrose; In another place, a grain of 
mustard seed is introduced where it is compared to faith. 
If then the mustard seed is the kingdom of God, and faith is 
as the grain of mustard seed ; faith is truly the kingdom of 

Lukei 7, heaven, which is within us. A grain of mustard seed is 
indeed a mean and trifling thing, but as soon as it is crushed, 
it pours forth its power. And faith at first seems simple, but 
when it is buffeted by adversity, pours forth the grace of its 
virtue. The martyrs are grains of mustard seed. They have 
about them the sweet odour of faith, but it is hidden. Per- 
secution comes; they are smitten by the sword; and to the 
farthest boundaries of the whole world they have scattered the 
seeds of their martyrdom. The Lord Himself also is a grain 
of mustard seed; He wished to be bruised that we might see 

2 Cor. i^h^^ y^Q g^Ye a sweet savour of Christ. He wishes to be 

2, 15. 

sown as a grain of mustard seed, which when a man takes he 
puts it into his garden. For Christ was taken and buried in 
a garden, where also He rose again and became a tree, as it 
follows. And it waxed into a great tree. For our Lord 
is a grain when He is buried in the earth, a tree when He is 
lifted up into the heaven. He is also a tree overshadowing 
the world, as it follows, And the fowls of the air rested in his 
hranches ; that is, the heavenly powers and they whoever 
(for their spiritual deeds) have been thought worthy to fly 
forth. Peter is a branch, Paul is a branch, into whose arms, 
by certain hidden ways of disputation, we who weve, afar off 
now fly, having taken up the wings of the virtues. Sow 
then Christ in thy garden ; a garden is truly a place full of 
flowers, wherein the grace of thy work may blossom^ and the 
manifold odour of thy different virtues be breathed forth. 
Wherever is the fruit of the seed, there is Christ. Cyril; Or 
else ; The kingdom of God is the Gospel, through which we 
gain the power of reigning with Christ. As then the mustard 
seed is surpassed in size by the seeds of other herbs, yet so 
increases as to become the shelter of many birds ; so also 
the life-giving doctrine was at first in the possession only of 
a few, but afterwards spread itself abroad. 

VER. 18 — 21. ST. LUKE. 4 Hi) 

Bede; Now the man^ is Christ, the garden, His Churcli, 
to be cultivated by His discipline. He is well said to have 
taken the grain, because the gifts which He together with 
the Father gave to us from His divinity, He took from His 
humanity. But the preaching of the Gospel grew and was 
disseminated throughout the whole world. It grows also 
in the mind of every believer, for no one is suddenly made 
perfect. But in its growth, not like the grass, (which soon 
withers,) but it rises up like the trees. The branches of this 
tree are the manifold doctrines, on which the chaste souls, 
soaring upwards on the wings of virtue, build and repose. 

Theophyl. Or, any man receiving a grain of mustard 
seed, that is, the word of the Gospel, and sowing it in the 
garden of his soul, makes it a great tree, so as to bring forth 
branches, and the birds of the air (that is, they who soar 
above the earth) rest in the branches, (that is, in sublime 
contemplation.) For Paul received the instruction of Ananias Acts 9, 
as it were a small grain, but planting it in his garden, he 
brought forth many good doctrines, in which they dwell who 
have high heavenly thoughts, as Dionysius, Hierotheus, and 
many others. 

He next likens the kingdom of God to leaven, for it follows, 
And again he says, W hereunto shall I liken it? It is like to 
leaven, ^c. Ambrose ; Many think Christ is the leaven, for 
leaven which is made from meal, excels its kind in strength, 
not in appearance. So also Christ (according to the Fathers) 
shone forth above others equal in body, but unapproachable 
in excellence. The Holy Church therefore represents the 
type of the woman, of whom it is added. Which a woman 
took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole 2£;«.ssata. 
leavened. Bede; The Satum is a kind of measure in use 
in the province of Palestine, holding about a bushel and 
a half. Ambrose; But we are the meal of the woman which 
hide the Lord Jesus in the secrets of our hearts, until the 
heat of heavenly wisdom penetrates our innermost recesses. 
And since He says it was hid in three measures, it seems 
fitting that we should believe the Son of God to have been hid 
in the Law, veiled in the Prophets, manifested in the preaching 
of the Gospel. Here however I am invited to proceed farther, 
because our Lord Himself lias taught us, that tlic leaven 



is the spiritual teaching of the Church. Now the Church 
sanctifies with its spiritual leaven the man who is renewed 
in body, soul, and spirit, seeing that these three are united in 
a certain equal measure of desire, and there breathes forth 
a complete harmony of the will. If then in this life the three 
measures abide in the same person until they are leavened 
and become one, there will be hereafter an incorruptible 
communion with them that love Christ. 

Theophyl. Or, for the woman you must understand the 
soul; but the three measures, its three parts, the reasoning 
part, the affections, and the desires. If then any one has 
hidden in these three the word of God, he will make the 
whole spiritual, so as not by his reason to lie in argument, 
nor by his anger or desire to be transported beyond control, 
but to be conformed to the word of God. 
Aug. Aug. Or, the three measures of meal are the race of 

mankind, which was restored out of the three sons of Noah. 
The woman who hid the leaven is the wisdom of God. 
EusEBius; Or else, by the leaven our Lord means the Holy 
Spirit, the Sower proceeding (as it were) from the seed, which 
is the word of God. But the three measures of meal, signify 
the knowledge of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy 
Spirit, which the woman, that is. Divine wisdom, and the 
Holy Spirit, impart. Bede; Or, by the leaven He speaks 
of love, which kindles and stirs up the heart ; the woman, 
that is, the Church, hides the leaven of love in three measures, 
because she bids us love God with all our hearts, all our 
minds, and all our strength. And this until the whole is 
leavened, that is, until love moves the whole soul into the 
perfection of itself, which begins here,' but will be completed 

22. And he went through the cities and villages, 
teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 

23. Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few 
that be saved ? And he said unto them, 

24. Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for 
many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall 
not be able. 

VER. 22 80. ST. LUKE. 491 

25. When once the master of the house is risen 
up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand 
without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, 
Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say 
unto you, I know you not whence ye are : 

26. Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten 
and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in 
our streets. 

27. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not 
whence ye are ; depart from me, all ye workers of 

28. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, 
when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, 
and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and 
you yourselves thrust out. 

29. And they shall come from the east, and from 
the west, and from the north, and from the south, 
and shall sit down in the kingdom of God, 

30. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, 
and there are first which shall be last. 

Gloss. Having spoken in parables concerning the increase 
of the teaching of the Gospel, he every where endeavours to 
spread it by preaching. Hence it is said, And he went 
throuc/h the cities and villages, Theophyl. For he did not 
visit the small places only, as they do who wish to deceive the 
simple, nor the cities only, as they who are fond of show, and 
seek their own glory; but as their common Lord and Father 
providing for all. He went about every where. Nor again 
did He visit the country towns only, avoiding Jerusalem, as if 
He feared the cavils of the lawyers, or death, which might 
follow therefrom ; and hence he adds. And journeying towards 
Jerusalem, For where there were many sick, there the 
Physician chiefly shewed Himself It follows, Then said one 
unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved. ^ Gloss. This 
question seems to have reference to what had gone before. 
For in the parable which was given above. He had said. 


that the birds of the air rested on its branches, by which it 

might be supposed that there would be many who would 

obtain the rest of salvation. And because one had asked the 

question for all, the Lord does not answer him individually, 

as it follows. And he said unto tJiem, Strive to enter in at the 

Bdi.s\\.'m strait gate, Basil; For as in earthly life the departure 

in^240. ^^*^^ right is exceeding broad, so he who goes out of the 

path which leads to the kingdom of heaven, finds himself 

int. 241. in a vast extent of error. But the right way is narrow, the 

slightest turning aside being full of danger, whether to the 

right or to the left, as on a bridge, where he who slips on 

either side is thro^vn into the river. 

Cyril; The narrow gate also represents the toils and 
sufferings of the saints. For as a victory in battle bears witness 
to the strength of the soldiers, so a courageous endurance 
Chrys. of labours and temptations will make a man strong. Chrys. 
in Matt. What then is that which our Lord says elsewhere. My yoke 
Matt, is easy, and my burden is light f There is indeed no con- 
' * tradiction, but the one was said because of the nature of 
temptations, the other with respect to the feeling of those 
who overcame them. For whatever is troublesome to our 
nature may be considered easy when we undertake it heartily. 
Besides also, though the way of salvation is narrow at its 
entrance, yet through it we come into a large space, but 
Greg, on the contrary the broad way leadeth to destruction. Greg. 
Mor. ii.^Q^, when He was about to speak of the entrance of the 
narrow gate. He said first, strive, for unless the mind struggles 
manfully, the wave of the world is not overcome, by which 
the soul is ever thrown back again into the deep. 

Cyril; Now our Lord does not seem to satisfy him who 
asked whether there are few that be saved, when He declai'es 
the way by which man may become righteous. But it must 
be observed, that it was our Sa^dour's custom to answer those 
who asked Him, not according as they might judge right, as 
often as they put to Him useless questions, but with regard 
to what might be profitable to His hearers. And what 
advantage would it have been to His hearers to know 
whether there should be many or few who would be saved. 
But it was more necessary to know the way by which man 
may come to salvation. Purposely then He says nothing 

VER. 2-2 30. ST. LUKE. l}):i 

in answer to the idle question, but turns His discourse to a 
more important subject. 

Aug. Or else, our Lord confirmed the words He heard, Aug. 
that is, by saying that there are few who are sa^ed, for fewiJ^J'"' 
enter by the strait gate, but in another place He says this 
very thing, Nairow is the re ay which leadeth unto life, and Mutt, 7, 
few there are who enter into it. Therefore He adds. For ^'*" 
many I say unto you shall seek to enter; Bede; Urged 
thereto by their love of safety, yet shall not be able, frightened 
by the roughness of the road. 

Basil; For the soul wavers to and fi'o, at one time choosing Basil, 
virtue when it considers eternity, at another preferrinc: !J°T* '" 

^ i o Psalm 

pleasures when it looks to the present. Here it beholds i, 5. 
ease, or the delights of the flesh, there its subjection or 
captive bondage; here drunkenness, there sobriety; here 
wanton mirth, there overflowing of tears; here dancing, there 
praying; here the sound of the pipe, there weeping; here 
lust, there chastity. Aug. Now our Lord in no wise con- Aug. 
tradicts Himself w hen He says, that there are few who ^f'J^' 
enter in at the strait gate, and elsewhere. Many shall Msitt.s, 
come from the east and the west; for there are few in com- 
pai"ison with those who are lost, many when united with the 
angels. Scarcely do they seem a grain when the threshing 
floor is swept, but so great a mass will come forth from this 
floor, that it will fill the granary of heaven. 

Cyril; But that they who cannot enter are regarded with 
wrath. He has shewn by an obvious example, as follows, 
When once the master of the house has risen up, Sfc. as if 
when the master of the house who has called many to the 
banquet has entered in with his guests, and shut to the door, 
then shall come afterwards men knocking. Bede; The 
master of the house is Christ, who since as very God Jle is 
every where, is already said to be within those whom though 
He is in heaven He gladdens with His visible presence, but 
is as it were without to those whom while contending in this 
pilgrimage, He helps in secret. But He will enter in when 
He shall bring the whole Church to the contemplation of 
Himself. He will shut the door when He shall take away 
from the reprobate all room for repentance. Who standing 
without will knock, that is, separated from the righteous 


will in vain implore that mercy which they have despised. 
Therefore it follows, A?id he will answei' and say to you^ 
Greg. / know you not whence ye are. Greg. For God not to 
2. c. 5. know is for Him to reject, as also a man who speaks the truth 
is said not to know how to lie, for he disdains to sin by telling 
a lie, not that if he wished to lie he knew not how, but that 
from love of truth he scorns to speak what is false. Therefore 
the light of truth knows not the darkness which it condemns. 
It follows. Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and 
drunk in thy presence, ^c. Cyril ; This refers to the 
Israelites, who, according to the practice of their law, when 
offering victims to God, eat and are merry. They heard 
also in the synagogues the books of Moses, who in his 
writings delivered not his own words, but the words of God. 
Theophyl. Or it is said to the Israelites, simply because 
Christ was bom of them according to the flesh, and they ate 
and drank with Him, and heard Him preaching. But these 
things also apply to Christians. For we eat the body of 
Christ and drink His blood as often as we approach the 
mystic table, and He teaches in the streets of our souls, 
which are open to receive Him. Bede; Or mystically, he 
eats and drinks in the Lord's presence who eagerly receives 
the food of the word. Hence it is added for explanation, 
TJiou hast taught in our streets. For Scripture in its more 
obscure places is food, since by being expounded it is as 
it were broken and swallowed. In the clearer places it is 
drink, where it is taken down just as it is found. But at a 
feast the banquet does not delight him whom the piety of 
faith commends not. The knowledge of the Scriptures does not 
make him known to God, whom the iniquity of his works 
proves to be unworthy; as it follows, And he will say unto 
you, I know not whence ye are; depart from me. 
Basil. Basil; He perhaps speaks to those whom the Apostle 
brfv. ad describes in his own person, saying, If I speak ivith the 
int. 282. tongues of men and of angels, and have all knowledge, and 
give all my goods to feed the poor, hut have fiot charity, 
it profiteth me nothing. For whatever is done not from 
regard to the love of God, but to gain praise from men, 
obtains no praise from God. Theophyl. Observe also that 
they are objects of wrath in whose street the Lord teaches. 

VER. 81 35. ST. LUKE. 4<)i3 

If then we have heard Him teaching not in the strec^ts, 
but in poor and lowly hearts, we shall not be regarded 
with wrath. Bede; But the twofold punishment of hell 
is here described, that is, the feeling cold and heat. For weep- 
ing is wont to be excited by heat, gnashing of teeth by cold. 
Or gnashing of teeth betrays the feeling of indignation, that 
he who repents too late, is too late angry with himself. 
Gloss; Or the teeth will gnash which here delighted in 
eating, the eyes will weep which here wandered with desire. 
By each He represents the real resurrection of the wicked. 
Theophyl. This also refers to the Israelites with whom He 
was speaking, who receive from this their severest blow, 
that the Gentiles have rest with the fathers, while they 
themselves are shut out. Hence He adds, When you shall 
see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom oj God, %'c. 
EusEB. For the Fathers above mentioned, before the times 
of the Law, forsaking the sins of many gods to follow the 
Gospel way, received the knowledge of the most high God ; 
to whom many of the Gentiles were conformed through a 
similar manner of life, but their children suffered estrange- 
ment from the Gospel rules; and herein it follows, And 
behold they are last which shall be first, and they are first 
which shall be last. Cyril; For to the Jews who held the 
first place have the Gentiles been prefeiTcd. 

Theophyl. But we as it seems are the first who have 
received from our very cradles the rudiments of Christian 
teaching, and perhaps shall be last in respect of the heathens 
who have believed at the end of life. Bede; Many also at 
first burning w^ith zeal, afterwards grow cold; many at first 
cold, on a sudden become warm; many despised in this 
world, will be glorified in the world to come; others renowned 
among men, will in the end be condemned. 

31. The same day there came certain of the Pha- 
risees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart 
hence : for Herod will kill thee. 

32. And he said unto them. Go ye, and tell that 
fox. Behold, 1 cast out devils, and I do cures to 


day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be 

33. Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, 
and the day following : for it cannot be that a prophet 
perish out of Jerusalem. 

34. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the 
prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; 
how often would I have gathered thy children to- 
gether, as a hen doth gather her brood under her 
wings, and ye would not! 

35. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate : 
and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until 
the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he 
that cometh in the name of the Lord. 

Cyril; The preceding words of our Lord roused the Phari- 
sees to anger. For they perceived that the people were now- 
smitten in their hearts, and eagerly receiv ing His faith . For fear 
then of losing their office as rulers of the people, and lacking 
their gains, with pretended love for Him, they persuade 
Him to depart from hence, as it is said, TJie same day there 
came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him. Get thee out 
and depart hence, for Herod will kilt thee: but Christ, who 
searcheth the heart and the reins, answers them meekly and 
under figure. Hence it follows. And he said unto them, Go ye 
and tell that fox. Bede; Because of his wiles and stratagems 
He calls Herod a fox, which is an animal full of craft, con- 
cealing itself in a ditch because of snares, having a noisome 
smell, never walking in straight paths, all which things 
belong to heretics, of whom Herod is a type, who endeavours 
to destroy Christ (that is, the humility of the Christian faith) 
in the hearts of believers. 

Cyril; Or else the discourse seems to change here, and 
not to refer so much to the character of Herod as some think, 
as to the lies of the Pharisees. For He almost represents 
the Pharisees themselves to be standing near, when He said, 
Go tell this fox, as it is in the Greek. Therefore he com- 
manded them to say that which might rouse the multitude of 

VER. 31 — 35. ST. LUKE. 497 

Pharisees. Behold, said He, / cast out devils, and I do 
cures to day and to morrow, and on the third day I shall he 
perfected. He promises to do what was displeasing to the 
Jews, namely, to command the evil spirits, and deliver the sick 
from disease, until in His own person He should undergo 
the suffering of the cross. But because the Pharisees thought 
that He who was the Lord of hosts, feared the hand of Herod, 
He refutes this, saying. Nevertheless I must walk to day and 
to morrow, and the day following. When He says must. 
He by no means implies a necessity imposed upon Him, but 
rather that He walked where He liked according to the 
inclination of His will, until He should come to the end of 
the dreadful cross, the time of which Christ shews to be 
now drawing near, when He says. To day and to morrow. 
Theophyl. As if He says, What think ye of My death? 
Behold, a little while, and it will come to pass. But by the 
words. To day and to rtiorrow, are signified many daysj 
as we also are wont to say in common conversation, " To 
day and to morrow such a thing takes place," not that it 
happens in that interval of time. And to explain more 
clearly the words of the Gospel, you must not understand 
them to be, I must walk to day and to morrow, but place a 
stop after to day and to morrow, then add, a7id walk on 
the day following, as fi'equently in reckoning we are accus- 
tomed to say, " The Lord's day and the day after, and on the 
third I will go out," as if by reckoning two, to denote the 
third. So also our Lord speaks as if calculating, I must 
do so to day, and so to morrow, and then afterward on the 
third day I must go to Jerusalem. 

Aug. Or these things are understood to have been spoken Aug. 
mystically by Him, so as to refer to His body, which is the j°°'an 
Church. For devils are cast out when the Gentiles having lib. 6. 

c. 1 9. 

forsaken their superstition, believe in Him. And cures are 
perfected when according to His commands, after having 
renounced the devil and this world until the end of the 
resurrection, (by which as it were the third day will be com- 
pleted,) the Church shall be perfected in angelical fulness 
by the immortality also of the body. 

Theophyl. But because they said unto Him, Depart 
from hence, for Herod seeks to kill thee, speaking in Galilee 

VOL. III. 2 K 


where Herod reigned, He shews that not in Gahlee, but in 
Jerusalem it had been fore-ordained that He should suffer. 
Hence it follows, For it can not he that a prophet perish out 
of Jerusalem. When thou hearest, It can not he (or it is 
not fitting) that a prophet should perish out of Jerusalem, 
think not that any violent constraint was imposed upon the 
Jews, but He says this seasonably with reference to their 
eager desire after blood; just as if any one seeing a most 
savage robber, should say, the road on which this robber 
lurks can not be wdthout bloodshed to travellers. So also 
no where else but in the abode of robbers must the Lord 
of the prophets perish. For accustomed to the blood of His 
prophets, they will also kill the Lord; as it follows, Jeru- 
salem^ Jerusalem^ which killest the prophets. 

Bede; In calhng upon Jerusalem, He addresses not the 

stones and buildings of the city, but the dwellers therein, 

Chrys. and He weeps over it with the affection of a father. Chrys. 

75°Tn ^^^ ^^ twice repeated word betokens compassion or very 

Matt, great love. For the Lord speaks, if we may say it, as a lover 

would to his mistress who despised him, and was therefore about 

Sevems. to be punished. Greek Ex. But the repetition of the name also 

shews the rebuke to be severe. For she who knew God, how 

does she persecute God's ministers ? Cyril ; Now that they 

were unmindful of the Divine blessings He proves as follows. 

How often would I have gathered thy children together as a 

hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye woiddnot. 

He led them by the hand of Moses out of all wisdom. He 

warns them by His prophets, He wished to have them under 

His wings, (i. e. under the shelter of His power,) but they 

deprived themselves of these choice blessings, through their 

Aug. ingi'atitude. Aug. As many as I gathered together, it was done 

gj?*' ^^* by my all prevailing will, yet thy unwillingness, for thou wert 

ever ungrateful. Bede; Now He who aptly had called Herod a 

fox, who was plotting His death, compares Himself to a bird, 

for foxes are ever lying in wait for birds. 

Basil, in Basil; He compai'ed also the sons of Jerusalem to birds in 

^ samm ^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^ jj^ ^2i\di, Birds who are used to fly in the air are 

$.301. caught by the treacherous devices of the catchers, but thou 

shalt be as a chicken in want of another's protection ; when 

thy mother then has fled away, thou art taken from thy nest 

VER. 31 35. ST. LUKE. 4J)9 

as too weak to defend thyself, too feeble to fly; as it follows, 
Behold^ your hoiise is left unto you desolate. Bedi:; The 
city itself which He had called the nest, He now calls the 
house of the Jews; for when our Lord was slain, the Romans 
came, and plundering it as a deserted nest, took away both 
their place, nation, and kingdom. Theoph yl. Or your house, 
(that is, temple,) as if He says, As long as there was virtue in 
you, it was my temple, but after that you made it a den of 
thieves, it was no more my house but yours. Or by house 
He meant the whole Jewish nation, according to the Psalm, 
O house of Jacob, bless ye the Lord, by which he shews that Psaim 
it was He Himself who governed them, and took them out ^^''*' ^^' 
of the hand of their enemies. It follows. And verily I say 
unto you, SfC. Aug. There seems nothing opposed to Aug. 
St. Luke's narrative, in what the multitudes said when ^ ^'°"^* 
our Lord came to Jerusalem, Blessed is he who cometh in 2. c. li. 
the name of the Lord, for He had not as yet come thither, ^^*'^^» 
nor had this yet been spoken. Cyril; For our Lord had 
departed from Jerusalem, as it were abandoning those who 
were unworthy of His presence, and afterwards returned to 
Jerusalem, having performed many miracles, when that 
crowd meets Him, saying, Osanna to the So7i of David, 
blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, Aug. Aug. 
But as Luke does not say to what place our Lord went p^^^^^jj?' 
from thence, so that He should not come except at that time, sup. 
(for when this was spoken He was journeying onward until 
He should come to Jerusalem,) He means therefore to refer 
to that coming of His, when He should appear in glory. 
Theophyl. For then also will they unwillingly confess Him 
to be their Lord and Saviour, when there shall be no departure 
hence. But in saying. Ye shall not see me until he shall 
come^ ^c. does not signify that present hour, but the time 
of His cross ; as if He says. When ye have crucified Me, 
ye shall no more see Me until I come again. Aug. Luke Aug. 
must be understood then as wishing to anticipate here, before ^^' ^"P* 
his narrative brought our Lord to Jerusalem, or to make Him 
when approaching the same city, give an answer to those 
who told Him to beware of Herod, like to that which 
Matthew says He gave when He had already reached 

2 K 2 


Jerusalem. Bede; Ye shall not see, that is, unless ye 
have worked repentance, and confessed Me to be the Son 
of the Father Almighty, ye shall not see My face at the 
second coming. 


1. And it came to pass, as he went into the house 
of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the 
sabbath day, that they watched him. 

2. And, behold, there was a certain man before 
him which had the dropsy. 

3. And Jesus answering spake unto the Lawyers 
and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the 
sabbath day ? 

4. And they held their peace. And he took him, 
and healed him, and let him go ; 

5. And answered them, saying, Which of you shall 
have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not 
straightway pull him out on the sabbath day ? 

6. And they could not answer him again to these 

Cyril ; Although our Lord knew the malice of the Pha- 
risees, yet He became their guest, that He might benefit by 
His words and miracles those who were present. Whence it 
follows. And it came to pass, as he went into the house of 
one of the chief Pharisees to eat hread on the sabbath day, 
that they watched him ; to see whether He would despise 
the observance of the law, or do any thing that was forbidden 
on the sabbath day. When then the man with the dropsy 
came into the midst of them. He rebukes by a question the 
insolence of the Pharisees, who wished to detect Him ; as it 
is said. And, behold, there was a certain man before him 
ivhich had the dropsy. And Jesus answering, 8fc. 


Bede; When it is said that Jesus answered, there is a 
reference to the words which went before, And they tvatched 
him. For the Lord knew the thoughts of men. Theophyl. 
But by His question He exposes their folly. For while God 
Gen. 2, blessed the sabbath, they forbade to do good on the sabbath ; 
but the day which does not admit the works of the good is 

Bede; But they who were asked, are rightly silent, for 
they perceived that whatever they said, would be against 
themselves. For if it is lawful to heal on the sabbath day, 
why did they watch the Saviour whether He would heal? 
If it is not lawful, why do they take care of their cattle on 
the sabbath .? Hence it follows, But they held their "peace. 

Cyril ; Disregarding then the snares of the Jews, He cures 
the dropsical, who from fear of the Pharisees did not ask to 
be healed on account of the sabbath, but only stood up, that 
when Jesus beheld him, He might have compassion on him 
and heal him. And the Lord knowing this, asked not whether 
he wished to be made whole, but forthwith healed him. 
Whence it follows ; And he took him, and healed him, and 
let him go. Wherein our Lord took no thought not to offend 
the Pharisees, but only that He might benefit him who 
needed healing. For it becomes us, when a great good is 
the result, not to care if fools take offence. Cyril ; But 
seeing the Pharisees awkwardly silent, Christ baffles their 
determined impudence by some important considerations. 
As it follows; And he answered and said unto them, Which 
of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and ivill 
not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? Theophyl. 
As though He said, If the law forbids to have mercy on the 
sabbath-day, have no care of thy son when in danger on the 
sabbath-day. But why speak I of a son, when thou dost not 
even neglect an ox if thou seest it in danger.^ 

Bede ; By these words He so refutes His watchers, the 

Pharisees, as to condemn them also of covetousness, who in 

the deliverance of animals consult their own desire of wealth. 

How much more then ought Christ to deliver a man, who is 

Aug. de much better than cattle ! Aug. Now He has aptly compared 

Evan, the dropsical man to an animal which has fallen into a ditch, 

cap \<d ^^^^ ^^ ^^ troubled by water,) as He compared that woman. 

VER. 7 — 10. ST. LUKE. 503 

whom He spoke of as bound, and whom lie Himself loosed, 
to a beast which is let loose to be led to water. Bede ; By 
a suitable example then He settles the question, shewing that 
they violate the sabbath by a work of covetousness, who con- 
tend that he does so by a work of charity. Hence it follows, 
A?id they could not answer him again to these tilings. 
Mystically, the dropsical man is compared to him who is 
weighed down by an overflowing stream of carnal pleasures. 
For the disease of dropsy derives the name from a watery 
humour. Aug. Or we rightly compare the dropsical man to Aug. 
a covetous rich man. For as the former, the more he increases " ^ ^' 
in unnatural moisture the greater his thirst; so also the other, 
the more abundant his riches, which he does not employ well, 
the more ardently he desires them. 

Greg. Rightly then is the dropsical man healed in the Greg. 
Pharisees* presence, for by the bodily infirmity of the one, j, q^ 
is expressed the mental disease of the other. Bede ; In this 
example also He well refers to the ox and the ass ; so as to 
represent either the wise and the foolish, or both nations ; 
that is, the Jew oppressed by the burden of the law, the 
Gentile not subject to reason. For the Lord rescues from 
the pit of concupiscence all who are sunk therein. 

7. And he put forth a parable to those which were 
bidden, when he marked how they chose out the 
chief rooms ; saying unto them, 

8. When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, 
sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honour- 
able man than thou be bidden of him ; . 

9. And he that bade thee and him come and say 
to thee. Give this man place ; and thou begin with 
shame to take the lowest room. 

10. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in 
the lowest room ; that when he that bade thee cometh, 
he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher : then 
shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that 
sit at meat with thee. 


1 ] . For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased ; 
and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. 

Ambrose ; First the dropsical man is cured, in whom the 
abundant discharges of the flesh crushed down the powers of 
the soul, quenched the ardour of the Spirit. Next, humility 
is taught, when at the nuptial feast the desire of the highest 
place is forbidden. As it is said. And he spake, Sit not down 
in the highest room. Cyril; For to rush forward hastily 
to honours which are not fitting for us, indicates rashness- 
and casts a slur upon our actions. Hence it follows, lest 
Chrys. ^ more honourable man than thou he imnted. Sec. Chrys. 

noil occ. ' ■' 

And so the seeker of honour obtained not that which he 
coveted, but suffered a defeat, and busying himself how he 
might be loaded with honours, is treated with dishonour. 
And because nothing is of so much worth as modesty, He 
leads His hearer to the opposite of this ; not only for- 
bidding him to seek the highest place, but bidding him 
search for the lowest. As it follows ; But when thou art 
bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room. Cyril ; For if 
a man wishes not to be set before others, he obtains this 
honour according to the divine word. As it follows ; That 
when he that bade thee cometh, lie may say unto thee. 
Friend, go up higher. In these words He does not harshly 
chide, but gently admonishes ; for a word of advice is 
enough for the wise. And thus for their humility men are 
crowned with honours; as it follows, Then shall thou have 
r ^ fuT B^si^ j To take then the lowest place at a feast, according 
ad inter, to our Lord's command, is becoming to every man, but again 
to rush contentiously after this is to be condemned as a 
breach of order and cause of tumult ; and a strife raised about 
it, will place you on a level with those who dispute con- 
cerning the highest place. Wherefore, as our Lord here 
says, it becomes him who makes the feast to arrange the order 
of sitting down. Thus in patience and love should we 
mutually bear ourselves, following all things decently ac- 
cording to order, not for external appearance or public dis- 
play ; nor should we seem to study or affect humility by 
violent contradiction, but rather gain it by condescension or 

VER. 7 11. ST. LUKE. 505 

by patience. For resistance or opposition is a far stronger 
token of pride than taking the first seat at meat, when we 
obtain it by authority. 

Theophyl. Now let no one deem the above precepts of 
Christ to be trifling, and unworthy of the sublimity and 
grandeur of the Word of God. For you would not call him a 
merciful physician who professed to heal the gout, but refiised 
to cure a scar on the finger or a tooth-ache. Besides, how 
can that passion of vainglory appear slight, which moved or 
agitated those who sought the first seats. It became then 
the Master of humility to cut off every branch of the bad root. 
But observe this also, that when the supper was ready, and 
the wretched guests were contending for precedency before 
the eyes of the Saviour, there was a fit occasion for advice. 
Cyril; Having shewn therefore from so slight an example 
the degradation of the ambitious and the exaltation of the 
humbleminded, He adds a great thing to a little, pronouncing 
a general sentence, as it follows, For every one who exalts 
himself shall be abased^ and he that humbleth himself shall 
be exalted. This is spoken according to the di\dne judg- 
ment, not after human experience, in which they who 
desire after glory obtain it, while others who humble them- 
selves remain inglorious. 

Theophyl. Moreover, he is not to be respected in the 
end, nor by all men, who thrusts himself into honours ; but 
while by some he is honoured, by others he is disparaged, and 
sometimes even by the very nien who outwardly honoui* him. 
Bede; But as the Evangelist calls this admonition a parable, 
we must briefly examine what is its mystical meaning. Who- 
soever being bidden has come to the marriage feast of Clirist's 
Church, being united to the members of the Chui'ch by 
faith, let him not exalt himself as higher than others by 
boasting of his merits. For he will have to give place to one 
more honoiu'able who is bidden aftei-wards, seeing that he is 
overtaken by the activity of those who followed him, and 
with shame he occupies the lowest place, now that knowing 
better things of the others he brings low whatever high 
thoughts he once had of his own works. But a man sits in 
the lowest place according to that verse. The greater thou art, Eccie^. 
humble thyself in all things. But the Lord when He cometh, ' 


whomsoever He shall find humble, blessing him with the 
name of friend, He will command him to go up higher. For 
whoever humbleth himself as a little child, he is the greatest 
in the kingdom of heaven. But it is well said. Then shalt 
thou have glory ^ that thou mayest not begin to seek now 
what is kept for thee in the end. It may also be understood, 
even in this life, for daily does God come to His marriage 
feast, despising the proud; and often giving to the humble 
such great gifts of His Spirit, that the assembly of those who 
sit at meat, i. e. the faithful, glorify them in wonder. But 
in the general conclusion which is added, it is plainly de- 
clared that the preceding discourse of our Lord must be 
understood typically. For not every one who exalts himself 
before men is abased ; nor is he who humbleth himself in 
their sight, exalted by them. But whoever exalteth himself 
because of his merits, the Lord shall bring low, and him who 
humbleth himself on account of his mercies, shall He 

12. Then said he also to him that bade him, When 
thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, 
nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich 
neighbours ; lest they also bid thee again, and a 
recompence be made thee. 

13. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, 
the maimed, the lame, the blind : 

14. And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot 
recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at 
the resurrection of the just. 

Theophyl. The supper being composed of two parties, 
the invited and the inviter, and ha^dng already exhorted the 
invited to humility. He next rewards by His advice the in- 
viter, guarding him against making a feast to gain the favour 
of men. Hence it is said. Then said he also to him that 
bade him^ When thou makest a dinner or a supper^ call not 

Chrys. thy friends. 

Horn. 1, Chrys. Many are the sources from which friendships are 


VER. 12 — 14. ST. LUKE. 507 

made. Leaving out all unlawful ones, we shall speak only of 
those which are natural and moral; the natiu-al are, for in- 
stance, between father and son, brother and brother, and 
such like ; which He meant, saying. Nor thy brethren, 
nor thy kinsmen ; the moral, when a man has become your 
guest or neighbom-; and with reference to these He says, nor 
thy neighbours. 

Bede; Brothers then, and friends, and the rich, are not 
forbidden, as though it were a crime to entertain one another, 
but this, like all the other necessary intercourse among men, 
is shewn to fail in meriting the reward of everlasting life ; as 
it follows, Lest per chance they also bid thee again^ and a re- 
compense be made thee. He says not, " and sin be committed 
against thee." And the like to this He speaks in another 
place, And if ye do good to those who do good to you, whafLn^e 6, 
thank have ye ? There are however certain mutual feaslings ' 
of brothers and neighbours, which not only incur a retribu- 
tion in this life, but also condemnation hereafter. And these 
are celebrated by the general gathering together of all, or the 
hospitality in turn of each one of the company ; and they meet 
together that they may perpetrate foul deeds, and through 
excess of wine be provoked to all kinds of lustfid pleasure. 
Chrys. Let us not then bestow kindness on others under the 
hope of return. For this is a cold motive, and hence it is that 
such a friendship soon vanishes. But if you invite the poor, 
God, who never forgets, will be your debtor, as it follows, But 
when ye make a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, and 
the blind. Chrys. For the humbler our brother is, so much Chrys. 
the more does Christ come through him and visit us. For he 45 jq 
who entertains a great man does it often from vainglory. And -^ct. 
elsewhere, But very often interest is his object, that through 
such a one he may gain promotion. I could indeed mention 
many who for this pay court to the most distinguished of the 
nobles, that through their assistance they may obtain the 
greater favour from the prince. Let us not then ask those 
who can recompense us, as it follows. And thou shalt he 
blessed, for they cannot recompense thee. And let us not be 
troubled when we receive no return of a kindness, but when 
we do ; for if we have received it we shall receive nothing 
more, but if man does not repay us, God will. As it follows, 


For thou shall he recompensed al Ihe resurrection c^ the just. 
Bede; And though all rise again, yet it is called the re- 
suiTection of the just, because in the resurrection they doubt 
not that they are blessed. Whoever then bids the poor to 
his feast shall receive a reward hereafter. But he who in- 
vites his Mends, brothers, and the rich, has received his 
reward. But if he does this for God's sake after the example of 
the sons of Job, God, who Himself commanded all the duties of 
brotherly love, will reward him. Chrys. But thou say est, the 
poor are unclean and filthy. Wash him, and make him to sit 
with thee at table. If he has dirty garments, give him clean ones. 
Christ comes to thee through him, and dost thou stand trifling? 
Greg. Nyss. Do not then let them lie as though they were 
nothing worth. Reflect who they are, and thou wilt discover 
their preciousness. They have put on the image of the 
Saviour. Heirs of future blessings, bearing the keys of the 
kingdom, able accusers and excusers, not speaking themselves, 
but examined by the judge. 
Chrys. Chrys. It would become thee then to receive them above 
45 jq in the best chamber, but if thou shrinkest, at least admit Christ 
Act. below, where are the menials and servants. Let the poor 
man be at least thy door keeper. For where there is alms, the 
devil durst not enter. And if thou sittest not down with 
them, at any rate send them the dishes from thy table. 
Origen ; But mystically, he who shuns vain-glory calls to a 
spiritual banquet the poor, that is, the ignorant, that he may 
enrich them; the weak, that is, those with offended consciences, 
that he may heal them ; the lame, that is, those who have 
wandered from reason, that he may make their paths straight ; 
the blind, that is, those who discern not the truth, that they 
may behold the true light. But it is said. They cannot re^ 
compense thee^ i. e. they know not how to return an answer. 

15. And when one of them that sat at meat with 
him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed 
is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. 

16. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a 
great supper, and bade many : 

VER. 15 — 24. ST. LUKE. 509 

17. And sent his servant at supper time to say to 
them that were bidden. Come; for all things are now 

18. And they all with one consent began to make 
excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a 
piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it : I 
pray thee have me excused. 

19. And another said, I have bought five yoke of 
oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me 

20. And another said, I have married a wife, and 
therefore I cannot come. 

21. So that servant came, and shewed his lord 
these things. Then the master of the house being 
angry said to his servant. Go out quickly into the 
streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither 
the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the 

22. And the servant said. Lord, it is done as thou 
hast commanded, and yet there is room. 

23. And the lord said unto the servant. Go out 
into the highways and hedges, and compel them to 
come in, that my house may be filled. 

24. For I say unto you. That none of those men 
which were bidden shall taste of my supper. 

EusEB. Our Lord had just before taught us to prepare our 
feasts for those who cannot repay, seeing that we shall have 
our reward at the reburi-ection of the just. Some one then, 
supposing the resurrection of the just to be one and the same 
with the kingdom of God, commends the above-mentioned 
recompense; for it follows, When one of them that sat at 
meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed 
is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Cyril ; 
That man was canial, and a careless hearer of the things 
which Christ delivered, for he thought the reward of the 
saints was to be bodily. Aug. Or because he sighed forj^^; 



something afar off, and that bread which he desired lay 
before him. For who is that Bread of the kingdom of God 
John 6, but He who says, / am the living bread which came down 
^^' from heaven^ Open not thy mouth, but thy heart. 

Bede; But because some receive this bread by faith 
merely, as if by smelling, but its sweetness they loathe to 
really touch with their mouths, our Lord by the following 
parable condemns the dulness of those men to be unworthy of 
the heavenly banquet. For it follows, But he said unto him, A 
certain man made a great supper, and hade many. Cyril ; 
This man represents God the Father just as images are formed 
to give the resemblance of power. For as often as God 
wishes to declare His avenging power, He is called by the 
names of bear, leopard, lion, and others of the same kind; 
but when He wishes to express mercy,by the name of man. The 
Maker of all things, therefore, and Father of Glory, or the 
Lord, prepared the great supper which was finished in Christ. 
For in these latter times, and as it were the setting of our 
world, the Son of God has shone upon us, and enduring 
death for our sakes, has given us His own body to eat. Hence 
also the lamb was sacrificed in the evening according to the 
Mosaic law. Rightly then was the banquet which was pre- 
Greg. pared in Christ called a supper. Greg. Or he made a great 
36. in supper, as having prepared for us the full enjoyment of eternal 
Evan, sweetness. He bade many, but few came, because sometimes 
they who themselves are subject to him by faith, by their 
lives oppose his eternal banquet. And this is generally the 
difference between the delights of the body and the soul, 
that fleshly delights when not possessed provoke a longing 
desire for them, but when possessed and devoured, the eater 
soon turns fiom satiety to loathing; spiritual delights, on the 
other hand, when not possessed are loathed, when possessed 
the more desired. But heavenly mercy recalls those de- 
spised delights to the eyes of our memory, and in order that 
we should drive away our disgust, bids us to the feast. Hence 
it follow^s, And he sent his servant. Sec. Cyril; That ser- 
vant who was sent is Christ Himself, who being by nature 
God and the true Son of God, emptied Himself, and took 
upon Him the form of a servant. But He was sent at supper 
time. For not in the beginning did the Word take upon Him 

VER. 15 24. ST. LUKE. 5[1 

our nature, but in the last time; and he adds, For all things 
are ready. For the Father prepared in Christ the good 
things bestowed upon the world through Him, the removal of 
sins, the participation of the Holy Spirit, the glory of adop- 
tion. To these Christ bade men by the teaching of the Gospel. 
Aug. Or else, the Man is the Mediator between God and Aug. 
man, Christ Jesus ; He sent that they who were bidden might "^^ ^"^'" 
come, i. e. those who were called by the prophets whom He 
had sent ; who in the former times invited to the supper 
of Chiist, were often sent to the people of Israel, often bade 
them to come at supper time- They received the inviters, re- 
fused the supper. They received the prophets and killed Christ, 
and thus ignorantly prepared for us the supper. The supper 
being now ready, i. e. Christ being sacrificed, the Apostles 
were sent to those, to whom prophets had been sent before. 
Greg. By this servant then who is sent by the master of the 
family to bid to supper, the order of preachers is signified. 
But it is often the case that a powerful person has a despised 
servant, and when his Lord orders any thing through him, 
the servant speaking is not despised, because respect for the 
master who sends him is still kept up in the heart. Our 
Lord then offers what he ought to be asked for, not ask others 
to receive. He wishes to give what could scarcely be hoped 
for ; yet all begin at once to make excuse, for it follows, 
And they all began with one consent to make excuse. Be- 
hold a rich man invites, and the poor hasten to come. We are 
invited to the banquet of God, and we make excuse. Aug. Aug. 
Now there were three excuses, of which it is added, TJie Jirst^^^ ^"P* 
said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must 
needs go and see it. The bought piece of ground denotes 
government. Therefore pride is the first vice reproved. For 
the first man wished to rule, not wdlHng to have a master. 
Greg. Or by the piece of ground is meant worldly substance. Greg. 
Therefore he goes out to see it who thinks only of outward "^' ^"P- 
things for the sake of his living. Ambrose ; Thus it is that 
the worn out soldier is appointed to serve degi-aded offices, 
as he who intent upon things below buys for himself 
earthly possessions, can not enter into the kingdom of 
heaven. Our Lord says. Sell all that thou hast, and follow me. 
It follows. And another said, I have bought five yoke qf 


Aug. oxen^ and I go to prove them. Aug. The five yoke of oxen 
112. 3^1*6 taken to be the five senses of the flesh; in the eyes 
sight, in the ears hearing, in the nostrils smelHng, in the mouth 
taste, in all the members touch. But the yoke is more easily 
apparent in the three first senses ; two eyes, two ears, two nos- 
trils. Here are three yoke. And in the mouth is the sense of 
taste which is found to be a kind of double, in that nothing is 
sensible to the taste, which is not touched both by the tongue 
and palate. The pleasure of the flesh which belongs to the 
touch is secretly doubled. It is both outward and inward. 
But they are called yoke of oxen, because through those 
senses of the flesh earthly things are pursued. For the oxen 
till the ground, but men at a distance fi'om faith, given up to 
earthly things, refuse to believe in any thing, but what they 
arrive at by means of the five-fold sense of the body. " I 
believe nothing but what I see." If such were our thoughts, we 
should be hindered from the supper by those five yoke of 
oxen. But that you may understand that it is not the de- 
light of the five senses which charms and conveys pleasure, 
but that a certain curiosity is denoted, he says not, / 
have bought five yoke of oxen, and go to feed them, but go to 
prove them, 
Greg. Greg. By the bodily senses also because they cannot com- 
V^^°"' prehend things within, but take cognizance only of what is 
Ev. without, curiosity is rightly represented, which while it seeks to 
shake off" a life which is strange to it, not knowing its own 
secret life, desires to dwell upon things without. But we 
must observe, that the one who for his farm, and the other 
who to prove his five yoke of oxen, excuse themselves from 
the supper of their Inviter, mix up with their excuse the 
words of humility. For when they say, I pray thee, and 
then disdain to come, the word sounds of humility, but 
the action is pride. It follows. And this said, I have married 
Aug. a wife, and therefore I cannot come. Aug. That is, the de- 
* ''"?• light of the flesh which hinders many, I wish it were outward 
and not inward. For he who said, I have married a wife, 
taking pleasure in the delights of the flesh, excuses himself 
from the supper; let such a one take heed lest he die from 
inward hunger. 

Basil; But he says, / cannot come, because that the 

VER. 15 24, ST. LUKE. 513 

human mind when it is degenerating to worldly plea- 
sures, is feeble in attending to the things of God. Greg. Greg. 
But although marriage is good, and appointed by Divine Pro- Ji^"^* 
vidence for the propagation of children, some seek therein 
not fruitfulness of offspring, but the lust of pleasure. And 
so by means of a righteous thing may not unfitly an unrigh- 
teous thing be represented. Ambrose ; Or marriage is not 
blamed ; but purity is held up to greater honour, since the 
unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she i Cor. 7, 
may be holy in body and spirit, but she that is married '^"^' 
careth for the things of the world. 

Aug. Now John when he said, all that is in the world zs Aug. 
the lust qfthejiesh, and the lust of the eyes^ and the pi'ide of\ j^JJ^" 
life, began from the point where the Gospel ended. The 2, i<5. 
lust of the flesh, / have married a wife ; the lust of the eyes, 
I have bought five yoke of oxen; the pride of life, I have bought 
a farm. But proceeding from a part to the whole, the five 
senses have been spoken of under the eyes alone, which hold 
the chief place among the five senses. Because though pro- 
perly the sight belongs to the eyes, we are in the habit of 
ascribing the act of seeing to all the five senses. 

Cyril ; But whom can we suppose these to be who refused 
to come for the reason just mentioned, but the rulers of the 
Jews, whom throughout the sacred history we find to have 
been often reproved for these things.? Origen ; Or else, they 
who have bought a piece of ground and reject or refuse the 
supper, are they who have taken other doctrines of divinity, 
but have despised the word which they possessed. But he 
who has bought five yoke of oxen is he who neglects his 
intellectual nature, and follows the things of sense, therefore 
he cannot comprehend a spiritual nature. But he who has 
married a wife is he who is ioined to the flesh, a lover ofi Tim. 
pleasure rather than of God. Ambrose ; Or let us suppose that ' 
three classes of men are excluded from partaking of that supper, 
Gentiles, Jews, Heretics. The Jews by their fleshly service 
impose upon themselves the yoke of the law, for the five yoke 
are the yoke of the Ten Commandments, of which it is said, 
And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded Vi^yxt. 4, 
you to perform, even ten com'inandynents ; and he wrote them 
upon two tables of stone. That is, the commands of the De- 

VOL. III. 2 L 


calogue. Or the five yoke are the five books of the old law. 

But heresy indeed, like Eve with a woman's obstinacy, 
3;^ * ' tries the affection of faith. And the Apostle says that we must 
Coi.3,5. flgg from covetousness, lest entanded in the customs of the 

Heb.lS, . . 

5. Gentiles we be unable to come to the kingdom of Christ. 

^^ im. , Therefore both he who has bought a farm is a stranger to the 
kingdom, and he who has chosen the yoke of the law rather 
than the gift of grace, and he also who excuses himself be- 
cause he has married a wife. 
Aug. in It follows, A?id Ihe servant returned^ and told these things 
lit!c!i9. ^'^ ^^* Xord Aug, Not for the sake of knowing inferior 
beings does God require messengers, as though He gained 
aught from them, for He knows all things stedfastly and un- 
changeably. But he has messengers for our sakes and their own, 
because to be present with God, and stand before Him so as to 
consult Him about His subjects, and obey His heavenly com- 
mandments, is good for them in the order of their own nature. 
Cyril ; But with the rulers of the Jews who refused their 
John 7, call, as they themselves confessed, Have any of the rulers he- 
^^* lieved on him f the Master of the household was wroth, as with 
them that deserved His indignation and anger ; whence it 
Pseudo- follows, Then the maUer of ihe house being angry, ^c. Pseu do- 
Basil. g^siL; Not that the passion of anger belongs to the Divine 
Horn, substance, but an operation such as in us is caused by anger, is 
^' called the anger and indignation of God. Cyril ; Thus it was 
that the master of the house is said to have been enraged with 
the chiefs of the Jews, and in their stead were called men taken 
from out of the Jewish multitude, and of weak and impotent 
Acts 2, minds. For at Peter's preaching, first indeed three thousand, 
* then five thousand believed, and afterwards much people; 
whence it follovvs, He said unto his servant, Go out straight- 
way into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither 
the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. 
Ambrose ; He invites the poor, the weak, and the blind, to 
shew that weakness of body shuts out no one from the king- 
dom of heaven, and that he is guilty of fewer sins who lacks 
the incitement to sin ; or that the infirmities of sin are forgiven 
through the mercy of God. Therefore he sends to the streets, 
^ that from the broader ways they may come to the narrow way. 

Horn. Because then the proud refuse to come, the poor are 


VER. 15 — 24. ST. LUKE. 515 

chosen, since they are called weak and poor who are weak in 
their own judgment of themselves, for there are poor, and yet 
as it were strong, who though lying in poverty are proud ; the 
blind ^XQ they who have no brightness of understanding; the 
lame are they who have walked not uprightly in their works. 
But since the faults of these are expressed in the weakness 
of their members, as those were sinners who when bidden 
refused to come, so also are these who are invited and come; 
but the proud sinners are rejected, the humble are chosen. 
God then chooses those whom the world despises, because 
for the most part the very act of contempt recals a man to 
himself. And men so much the sooner hear the voice of 
God, as they have nothing in this world to take pleasure in. 
When then the Lord calls certain from the streets and lanes 
to supper, He denotes that people who had learnt to observe 
in the city the constant practice of the law. But the multi- 
tude who believed of the people of Israel did not fill the 
places of the upper feast room. Hence it follows. And the 
servant said^ I^ord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and 
yet there is room. For already had great numbers of the 
Jews entered, but yet there was room in the kingdom for the 
abundance of the Gentiles to be received. Therefore it is 
added, And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the 
highways and hedges^ and compel them to come in, that my 
house may he filled. When He commanded His guests to be 
collected from the wayside and the hedges, He sought for a 
rural people, that is, the Gentiles. Ambrose ; Or, He sends 
to the highways and about the hedges, because they are fit 
for the kingdom of God, who, not absorbed in the desire for 
present goods, are hastening on to the future, set in a 
certain fixed path of good will. And who like a hedge 
which separates the cultivated ground from the uncultivated, 
and keeps off" the incursion of the cattle, know how to dis- 
tinguish good and evil, and to hold up the shield of faith 
against the temptations of spiritual wickedness. 

Aug. The Gentiles came from the streets and lanes, the Aug. 
heretics come from the hedges. For they who make a hedge ^^^' 
seek for a division; let them be dravvn away from the liedges, 
plucked asunder from the thorns. Bui they are unwilUng to 
be compelled. By our own will, say they, will we enter. 


Compel them to enter, He says. Let necessity be used from 
without, thence arises a will. 
Greg, in Qreg. They then who, broken down by the calamities of 

36. this world, return to the love of God, are compelled to enter. 
But very terrible is the sentence which comes next. Foi' I 
say unto you^ That none of those men 'which were bidden shall 
taste of my shipper. Let no one then despise the call, lest if 
when bidden he make excuse, when he wishes to enter he 
shall not be able. 

25. And there went great multitudes with him : 
and he turned, and said unto them, 

26. If any man come to me, and hate not his 
father, and mother, and wife, and children, and 
brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he 
cannot be my disciple, 

27. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and 
come after me, cannot be my disciple. 

Greg, in Greg. The mind is kindled, when it hears of heavenly 

37. in rewards, and already desires to be there, where it hopes to 
^^- enjoy them without ceasing; but great rewards cannot be 

reached except by great labours. Therefore it is said. And 
there went great multitudes with him: and he turned to 
them, and said, S^c. 

Theophyl. For because many of those that accompanied 

Him followed not with their whole heart, but lukewarmly, He 

shews what kind of a man his disciple ought to be. 

Greg, in Greg. But it may be asked, how are we bid to hate our 

ut sui). P^^rents and our relations in the flesh, who are commanded 

to love even our enemies } But if we weiffh the force of the 


command we are able to do both, by rightly distinguishing 
them so as both to love those who are united to us by the 
bond of the flesh, and whom we acknowledge our relations, 
and by hating and avoiding not to know those whom we 
find our enemies in the way of God. For he is as it were 
loved by hatred, who in his carnal wisdom, pouring into our 
Matt, ears his evil sayings, is not heard, Ambrose; For if for thy 
Mark's ^^^^ ^^^ Lord renounces His own mother, saying. Who is 


VER. 28 — 33. ST. LUKE. 517 

my mother ^^ and who are my brethren^ why dost thou 
deserve to be preferred to thy Lord ? But the Lord will have 
us neither be ignorant of nature, nor be her slaves, but so to 
submit to nature, that we reverence the Author of nature, and 
depart not from God out of love to our parents. Greg. Greg, in 
Now to shew that this hatred towards relations proceeds not^°"^"^ 
from inclination or passion, but from love, our Lord adds, 
yea^ and his own life also. It is plain therefore that a man 
ought to hate his neighbour, by loving as himself him 
who hated him. For then we rightly hate our own soul 
when we indulge not its carnal desires, when we subdue its 
appetites, and wrestle against its pleasures. That which by 
being despised is brought to a better condition, is as it were 
loved by hatred. Cyril ; But life must not be renounced, 
which both in the body and the soul the blessed Paul also 
preserved, that yet living in the body he might preach Christ. 
But when it was necessary to despise life so that he might Acts 20, 
finish his course, he counts not his life dear unto him. ^^' 

Greg. How the hatred of life ought to be shewn He Greg, in 
declares as follows ; Whosoever hears not his cross, ^c. ^°"^* "' 
Chrys. He means not that we should place a beam of wood 
on our shoulders, but that we should ever have death before 
our eyes. As also Paul died daily and despised death. 1 cor. 
Basil; By bearing the cross also he announced the death ^^'^^* 
of his Lord, saying. The world is crucified to me, a?id I to gk\. 6, 
the world, which we also anticipate at our very baptism, in ^*' 
which our old man is crucified, that the body of sin may be 
destroyed. Greg. Or because the cross is so called from Greg, in 
torturing. In two ways we bear our Lord's cross, either ?i°.™i, 
when by abstinence we afflict our bodies, or when through 
compassion of our neighbour we think all his necessities our 
own. But because some exercise abstinence of the flesh not 
for God's sake but for vain-glory, and shew compassion, not 
spiritually but carnally, it is rightly added. And cometh 
after me. For to bear His cross and come after the Lord, is 
to use abstinence of the flesh, or compassion to our neigh- 
bour, from the desire of an eternal gain. 

28. For which of you, hiteriding to build a tower, 


sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether 
he have sufficient to finish it? 

29. Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, 
and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to 
mock him, 

30. Saying, This man began to build, and was not 
able to finish. 

31. Or what king, going to make war against 
another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth 
whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him 
that cometh against him with twenty thousand ? 

32. Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, 
he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of 

33. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that for- 
saketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. 

Greg. Greg. Because He had been giving high and lofty pre- 

37. in cepts, immediately follows the comparison of building a 

tower, when it is said, For which of you intending to build a 

tower does not first count ^c. For every thing that we do 

should be preceded by anxious consideration. If then we 

desire to build a tower of humility, we ought first to brace 

Basil, ourselves against the ills of this world. Basil ; Or the tower 

^2^ ^^^' is a lofty watch-tower fitted for the guardianship of the city 

and the discovery of the enemy's approach. In like manner 

was our understanding given us to presence the good, to guard 

against the evil. For the building up whereof the Lord bids 

us sit down and count our means if we have sufficient to 

Greg, finish. Greg. Nyss. For we must be ever pressing onward 

Vire ^^^ ^^ ^^y reach the end of each difficult undertaking by 

18. successive increases of the commandments of God, and so to 

the completion of the divine work. For neither is one stone the 

whole fabric of the tower, nor does a single command lead 

to the perfection of the soul. But we must lay the foundation, 

iCor.3, and according to the Apostle, thereupon must be placed 

store of gold, silver, and precious stones. Whence it is 

added. Lest haply qfter he hath laid the foundation, 8$c, 

VER. 28 — 33. ST. LUKE. 519 

Theophyl. For we ought not to lay a foundation, i. c. brgin 
to follow Christ, and not bring the work to an end, as those of 
whom St. John writes, That many of his disciples went back- J"hn 6, 
ward. Or by the foundation understand the word of teaching, as * 
for instance concerning abstinence. There is need therefore of 
the above-mentioned foundation, that the building up of our 
works be established, a tower of strength from the face of the,3. 
enemy. Otherwise, man is laughed at by those who see him, 
men as well as devils. Greg. For when occupied in good Greg, 
works, unless we watch carefully against the fevil spirits, we"^^'*"^' 
find those our mockers who are persuading us to evil. But 
another comparison is added proceeding from the less to the 
greater, in order that from the least things the greatest may be 
estimated. For it follows, Or what king, going to make war 
against another king, sitteth not down first, and considteth 
whether he he able with ten thousand to meet Mm that cometh 
against him with twenty thousand? Cyril; For weJightE^h.6, 
against spiritual wickedness in high places; but there presses ' 
upon us a multitude also of other enemies, fleshly lust, the 
law of sin raging in our members, and various passions, that 
is, a dreadful multitude of enemies. Aug. Or the ten thou- 
sand of him who is going to fight with the king who has 
twenty, signify the simplicity of the Christian about to 
contend with the subtlety of the devil. Theophyl. The 
king is sin reigning in our mortal body ; but our understand- Rom. 6, 
ing also was created king. If then he wishes to fight against * 
sin, let him consider with his whole mind. For the devils 
are the satellites of sin, which being twenty thousand, seem 
to surpass in number our ten thousand, because that being 
spiritual compared to us who are corporeal, they are come to 
have much greater strength. 

Aug. But as with respect to the unfinished tower, he alarms Aug. 
us by the reproaches of those who say, The man began to build, " ^"^* 
and was not able to finish, so with regai'd to the king with whom 
the battle was to be, he reproved even peace, adding, Or else, 
while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambas- 
sage, and desireth conditions of peace; signifying that those 
also who forsake all they possess cannot endure from 
the devil the threats of even coming temptations, and 
make peace with him by consenting unto him to commit 


Greg. sin. Greg. Or else, in that awful trial we come not to the 
ut sup. judgment a match for our king, for ten thousand are against 
twenty thousand, two against one. He comes with a double 
army against a single. For while we are scarcely prepared in 
deeds only, he sifts us at once both in thought and deed. While 
then he is yet afar off, who though still present in judgment, is 
not seen, let us send him an embassy, our tears, our works 
of mercy, the propitiatory victim. This is our message which 
appeases the coming king. 

Aug. Now to what these comparisons refer, He on the 
same occasion sufficiently explained, when he said. So like- 
wise whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he 
hath, he cannot he my disciple. The cost therefore of build- 
ing the tower, and the strength of the ten thousand against the 
king who has twenty thousand, mean nothing else than that 
each one should forsake all that he hath. The foregoing 
introduction tallies then with the final conclusion. For in the 
saying that a man forsakes all that he hath, is contained also 
that he hates his father and mother, his wife and children, 
brothers and sisters, yea and his own wife also. For all 
these things are a man's own, which entangle him, and hinder 
him from obtaining not those particular possessions which will 
pass away with time, but those common blessings which will 
abide for ever. 

Basil ; But our Lord's intention in the above-mentioned 
example is not indeed to afford occasion or give liberty to any 
one to become His disciple or not, as indeed it is lawful not to 
begin a foundation, or not to treat of peace, but to shew the 
impossibility of pleasing God, amidst those things which 
distract the soul, and in which it is in danger of becoming an 
easy prey to the snares and wiles of the devil. Bede ; But 
there is a difference between renouncing all things and leav- 
ing all things. For it is the way of few perfect men to leave 
all things, that is, to cast behind them the cares of the world, 
but it is the part of all the faithful to renounce all things, that 
is, so to hold the things of the world as by them not to be 
held in the world, 

34. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his 
savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned ? 

VER. 34, 35. ST. LUKE. 521 

35. It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the 
dunghill ; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to 
hear, let him hear. 

Bede ; He had said above that the tower of virtue was not 
only to be begun, but also to be completed, and to this be- 
longs the following, Salt is good. It is a good thing to 
season the secrets of the heart with the salt of spiritual 
wisdom, nay with the Apostles to become the salt of the earth. M^tt. 5 
For salt in substance consists of water and air, having a ^*- 
slight mixture of earth, but it dries up the fluent nature of 
corrupt bodies so as to preserve them from decay. Fitly then 
He compares His disciples to salt, inasmuch as they are re- 
generated by water and the Spirit ; and as living altogether 
spiritually and not according to the flesh, they after the man- 
ner of salt change the corrupt life of men who live on the 
earth, and by their own virtuous lives delight and season 
their followers. 

Theophyl. But not only those who are gifted with the 
grace of teachers, but private individuals also He requires to 
become like salt, useful to those around them. But if he who 
is to be useful to others becomes reprobate, he cannot be pro- 
fited, as it follows. But if the salt has lost his savour, iv here- 
with shall it he seasoned^ Bede ; As if He says, " If a man 
who has once been enlightened by the seasoning of truth, 
falls back into apostacy, by what other teacher shall he be 
corrected, seeing that the sweetness of msdom which he 
tasted he has cast away, alarmed by the troubles or allured 
by the attractions of the world ; hence it follows. It is neither 
Jit tor the land, nor yet for the dunghill, S^c. For salt when 
it has ceased to be fit for seasoning food and drying flesh, 
will be good for nothing. For neither is it useful to the land, 
which when it is cast thereon is hindered from bearing, nor 
for the dunghill to benefit the dressing of the land. So he who 
after knowledge of the truth falls back, is neither able to bring 
forth the fruit of good works himself, nor to instruct others ; 
but he must be cast out of doors, that is, must be separated 
from the unity of the Church. Theophyl. But because His 
discourse was in parables and dark sayings, our Lord, in order 
to rouse His hearers that they might not receive inditt'erently 




what was said of the salt, adds, He that hath ears to hear, 
let him hear, that is, as he has wisdom let him understand. 
For we must take the ears here as the perceptive power of the 
mind and capacity of understanding. Bede ; Let him hear 
also not by despising, but by doing what he has learnt. 


1. Then drew near unto him all the Publicans and 
sinners for to hear him. 

2. And the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, say- 
ing, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with 

3. And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 

4. What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if 
he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and 
nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, 
until he find it ? 

5. And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his 
shoulders, rejoicing. 

6. And when he cometh home, he calleth together 
his friends and neighbours, saying unto them. Rejoice 
with me ; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 

7. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in 
heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than 
over ninety and nine just persons, which need no re- 

Ambrose ; Thou hadst learnt by what went before not to 
be occupied by the business of this world, not to prefer 
transitory things to eternal. But because the frailty of man 
can not keep a firm step in so slippery a world, the good 
Physician has shewn thee a remedy even after falling ; the 
merciful Judge has not denied the hope of pardon; hence 
it is added. Then drew near unto him all the publicans. 
Gloss. That is, those who collect or farm the public taxes, Gloss. 



and who make a business of following after worldly gain. 
Theophyl. For this was His wont, for the sake whereof 
He had taken upon Him the flesh, to receive sinners as the 
physician those that are sick. But the Pharisees, the really 
guilty, returned murmurs for this act of mercy, as it follows. 
And the Pharisees and Scribes murmured^ saying^ S^c. 
Greg, in GjREG. From which we may gather, that true justice feels 
34? in compassion, false justice scorn, although the just are wont 
Evang. rightly to repel sinners. But there is one act proceeding 
from the swelling of pride, another from the zeal for disci- 
pline. For the just, though without they spare not rebukes 
for the sake of discipline, within cherish sweetness from 
charity. In their own minds they set above themselves 
those whom they correct, whereby they keep both them 
under by discipline, and themselves by humility. But, on 
the contrary, they who from false justice are wont to pride 
themselves, despise all others, and never in mercy condescend 
to the weak ; and thinking themselves not to be sinners, 
are so much the worse sinners. Of such were the Pharisees, 
who condemning our Lord because He received sinners, 
with parched hearts reviled the very fountain of mercy. 
But because they were so sick that they knew not of their 
sickness, to the end that they might know what they were, 
the heavenly Physician answers them with mild applications. 
For it follows, And he sjjake this parable unto them, say- 
ing^ What man of you having an hundred sheep, and if he 
lose one of them, does not go after it, S^c. He gave a com- 
parison which man might recognise in himself, though it 
referred to the Creator of men. For since a hundred is a 
perfect number. He Himself had a hundred sheep, seeing 
that He possessed the nature of the holy angels and men. 
Hence he adds, Having an hundred sheep. 

Cyril; We may hence understand the extent of our 
Saviour's kingdom. For He says there are a hundred sheep, 
bringing to a perfect sum the number of rational creatures 
subject to Him. For the number hundred is perfect, being 
composed often decades. But out of these one has wandered, 
namely, the race of man which inhabits earth. Ambrose ; 
Rich then is that Shepherd of whom we all are a hundredth 
part; and hence it follows. And if he lose one qf them, does 

VER. 1 7. ST. LUKK. 525 

he not leave S^c. Greg. One sheep then perished when man 
by sinning left the pastures of hfe. But in the wilderness 
the ninety and nine remained, because the number of the 
rational creatures, that is to say of Angels and men who were 
formed to see God, was lessened when man perished; and 
hence it follows. Does he not leave the ninety and nine in the 
wilderness, because in truth he left the companies of the 
Angels in heaven. But man then forsook heaven when he 
sinned. And that the whole body of the sheep might be per- 
fectly made up again in heaven, the lost man was sought for 
on earth ; as it follows, A^id go after that ^c. Cyril ; But 
was He then angry with the rest, and moved by kindness 
only to one? By no means. For they are in safety, the right 
hand of the Most Mighty being their defence. It behoved 
Him rather to pity the perishing, that the remaining num- 
ber might not seem imperfect. For the one being brought 
back, the hundred regains its own proper form. Aug. Or He Aug. de 
spoke of those ninety and nine whom He left in the wilderness, Ev.lib.*2. 
signifying the proud, who bear solitude as it were in their mind, ^"* ^2- 
in that they wish to appear themselves alone, to whom unity 
is wanting for perfection. For when a man is torn from 
unity, it is by pride ; since desiring to be his own master, he 
follows not that One which is God, but to that One God ordains 
all who are reconciled by repentance, which is obtained by hu- 
mility. Greg. Nyss. But when the shepherd had found the Greg, 
sheep, he did not punish it, he did not get it to the flock hy ^°^"*^® 
driving it, but by placing it upon his shoulder, and carrying it Pecc. 
gently, he united it to his flock. Hence it follows, And when he 
hath found it, he layeth it upon his shoulders rejoicing. 
Greg. He placed the sheep upon his shoulders, for taking Greg, in 
man's nature upon Him he bore our sins. But having found 3^°™' 
the sheep, he returns home; for our Shepherd having restored 1 Pet. 2, 
man, returns to his heavenly kingdom. And hence it follows, i.sai.63. 
And coming he collects together his friends and neighbours, 
saying to them. Rejoice with me, for 1 have found my sJieep 
which was lost. By His friends and neighbours He means the 
companies of Angels, who are His friends because they are 
keeping His will in their own stedfastness; they are also His 
neighbours, because by their own constant waiting upon Him 
they enjoy the brightness of His sight. Theophyl. The heavenly 


powers thus are called sheep, because every created nature 
as compared with God is as the beasts, but inasmuch 
as it is rational, they are called friends and neighbours. 
Greg. Greg. And we must observe that He says not, " Rejoice 
m Horn, ^^^j^ ^YiQ sheep that is found," but with me, because truly our 
life is His joy, and when we are brought home to heaven 
we fill up the festivity of His joy. Ambrose; Now the 
angels, inasmuch as they are intelligent beings, do not un- 
reasonably rejoice at the redemption of men, as it follows, 
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one 
sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine Just 
persons who need no repentance. Let this serve as an 
incentive to goodness, for a man to believe that his conversion 
will be pleasing to the assembled angels, whose favour he 
Greg, ought to court, or whose displeasure to fear. Greg. But he 
ubisup. allows there is more joy in heaven over the converted sinner, 
than over the just who remain stedfast; for the latter for 
the most part, not feeling themselves oppressed by the weight 
of their sins, stand indeed in the way of righteousness, but 
still do not anxiously sigh after the heavenly country, 
frequently being slow to perform good works, from their 
confidence in themselves that they have committed no grievous 
sins. But, on the other hand, sometimes those who remember 
certain iniquities that they have committed, being- pricked 
to the heart, from their very grief grow inflamed towards 
the love of God ; and because they consider they have 
wandered from God, make vip for their former losses by the 
succeeding gains. Greater then is the joy in heaven, just as 
the leader in battle loves that soldier more who having turned 
from flight, bravely pursues the enemy, than him who never 
turned his back and never did a brave act. So the husband- 
man rather loves that land which after bearing thorns yields 
abundant fi^uit, than that which never had thorns, and never 
gave him a plentiful crop. But in the mean time we must 
be aware that there are very many just men in whose 
life there is so much joy, that no penitence of sinners however 
great can in any way be preferred to them. Whence we 
may gather what great joy it causes to God when the just man 
humbly mourns, if it produces joy in heaven when the unrigh- 
teous by his repentance condemns the evil that he has done. 

VER. 8 — 10. ST. LUKE. 527 

8. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, 
if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and 
sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it ? 

9. And when she hath found it, she calleth her 
friends and her neighbours together, saying. Rejoice 
with me ; for I have found the piece which I had 

10. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the 
presence of the angels of God over one sinner that 

Chkys. By the preceding parable, in which the race ofchrys. 

1 • 1 t n -1*1 1 lion occ. 

mankind was spoken or as a wandering sheep, we were shewn 

to be the creatures of the most high God, who has made us, Ps. 95, 

and not we ourselves, and we are the sheep of his pasture. ' ' 

But now is added a second parable, in which the race of man 

is compared to a piece of silver which was lost, by which he 

shews that we were made according to the royal likeness and 

image, that is to say, of the most high God. For the piece 

of silver is a coin having the impress of the king's image, as 

it is said, Or what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she 

lose one, ^c. Greg. He who is signified by the shepherd, Greg. 

is also by the woman. For it is God Himself, God and the 34. in 

wisdom of God, but the Lord has formed the nature of angels ^^• 

and men to know Him, and has created them after His 

likeness. The woman then had ten pieces of silver, because 

there are nine orders of angels, but that the number of the 

elect might be filled up, man the tenth was created. Aug. Aug. de 

Or by the nine pieces of silver, as by the ninety and nine sheep, Evffjb. 

He represents those who trusting in themselves, prefer 2- qu. 

themselves to sinners returning to salvation. For there is 

one wanting to nine to make it ten, and to ninety -nine to 

make it a hundred. To that One He ordains all who are 

reconciled by repentance. Greg. And because there is an Greg. 
11. /. -1 T 11 wt sup. 

image impressed on the piece of silver, the woman lost the 

piece of silver when man (who was created after the image of 

God) by sinning departed from the likeness of his Creator. 

And this is what is added, If she lose one piece, doth she not 

light a candle. The woman lighted a candle because the 


wisdom of God appeared in man. For the candle is a light 
in an earthen vessel, but the light in an earthen vessel is 
the Godhead in the flesh. But the candle being lit, it 
evertit follows, And disturbs the house. Because verily no sooner 
had his Divinity shone forth through the flesh, than all our 
consciences were appalled. Which word of disturbance 
differs not from that which is read in other manuscripts, 
everrit sweeps, because the corrupt mind if it be not first over- 
thrown through fear, is not cleansed from its habitual faults. 
But when the house is broken up, the piece of silver is found, 
for it follows. And seeks diligerdly till she find it ; for truly 
when the conscience of man is disturbed, the likeness of the 
Creator is restored in man. 
Greg. Greg. Naz. But the piece of silver being found. He makes 
^1^\q the heavenly powers partakers of the joy whom He made the 
ministers of His dispensation, and so it follows, A^id when she 
had found it, she calls togethei' her friends and neighbours. 
Gre^. Greg. For the heavenly powers are nigh unto Divine wisdom, 
23 ^jj™' inasmuch as they approach Him through the gi-ace of con- 
sup, tinual vision. Theophyl. Either they are friends as per- 
forming His will, but neighbours as being spiritual ; or perhaps 
His friends are all the heavenly powers, but His neighbours 
those that come near to Him, as Thrones, Cherubims, and 
Greg. Greg. Nyss. Or else ; this I suppose is what our Lord sets 
^y.' ^^ before us in the search after the lost piece of silver, that no 
c. 12. advantage attaches to us from the external virtues which He 
calls pieces of silver, although all of them be ours, as long as 
that one is lacking to the widowed soul, by which in truth 
it obtains the brightness of the Divine image. Wherefore 
He first bids us light a candle, that is to say, the divine word 
which brings hidden things to light, or perhaps the torch of 
repentance. But in his own house, that is, in himself and 
his own conscience, must a man seek for the lost piece of 
silver, that is, the royal image, which is not entirely defaced, 
but is hid under the dirt, which signifies its corruption of the 
flesh, and this being diligently wiped away, that is, washed 
out by a well-spent life, that which was sought for shines 
forth. Therefore ought she who has found it to rejoice, and to 
call to partake of her joy the neighbours, (that is, the com- 

VER. 11 16. ST. LUKE. 529 

panion virtues,) reason, desire, and anger, and whatever 
povj^ers are observed round the soul, w^hich she teaches to 
rejoice in the Lord. Then concluding the parable, He adds. 
There is joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner 
that repentelh. Greg. To work repentance is to mourn Greg, 
over past sins, and not to commit things to be mourned over. IJ^ ^^' 
For he who weeps over some things so as yet to commit others, sup. 
still knows not how to work repentance, or is a hypocrite; he 
must also reflect that by so doing he satisfies not his Creator, 
since he who had done what was forbidden, must cut off 
himself even from what is lawful, and so should blame 
himself in the least things who remembers that he has offended 
in the greatest, 

11. And he said, A certain man had two sons : 

12. And the younger of them said to his father, 
Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to 
me. And he divided unto them his living. 

13. And not many days after the younger son 
gathered all together, and took his journey into a 
far country, and there wasted his substance with 
riotous living. 

14. And when he had spent all, there arose a 
mighty famine in that land ; and he began to be in 

15. And he went and joined himself to a citizen 
of that country ; and he sent him into his fields to 
feed swine. 

16. And he would fain have filled his belly with 
the husks that the swine did eat : and no man gave 
unto him. 

Ambrose; St. Luke has given three parables successively; 
the sheep which was lost and found, the piece of silver which 
was lost and found, the son who was dead and came to life 
again, in order that invited by a threefold remedy, we might 
heal our wounds. Christ as the Shepherd bears thee on His 
own body, the Church as the woman seeks for thee, God as 

VOL. III. 2 M 


the Father receives thee, the first, pity, the second, inter- 
cession, the third, reconcihation. 
Chrys. Chrys There is also in the above-mentioned parable a -^,... .i/> i-i t 

Patreetrule 01 distuiction With reference to the characters or dis- 
p"°^"^ positions of the sinners. The father receives his penitent son, 
exercising the freedom of his will, so as to know from whence 
he had fallen ; and the shepherd seeks for the sheep that 
wanders and knows not how to return, and carries it on his 
shoulders, comparing to an irrational animal the foolish man, 
who, taken by another's guile, had wandered like a sheep. 
This parable is then set forth as follows; Brit he said, A 
certain man had two sons. There are some who say of 
these two sons, that the elder is the angels, but the younger, 
man, who departed on a long journey, when he fell from 
heaven and paradise to earth ; and they adapt what follows 
with reference to the fall or condition of Adam. This inter- 
pretation seems indeed a lenient one, but I know not if it be 
true. For the younger son came to repentance of his own 
accord, remembering the past plenty of his father's house, 
but the Lord coming called the race of man to repentance, 
because he saw that to return of their own accord to whence 
they had fallen had never been in their thoughts ; and the 
elder son is vexed at the return and safety of his brother, 
w^hereas the Lord says, There is joy in heaven over one 
sinner repenting. Cyril; But some say that by the elder 
son is signified Israel according to the flesh, but by the other 
who left his father, the multitude of the Gentiles. 
Aug. de Aug. This man then having two sons is understood to be 
jg^'^l^jj God having two nations, as if they were two roots of the 
qu. 33. human race ; and the one composed of those who have 
remained in the worship of God, the other, of those who 
have ever deserted God to worship idols. From the very 
beginning then of the creation of mankind the elder son has 
reference to the worship of the one God, but the younger 
seeks that the part of the substance which fell to him should 
be given him by his father. Hence it follows. And the younger 
of them said unto his father, Give me the portion of goods 
which falleih to me ; just as the soul delighted with its own 
power seeks that which belongs to it, to live, to understand, 
to remember, to excel in quickness of intellect, all which are 

VER. 11 16. ST. LUKE. 531 

the gifts of God, but it has received them in its own power 
by free will. Hence it follows, A?id he divided unto them 
his substance. Theophyl. The substance of man is the 
capacity of reason which is accompanied by free will, and in 
like manner whatever God has given us shall be accounted 
for our substance, as the heaven, the earth, and universal 
nature, the Law and the Prophets. 

Ambrose ; Now you see that the Divine patrimony is given 
to them that seek ; nor think it wrong in the father that he 
gave it to the younger, for no age is weak in the kingdom of 
God ; faith is not weighed down by years. He at least counted 
himself sufficient who asked. And I wish he had not departed 
from his father, nor had the hindrance of age. For it follows, 
And not many days after, the younger son gathered, all toge- 
ther , and took his journey into a far country. Chrys. TheChrys. 
younger son set out into a distant country, not locally de- 
parting from God, who is every where present, but in heart. 
For the sinner flees from God that he may stand afar off. Aug. Aug. in 
Whoever wishes to be so like to God as to ascribe his strength ^' ' 

Ps. 59 

to Him, let him not depart from Him, but rather cleave to Him 9. 
that he may preserve the likeness and image in which he 
was made. But if he perversely wishes to imitate God, that 
as God has no one by whom He is governed, so should he 
desire to exercise his own power as to live under no rules, 
what remains for him but that having lost all heat he 
should grow^ cold and senseless, and, departing from truth, 
vanish away. 

Aug. But that which is said to have taken place not 
days after, namely, that gathering all together he set outg^^j'j^ 
abroad into a far country, which is forgetfulness of God, "qu. 
signifies that not long after the institution of the human race,^ 
the soul of man chose of its free will to take with it a certain 
power of its nature, and to desert Him by whom it was created, 
trusting in its own strength, which it wastes the more rapidly 
as it has abandoned Him who gave it. Hence it follow^s, Aiid 
there wasted his substance in riotous living. But he calls a 
riotous or prodigal life one that loves to spend and lavish itself 
with outward show, while exhausting itself within, since every 
one follows those things which pass on to something else, 
and forsakes Him who is closest to himself As it follows, 

2 M 2 


And whefi he had spent all, there arose a great famine in 
that land. The famine is the want of the word of truth. 

It follows, A7id he began to be in want. Fitly did he begin 
to be in want who abandoned the treasures of the wisdom 
and the knowledge of God, and the unfathomableness of the 
heavenly riches. It follows, And he went and joined himself 
Aug. to a citizen of that country. Aug. One of the citizens of 
u 1 sup. ^^^ country was a certain prince of the air belonging to 
the army of the devil, whose fields signify the manner of 
his power, concerning which it follows. And he sent him 
into the field to feed swine. The swine are the unclean 
spirits which are under him. Bede; But to feed swine is 
to work those things in which the unclean spirits delight. 
It follows, And he would have filled his belly with the husks 
which the swine did eat. The husk is a sort of bean, empty 
within, soft outside, by which the body is not refreshed, but 
Aug. filled, so that it rather loads than nourishes. Aug. The husks 
ubi sup. j^Q^ with which the swine were fed are the teaching of the 
world, which cries loudly of vanity ; according to which in 
various prose and verse men repeat the praises of the idols, 
and fables belonging to the gods of the Gentiles, wherewith 
the devils are delighted. Hence when he would fain have 
filled himself, he wished to find therein something stable and 
upright which might relate to a happy life, and he could not; 
as it follows. And no one gave to him. 

Cyril; But since the Jews are frequently reproved in holy 
Jer.2, 5. Scripture for their many crimes, how agree with this people 
Isa. 29, ^^ words of the elder son, saying, Zo, these many years do 
I serve thee., neither transgressed I at any time thy com- 
mandment. This then is the meaning of the parable. The 
Pharisees and Scribes reproved Him because He received 
sinners; He set forth the parable in which He calls God 
the man who is the father of the two sons, (that is, the 
righteous and the sinners,) of whom the first degree is of 
the righteous who follow righteousness from the beginning, 
the second is of those men who are brought back by repent- 
Basil, ance to righteousness. Basil ; Besides, it belongs more 
Esai. 3, to the character of the aged to have an old man's mind 
and gravity, than his hoar hairs, nor is he blamed who 
is young in age, but it is the young in habits who lives 

VER. 11 — 16. ST. LUKE. 533 

according to his passions. Tit. Bost. The younger son then 
went away not yet matured in mind, and seeks from his 
father the part of his inheritance which fell to him, that in 
truth he might not serve of necessity. For we are rational 
animals endowed with free will. 

Chrys. Now the Scripture says, that the father divided Chrys. 
equally between his tvvo sons his substance, that is, the^*'^^^' 
knowledge of good and evil, which is a true and everlasting 
possession to the soul that uses it well. The substance of 
reason which flows from God to men at their earliest birth, 
is given equally to all who come into this world, but after the 
intercourse that follows, each one is found to possess more 
or less of the substance ; since one believing that which he 
has received to be from his father, preserves it as his patri- 
mony, another abuses it as something that may be wasted 
away, by the liberty of his own possession. But the freedom 
of will is shewn in that the father neither kept back the son 
who wished to depart, nor forced the other to go that desired 
to remain, lest he should seem rather the author of the evil 
that followed. But the youngest son went afar off, not by 
changing his place, but by turning aside his heart. Hence it 
follows. He took a journeif into a far country. Ambrose ; For 
what is more afar off than to depart from one's self, to be separate 
not by country but by habits. For he who severs himself 
from Christ is an exile from his country, and a citizen of this 
world. Fitly then does he waste his patrimony who departs 
from the Church. Tit. Bost. Hence too was the prodigal 
denominated one who wasted his substance, that is, his right 
understanding, the teaching of chastity, the knowledge of the 
truth, the recollections of his father, the sense of creation. 

Ambrose ; Now there came to pass in that country a 
famine not of food but of good works and virtues, which 
is the more wretched fast. For he who departs from the 
word of God is hungry, because man does not live on bread Matt. 4, 
alone, but on every word of God. And he who departs from 
his treasures is in want. Therefore began he to be in want 
and to suffer hunger, because nothing satisfies a prodigal 
mind. He went away therefore, and attached himself to one of 
the citizens. For he who is attached, is in a snare. And that 
citizen seems to be a prince of the world. Lastly, he is sent 


Lu^e to his farm which he bouo^ht who excused himself from the 

14 18 

kingdom. Bede ; For to be sent to the farm is to be en- 
thralled by the desire of worldly substance. Ambrose ; But 
Matt. 8. he feeds those swine into whom the devil sought to enter. 
Lake 8.^^^'^^^^ in filth and pollution. Theophyl. There then he 
feeds, who surpassed others in vice, such as are panders, 
arch-robbers, arch-publicans, who teach others their abomi- 
nable works. 
Chrys. Chrys. Or he who is destitute of spiritual riches, as 

Ut sup. ., - , -. . . />!• I ' 

wisdom and understanding, is said to feed swme, that is, to 
nourish in his soul sordid and unclean thoughts, and he 
devours the material food of evil conversation, sweet indeed 
to him who lacks good works, because every work of carnal 
pleasure seems sweet to the depraved, while it inwardly un- 
nerves and destroys the powers of the soul. Food of this 
kind, as being swines' food and hurtfully sweet, that is, the 
allurements of fleshly delights, the Scripture describes by 
the name of husks. Ambrose ; But he desired to fill his 
belly with the husks. For the sensual care for nothing else 
but to fill their bellies. Theophyl. To whom no one gives 
a sufficiency of evil ; for he is afar from God who lives on such 
things, and the devils do their best that a satiety of evil 
should never come. Gloss. Or no one gave to him, because 
when the devil makes any one his own, he procures no 
further abundance for him, knowing him to be dead. 

17. And when he came to himself, he said, How 
many hired servants of my father's have bread enough 
and to spare, and I perish with hunger ! 

18. I will arise and go to my father, and will say 
unto him. Father, I have sinned against heaven, and 
before thee, 

19. And am no more worthy to be called thy son : 
make me as one of thy hired servants. 

20. And he arose, and came to his father. But 
when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, 
and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, 
and kissed him. 

VER. 17 — 24. ST. LUKE. 535 

21. And the son said unto him. Father, I have 
sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no 
more worthy to be called thy son. 

22. But the father said to his servants. Bring forth 
the best robe, and put it on him ; and put a ring on 
his hand, and shoes on his feet : 

23. And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; 
and let us eat, and be merry : 

24. For this my son was dead, and is alive again ; 
he was lost, and is found. And they began to be 

Greg. Nyss. The younger son had despised his father Greg, 
when first he departed, and had wasted his father's money. muLpec- 
But when in course of time he was broken down by hardship, cat, 
having become a hired seiTant, and eating the same food 
with the swine, he returned, chastened, to his father's house. 
Hence it is said, And when he came to himself, he said, 
How many hired servants of my father^ s have bread, enough 
and to spare, hut I perish with hunger. Ambrose ; He 
rightly returns to himself, because he departed from him- 
self For he who returns to God restores himself to himself, 
and he who departs from Christ rejects himself from himself. 
Aug. But he returned to himself, when from those things Aug. de 
which without unprofitably entice and seduce, he brought Jg'J^^jl^^ 
back his mind to the inward recesses of his conscience. ii.qu.33. 

Basil ; There are three different distinct kinds of obedi- 
ence. For either from fear of punishment we avoid evil and 
are servilely disposed ; or looking to the gain of a reward 
we perform what is commanded, like to mercenaries ; or 
we obey the law for the sake of good itself and our love to 
Him who gave it, and so savour of the mind of children. 
Ambrose ; For the son who has the pledge of the Holy 
Spirit in his heart seeks not the gain of an earthly reward, 
but preserves the right of an heir. These are also good Matt, 
husbandmen, to whom the vineyard is let out. They abound ' * 
not in husks, but bread. Aug. But whence could be know Aug. 
this who had that great forgetfulness of God, which exists" ' ^"^* 


in all idolaters, unless it was the reflection of one returning 

to his right understanding, when the Gospel was preached. 

Already might such a soul see that many ])reach the truth, 

among whom there were some not led by the love of the 

truth itself, but the desire of getting worldly profit, who yet 

do not preach another Gospel like the heretics. Therefore 

are they rightly called mercenaries. For in the same house 

there are men who handle the same bread of the word, yet 

are not called to an eternal inheritance, but hire themselves 

for a temporal reward. 

Chrys. Chrys. After that he had suffered in a foreign land all 

Patre et such things as the wicked deserve, constrained by the 

duobus necessity of his misfortunes, that is, by hunger and want, he 

Filiis » «-' 

becomes sensible of what had been his ruin, who through 
fault of his own will had thrown himself from his father to 
strangers, from home to exile, from riches to want, from 
abundance and luxury to famine ; and he significantly 
adds. Bat I am here perishing with hunger. As though he 
said; I am not a stranger, but the son of a good father, and 
the brother of an obedient son ; I who am free and noble am 
become more wretched than the hired servants, sunk from 
the highest eminence of exalted rank, to the lowest degra- 
Ci^reg. dation. Greg. Nyss. But he returned not to his former hap- 
' piness before that coming to himself he had experienced the 
presence of overpowering bitterness, and resolved the words 
Aug. of repentance, which are added, 1 uill arise. Aug. For he 
^"^* was lying down. And I uill go^ for he was a long way off. 
To my father, because he was under a master of swine. 
But the other words are those of one meditating repentance 
in confession of sin, but not yet working it. For he does not 
now speak to his father, but promises that he will speak 
when he shall come. You must understand then that this 
** coming to the father" must now be taken for being esta- 
blished in the Church by faith, where there may yet be a 
lawful and effectual confession of sins. He says then that 
he will say to his father. Father. Ambrose ; How merciful ! 
He, though offended, disdains not to hear the name of 
Father. / have sinned; this is the first confession of sin 
to the Author of nature, the Ruler of mercy, the Judge 
of faith. But though God knows all things, He yet waits 

VER. 17 24. ST. LUKE. 537 

for the voice of thy confession. For with the mouth con- 
fession is made to salvation, since he hghtens the load 
of error, who himself throweth the weight upon himself, 
and shuts out the hatred of accusation, who anticipates 
the accuser by confessing. In vain would you hide from 
Him whom nothing escapes ; and you may safely discover 
what you know to be ah-eady known. Confess the rather 
that Christ may intercede for thee, the Church plead for 
thee, the people weep over thee : nor fear that thou wilt 
not obtain; tliy Advocate promises pardon, thy Patron favour, 
thy Deliverer promises thee the reconciliation of thy Father's 
affection. But he adds. Against heaven and before thee. 
Chrys. When he says, Before thee, he shews that this father Chrys. 
must be understood as God. For God alone beholds all" ^ ^"P* 
things, from Whom neither the simple thoughts of the heart 
can be hidden. 

Aug. But whether was this sin against heaven, the same Aug. de 
as that which is before thee; so that he described by thejEvrn. 
name of heaven his father's supremacy. / have sinned^- '^^'^^' 
against heaven, i. e. before the souls of the saints; but before 
thee in the very sanctuary of my conscience. 

Chrys. Or by heaven in this place may be understood Chrys. 
Christ. For he who sins against heaven, which although "' ^"P* 
above us is yet a visible element, is the same as he who 
sins against man, whom the Son of God took into Himself 
for our salvation. Ambrose; Or by these words are signified 
the heavenly gifts of the Spirit impaired by the sin of the soul, 
or because Irom the bosom of his mother Jerusalem which is 
in heaven, he ought never to depart. But being cast down, he 
must by no means exalt himself. Hence he adds, / am no 
more worthy to be called thy son. And that he might be 
raised up by the merit of his humility, he adds. Make me 
as one of thy hired servants. 

Bede ; To the affection of a son, who doubts not that all 
things which are his father's ai'e his, he by no means lays 
claim, but desires the condition of a hired servant, as now 
about to serve for a reward. But he admits that not even 
this could he deserve except by his father's approbation. 

Greg. Nyss. Now this prodigal son, the Holy Spirit has G^^pg. 
engraved upon our hearts, that we may be instructed how we ^"^' 



Chrys. ought to deplore the sins of our soul. CiiRYS. Who after 

in Ep. ^^^t ^^ said, / will go to my father, (which brought all good 

Rom. things,) tarried not, but took the whole journey; for it 

follows. And he arose, and came to his father. Let us do 

likewise, and not be wearied with the length of the way, for 

if we are willing, the return will become swift and easy, 

provided that we desert sin, which led us out from our 

father's house. But the father pitieth those who return. 

Aug. por it is added, And when he was yet afar off. Aug. For 

before that he perceived God afar off, when he was yet 

piously seeking him, his father saw him. For the ungodly 

and proud, God is well said not to see, as not having them 

before his eyes. For men are not commonly said to be 

before the eyes of any one except those who are beloved. 

Chrys. Chrys. Now the father perceiving his penitence did not 

\OAn ^^^* ^^ receive the words of his confession, but anticipates 

Ep. his supplication, and had compassion on him, as it is added, 

Greg, and was moved with pity. Greg. Nyss. His meditating 

ubi sup. confession so won his father to him, that he went out to meet 

him, and kissed his neck; for it follows, and ran, and fell 

on his neck, and kissed him. This signifies the yoke of 

reason imposed on the mouth of man by Evangelical tra- 

Chrys. dition, which annulled the observance of the law. Chrys. 

Patre For what else means it that he ran, but that we through the 

&t duob. hindrance of our sins cannot by our own virtue reach to 

God. But because God is able to come to the weak, he fell 

on his neck. The mouth is kissed, as that from which has 

proceeded the confession of the penitent, springing from the 

heart, which the father gladly received. 

Ambrose ; He runs then to meet thee, because He hears 
thee within meditating the secrets of thy heart, and when 
thou wert yet afar off, He runs lest any one should stop 
Him. He embraces also, (for in the running there is fore- 
knowledge, in the embrace mercy,) and as if by a certain 
impulse of paternal affection, falls upon thy neck, that he may 
raise up him that is cast down, and bring back again to heaven 
him that was loaded with sins and bent down to the earth. 
I had rather then be a son than a sheep. For the sheep is 
found by the shepherd, the son is honoured by the father. 
uM^sup. Aug. Or running he fell upon his neck; because the Father 

VEK. 17 — 24. ST. LUKE. 539 

abandoned not His Only-Begotten Son, in whom He has ever 
been running after our distant wanderings. For God was in 2 Cor. 5^ 
Christ reconclliug the world unto himself. But to fall upon ^^* 
his neck is to lower to his embrace His own Arm, which is 
the Lord Jesus Christ. But to be comforted by the word of 
God's grace unto the hope of pardon of our sins, this is to 
return after a long journey to obtain from a father the kiss of 
love. But already planted in the Church, he begins to con- 
fess his sins, nor says he all that he promised he would say. 
For it follows, And his son said unto him^ 8$c. He wishes that 
to be done by grace, of which he confesses himself unworthy 
by any merits of his own. He does not add what he had 
said, when meditating beforehand. Make me as one of thy 
hired servants. For when he had not bread, he desired 
to be even a hired servant, which after the kiss of his 
father he now most nobly disdained. Chrvs. The father Chryg. 
does not direct his words to his son, but speaks to his 
steward, for he who repents, prays indeed, but receives 
no answer in word, yet beholds mercy effectual in opera- 
tion. For it follows, Bitt the father said unto his servants, 
Bri7ig forth the best robe, and put it on him. Theophyl. 
By the servants (or angels) you may understand adminis- 
tering spirits, or priests who by baptism and the word of 
teaching clothe the soul with Christ Himself. For as many Gal. 3, 
of us as have been baptized in Christ have put on Christ. 
Aug. Or the best robe is the dignity which Adam lost ; Aug. de 
the servants who bring it are the preachers of reconciliation, ev. l. ii. 
Ambrose ; Or the robe is the cloke of wisdom, by which the^- '^^• 
Apostle covers the nakedness of the body. But he received 
the best wisdom ; for there is one wisdom which knew not 
the mystery. The ring is the seal of our unfeigned faith, 
and the impression of truth ; concerning which it follows, 
A7id put a ring on his hand. Bede; That is, his 
working, that by works faith may siiine forth, and by 
faith his works be strengthened. Aug. Or the ring on Aug. 
the hand is a pledge of the Holy Spirit, because of the"*^^P* 
participation of grace, which is well signified by the 
finger. Chrys. Or he orders the ring to be given, which is Chrys. 
the symbol of the seal of salvation, or rather the badge of ^ ^ ^"P* 
betrothment, and pledge of the nuptials with which Christ 


espouses His Church. Since the soul that recovers is united 
by this ring of faith to Christ. 
^"8- Aug. But the shoes on the feet are the preparation 

ubi sup. ^ 111 

for preaching the Gospel, m order not to touch earthly 
Sr^^y^-, thines. Chrys. Or he bids them put shoes on his feet, 

Horn, de *=^ , ^ . 

Patre et either for the sake of covering the soles of his feet that he may 
FiHis"^ walk firm along the slippery path of the world, or for the mor- 
tification of his members. For the course of our life is called 
in the Scriptures a foot, and a kind of mortification takes 
place in shoes ; inasmuch as they are made of the skins of 
dead animals. He adds also, that the fatted calf must be 
killed for the celebration of the feast. For it follows. 
And bring the fatted calf, that is, the Lord Jesus Christ, 
whom he calls a calf, because of the sacrifice of a body with- 
out spot; but he called it fatted, because it is rich and costly, 
inasmuch as it is sufficient for the salvation of the whole 
world. But the Father did not Himself sacrifice the calf, but 
gave it to be sacrificed to others. For the Father permitting, 
Aug. the Son consenting thereto by men was crucified. Aug. Or, 
u 1 sup. ^^^ fatted calf is our Lord Himself in the flesh loaded with 
insults. But in that the Father commands them to bring it, 
what else is this but that they preach Him, and by declaring 
Him cause to revive, yet unconsumed by hunger, the bowels 
of the hungry son } He also bids them kill Him, alluding to 
His death. For He is then killed to each man who believes 
Him slain. It follows. And let us eat. Ambrose ; Rightly 
the flesh of the calf, because it is the priestly victim which 
was offered for sin. But he introduces him feasting, when 
he says. Be merry ; to shew that the food of the Father is 
our salvation ; the joy of the Father the redemption of our 
Chrys. sins. Chrys. For the father himself rejoices in the return 
of his son, and feasts on the calf, because the Creator, 
rejoicing in the acquisition of a believing people, feasts 
on the fruit of His mercy by the sacrifice of His Son. 
Hence it follows, For this my son loas dead, and is alive 
again. Ambrose ; He is dead who was. Therefore the 
Gentiles are not, the Christian is. Here however might be 
understood one individual of the human race ; Adam was, 
and in him we all were. Adam perished, and in him we all 
have perished. Man then is restored in that Man who has 

VER. 25 — 32. ST. LUKE. 541 

died. It might also seem to be spoken of one working- 
repentance, because he dies not who has not at one time 
lived. And the Gentiles indeed when they have believed 
are made alive again by grace. But he who has fallen 
recovers by repentance. Theophyl. As then with respect 
to the condition of his sins, he had been despaired of; so in 
regard to human nature, which is changeable and can be 
turned from vice to virtue, he is said to be lost. For it is 
less to be lost than to die. But every one who is recalled 
and turned from sin, partaking of the fatted calf, becomes an 
occasion of joy to his father and his servants, that is, the 
angels and priests. Hence it follows, And they all began 
to be merry. Aug. Those banquets are now celebrated, Aug. 
the Church being enlarged and extended throughout the " ^ ^"^' 
whole world. For that calf in our Lord's body and blood 
is both offered up to the Father, and feeds the whole 

25. Now his elder son was in the field : and as he 
came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick 
and dancing. 

2(). And he called one of the servants, and asked 
what these things meant. 

27. And he said unto him. Thy brother is come ; 
and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he 
hath received him safe and sound. 

28. And he was angry, and would not go 
in : therefore came his father out, and intreated 

29. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these 
many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at 
any time thy commandment : and yet thou never 
gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my 
friends : 

30. But as soon as this thy son was come, which 
hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed 
for him the fatted calf. 


31. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with 
me, and all that I have is thine. 

32. It was meet that we should make merry, and 
be glad : for this thy brother was dead, and is alive 
again ; and was lost, and is found. 

Bede ; While the Scribes and Pharisees were murmuring 
about His receiving sinners, our Saviour put three parables to 
them successively. In the two first He hmts at the joy He 
has with the angels in the salvation of penitents. But in the 
third He not only declares His own joy and that of His 
angels, but He also blames the murmurings of those who 
were envious. For He says, Now his elder son was in the 
Aug. field. Aug. The elder son is the people of Israel, not 

ubi sup. . T , . , . '11 

indeed gone into a distant country, yet not in the house, 
but in the field, that is, in the paternal wealth of the Law and 
the Prophets, choosing to work earthly things. But coming 
from the field he began to draw nigh to the house, that is, 
the labour of his servile works being condemned by the same 
Scriptures, he was looking upon the liberty of the Church. 
Whence it follows; And as he came and drew nigh to the 
house J he heard music and dancing ; that is, men filled with 
the Holy Spirit, with harmonious voices preaching the Gospel. 
It follows. And he called one of the servants, ^c. that is, he 
takes one of the prophets to read, and as he searches in it, 
asks in a manner, why are those feasts celebrated in the 
Church at which he finds himself present ? His Father's 
servant, the prophet, answers him. For it follows ; And he 
said unto him, Thy brother is come, S^c. As if he should 
say, Thy brother was in the farthest parts of the earth, but 
hence the greater rejoicing of those who sing a new song, 

Is. 42, because His praise is from the end of the earth ; and for his 
sake who was afar off, was slain the Man who knows how to 

See Isa. bear our infirmities, for they who have not been told of Him 

63,4; , ^^. 

52 15. have seen Him. 

Ambrose ; But the younger son, that is the Gentile people, 
is envied by Israel as the elder brother, the privilege of 
his father's blessing. Which the Jews did because Christ sat 
down to meat with the Gentiles, as it follows ; And he was 
angry, and would not go in, ^c. 

VER. 25 — 3*2. ST. LUKE. 543 

Aug. He is angry even also now, and still is unwilling to 
enter. When then the fulness of the Gentiles shall have 
come in, His father will go out at the fit time that all Israel Rom. 
also may be saved, as it follows, therefore came his father ' 
out and entreated him. For there shall be at some time an 
open calling of the Jews to the salvation of the Gospel. 
Which manifestation of calling he calls the going out of the 
father to entreat the elder son. Next the answer of the elder 
son involves two questions; for it follows. And he answering 
said to Ids father, Lo these many years do I serve thee, nei- 
ther transgressed I at any time tliy commandment. With 
respect to the commandment not transgressed, it at once 
occurs, that it was not spoken of every command, but of that 
most essential one, that is, that he was seen to worship no 
other God but one, the Creator of all. Nor is that son to be 
understood to represent all Israelites, but those who have 
never turned from God to idols. For although he might 
desire earthly things, yet sought he them from God alone, 
though in common with sinners. Hence it is said, 7 was as a Ps.7,22. 
l)east before thee, and I am ahvays with thee. But who is 
the kid which he never received to make merry upon.? for it 
follows, Tliou never gavest me a kid, S^c. Under the name of 
a kid the sinner may be signified. 

Ambrose ; The Jew requires a kid, the Christian a lamb, 
and therefore is Barabbas released to them, to us a lamb is 
sacrificed. W^hich thing also is seen in the kid, because the 
Jews have lost the ancient rite of sacrifice. Or they who 
seek for a kid wait for Antichrist. Aug. But I do not see 
the object of this interpretation, for it is very absurd for him to 
whom it is afterwards said, Thou art ever ivith me, to have 
wished for this fi'om his father, i. e. to believe in Antichrist. 
Nor altogether can we rightly understand any of the Jews who 
are to believe in Antichrist to be that son. 

And how could he feast upon that kid which is Antichrist 
who did not believe in him ? But if to feast upon the slain 
kid, is the same as to rejoice at the destruction of Antichrist, 
how does the son whom the father did not entertain say that 
this was never given him, seeing that all the sons will rejoice 
at his destruction.? His complaint then is, that the Lord Him- 
self was denied him to feast upon, because he deems Him a sinner. 


For since He is a kid to that nation which regards Him as a 
violater and profaner of the Sabbath, it was not meet that they 
should be made meiTy at his banquet. But his words uith my 
friends are understood according to the relation of the chiefs 
with the people, or of the people of Jerusalem with the other 

Hier. in nations of Judgea. Jerome ; Or he says, Thou never gavest 

ad Da- ^^^^ ^ ^^^f ^^^^ is, no blood of prophet or priest has delivered 

masum. ug from the Roman power. 

Ambrose ; Now the shameless son is like to the Pharisee 
justifying himself. Because he had kept the law in the letter, 
he wickedly accused his brother for having wasted his father's 
substance with harlots. For it follows. But as soon as this 

Aug. thy son is come, who hath devoured thy living, ^c. Aug. 

u 1 sup. rpj^^ harlots are the superstitions of the Gentiles, with whom 
he wastes his substance, who having left the true mar- 
riage of the true God, goes a whoring after evil spirits from 

Hier. foul desire. Jerome; Now in that which he says, TJiotihast 
' ^^^* killed for him the fatted calf he confesses that Christ has 
come, but envy has no wish to be saved. Aug. But the 
father does not rebuke him as a liar, but commending his 
stedfastness with him invites him to the perfection of a better 
and happier rejoicing. Hence it follows. But he said to him, 

Hier. Son, thou art ever with me. Jerome ; Or after having said, 
^"^^'"This is boasting, not truth," the father does not agree with 
him, but restrains him in another way, saying. Thou art with 
me, by the law under which thou art bound ; not as though 
he had not sinned, but because God continually drew him 
back by chastening. Nor is it wonderful that he lies to his 
father who hates his brother. Ambrose; But the kind father 
was still desirous to save him, saying. Thou art ever tvith me, 
either as a Jew in the law, or as the righteous man in com- 
munion with Him. 

■^^g- Aug. But what means he that he adds, And all that I 

ubi sup. 

have is thine ^ as if they were not his brother's also? But it is 
thus that all things are looked at by perfect and immortal 
children, that each is the possession of all, and all of each. 
For as desire obtains nothing without want, so charity nothing 
with want. But how all things? Must then God be supposed 
to have subjected the angels also to the possession of such a 
son ? If you so take possession as that the po.ssessor of a thing is 

VER. 25 32. ST. LUKE. 545 

its lord, certainly not all things. For we shall not be 
the lords, but the companions of angels. Again, if possession 
is thus understood, how do we rightly say that our souls 
possess truth } I see no reason why we may not truly and 
properly say so. For we do not so speak as to call our 
souls the mistresses of truth. Or if by the term possession 
we are hindered from this sense, let that also be set aside. 
For the father says not, ^' Thou possessest all things," but 
All that I have is thine, still not as if thou wert its lord. 
For that which is our property may be either food for our 
families, or ornament, or something of the kind. And surely, 
when he can rightly call his father his own, 1 do not see 
why he may not also rightly call his own what belongs to 
his father, only in different ways. For when we shall have 
obtained that blessedness, the higher things will be ours to look 
upon, equal things ours to have fellowship with, the lower 
things ours to rule. Let then the elder brother join most 
safely in the rejoicing. Ambrose; For if he ceases to envy, he 
will feel all things to be his, either as the Jew possessing the 
sacraments of the Old Testament, or as a baptized person those 
of the New also. Theophyl. Or to take the whole differently; 
the character of the son who seems to complain is put for all 
those who are offended at the sudden advances and salvation 
of the perfect, as David introduces one who took offence at 
the peace of sinners. Tit. Bost. The elder son then as 
a husbandman was engaged in husbandry, digging not the 
land, but the field of the soul, and planting trees of sal- 
vation, that is to say, the virtues. Theophyl. Or he was 
in the field, that is, in the world, pampering his own flesh, 
that he might be filled with bread, and sowing in tears that he 
might reap in joy, but when he found what was being done, he 
was unwilling to enter into the common joy. Chrys. But itChrys. 
is asked, whether one who grieves at the prosperity of others g/^^* 
is affected by the passion of envy. We must answer, that no Matt. 
Saint grieves at such things ; but rather looks upon the good 
things of others as his own. Now we must not take every 
thing contained in the parable literally, but bringing out the 
meaning which the author had in view, search for nothing 
farther. This parable then was written to the end that 
sinners should not despair of returning, knowing that they 
VOL. III. 2 N 


shall obtain great things. Therefore he introduces others 
so troubled at these good things as to be consumed with envy, 
but those who return, treated with such great honour as to 
become themselves an object of envy to others. Theophyl. 
Or by this parable our Lord reproves the will of the 
Pharisees, whom according to the argument he terms just,&s 
if to say, Let it be that you are truly just, having transgressed 
none of the commandments, must we then for this reason 
refuse to admit those who turn away from their iniquities? 
Hier. Jerome ; Or, in another way, all justice in comparison of 
Rom"? ^^^ justice of God is injustice. Therefore Paul says, WIio 
24. shall deliver me from the body of this death? and hence were 
Matt, the Apostles moved with anger at the request of the sons of 
20, 24. 2iebedee. Cyril; Which we also ourselves sometimes feel; for 
some live a most excellent and perfect life, another ofttime even 
in his old age is converted to God, or perhaps when just about 
to close his last da}^, through God's mercy washes away his 
guilt. But this mercy some men reject from restless timidity 
of mind, not counting upon the will of our Saviour, who rejoices 
in the salvation of those who are perishing. Theophyl. 
The son then says to the father. For nothing I left a life of 
sorrow, ever harassed by sinners who were my enemies, and 
never hast thou for my sake ordered a kid to be slain, (that 
is, a sinner who persecuted me,) that I might enjoy myself for 
1 Kings a little. Such a kid was Ahab to Elijah, who said, Lord, they 
■^^' ^^* have killed thy prophets, Ambrose ; Or else. This brother 
is described so as to be said to come from the farm, that is, 
engaged in worldly occupations, so ignorant of the things of 
the Spirit of God, as at last to complain that a kid had 
never been slain for him. For not for envy, but for the 
pardon of the world, was the Lamb sacrificed. The envious 
seeks a kid, the innocent a lamb, to be sacrificed for it. 
Therefore also is he called the elder, because a man soon 
grows old through envy. Therefore too he stands without, 
because his malice excludes him; therefore could he not 
hear the dancing and music, that is, not the wanton fascina- 
tions of the stage, but the harmonious song of a people, 
resounding with the sweet pleasantness of joy for a sinner 
saved. For they who seem to themselves righteous are 
angry when pardon is granted to one confessing his sins. 

VER. 25 — 82. ST. LUKE. 547 

Who art thou that speakest against thy Lord, that he should 
not, for example, forgive a fault, when thou pardonest whom 
thou wilt? But we ought to favour forgiving sin after 
repentance, lest while grudging pardon to another, we our- 
selves obtain it not from our Lord. Let us not envy those 
who return from a distant country, seeing that we ourselves 
also were afar off. 

2 N 2 


1. And he said unto his disciples. There was a 
certain rich man, which had a steward; and the 
same was accused unto him that he had wasted his 

2. And he called him, and said unto him. How 
is it that 1 hear this of thee ? give an account of 
thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer 

3. Then the steward said within himself, What 
shall 1 do? for my lord taketh away from me the 
stewardship : I cannot dig ; to beg I am ashamed. 

4. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put 
out of the stewardship, they may receive me into 
their houses. 

5. So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto 
him, and said unto the first. How much owest thou 
unto my lord ? 

6. And he said. An hundred measures of oil. And 
he said unto him. Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, 
and write fifty. 

7. Then said he to another. And how much owest 
thou ? And he said. An hundred measures of wheat. 
And he said unto him. Take thy bill, and write 

Bede; Having rebuked in three parables those who mur- 
mured because He received penitents, our Saviour shortly after 
subjoins a fourth and a fifth on almsgiving and frugality, because 
it is also the fittest order in preaching that almsgiving should 


be added after repentance. Hence it follows. And he said 
unto his disciples, TJiere was a certain rich man. 
Chrys. There is a certain erroneous opinion inherent in man- 
kind, which increases ev il and lessens good. It is the feeling 
that all the good things we possess in the course of our life 
we possess as lords over them, and accordingly we seize 
them as our especial goods. But it is quite the contrary. 
For we are placed in this life not as lords in our own house, 
but as guests and strangers, led whither we would not, and at 
a time we think not of. He who is now rich, suddenly becomes 
a beggar. Therefore whoever thou art, know thyself to be 
a dispenser of the things of others, and that the privileges 
granted thee are for a brief and passing use. Cast away 
then from thy soul the pride of power, and put on the 
humility and modesty of a steward. Bede; The bailiff isBede,ex 
the manager of the farm, therefore he takes his name from 
the farm. But the steward, or director of the household, viiiicus 
is the overseer of money as well as fruits, and of every thing ^^5°°" 
his master possesses. Ambrose; From this we learn then, 
that we are not ourselves the masters, but rather the stewards 
of the property of others. Theophyl. Next, that when we 
exercise not the management of our wealth according to our 
Lord's pleasure, but abuse our trust to our own pleasures, we 
are guilty stewards. Hence it follows, Ajtd he was accused to 
him. Pseduo-Chrys. Meanwhile he is taken and thrust out ut sup. 
of his stewardship; for it follows, And he called him, and said 
unto him, What is this that I hear of thee? give an account 
of thy stewardship, for thou canst he no longer steward. 
Day after day by the events which take place our Lord 
cries aloud to us the same thing, shewing us a man at 
midday rejoicing in health, before the evening cold and 
lifeless; another expiring in the midst of a meal. And in 
various ways we go out from our stewardship ; but the faithful 
steward, who has confidence concerning his management, 
desires with Paul to depart and be with Christ. But he Phil. 1 
whose wishes are on earth is troubled at his departing. '^^• 
Hence it is added of this steward, Then the steward said 
within himself, WJiat shall I do, for my Lord taketh away 
from me the stewardship? I cannot dig, to beg I am ashamed. 
Weakness in action is the fault of a slothful life. For no one 


would shrink who had been accustomed to apply himself 
to labour. But if we take the parable allegorically, after our 
departure hence there is no more time for working; the 
present life contains the practice of what is commanded, 
the future, consolation. If thou hast done nothing here, in 
vain then art thou careful for the future, nor wilt thou gain 

Matt, any thing by begging. The foolish virgins are an instance of 
^' * this, who unwisely begged of the wise, but returned empty. 
For every one puts on his daily life as his inner garment ; it 
is not possible for him to put it off or exchange it with an- 
other. But the wicked steward aptly contrived the remission 
of debts, to provide for himself an escape from his misfortunes 
among his fellow-servants; for it follows, / am resolved what 
to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they 
may receive me into their houses. For as often as a man, 
perceiving his end approaching, lightens by a kind deed the 
load of his sins, (either by forgiving a debtor his debts, or by 
giving abundance to the poor,) dispensing those things which 
are his Lord's, he conciliates to himself many friends, who 
will afford him before the judge a real testimony, not by 
words, but by the demonstration of good works, nay more- 
over will provide for him by their testimony a resting-place 
of consolation. But nothing is our own, all things are in 
the power of God. Hence it follows. So he called every one 
of his Lord^s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How 
much owest thou unto my Lord? And he said, A hundred 
casks of oil. Bede; A cadus in Greek is a vessel containing 
three urns. It follows. And he said unto him. Take thy hill, 
and sit down quickly, and write fifty, forgiving him the half. 
It follows. Then said he to another. And how much owest 
thou ? And he said. An hundred measures of wheat. A corus 
is made up of thirty bushels. And he said unto him. Take 
thy bill, and write fourscore, forgiving him a fifth part. It 
may be then simply taken as follows ; whosoever relieves the 
want of a poor man, either by supplying half or a fifth part, will 

Aug. be blessed with the reward of his mercy. Aug. Or because 

de Qu. QQ^ Qf ^Q hundred measures of oil, he caused fifty to be 

Ev. 1. 11. . y J 

qu. 34. written down by the debtors, and of the hundred measures of 

wheat, fourscore, the meaning thereof is this, that those 

things which every ^ew performs toward the Priests and 

VER. 8 — 13. ST. LUKE. 551 

Levites should be the more attendant in the Church of 
Christ, that whereas they give a tenth, Christians should 
give a half, as Zaccheus gave of his goods, or at least by Luke 
giving two tenths, that is, a fifth, exceed the payments of the ^^' ^' 

8. And the lord commended the unjust steward, 
because he had done wisely : for the children of 
this world are in their generation wiser than the 
children of light. 

9. And I say unto you. Make to yourselves friends 
of the mammon of unrighteousness ; that, when ye 
fail, they may receive you into everlasting habita- 

10. He that is faithful in that which is least is 
faithful also in much : and he that is unjust in the 
least is unjust also in much. 

11. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the 
unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust 
the true riches ? 

12. And if ye have not been faithful in that which 
is another man's, who shall give you that which is 
your own ? 

13. No servant can serve two masters: for either 
he will hate the one, and love the other ; or else he 
will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye 
cannot serve God and mammon. 

Aug. The steward whom his Lord cast out of his steward- Aug. 
ship is nevertheless commended because he provided himself^ ^ ^"^* 
against the future. As it follows. And the Lord commended 
the unjust steward, because he had done ivisely ; we ought 
not however to take the whole for our imitation. For we 
should never act deceitfully against our Lord in order that 
fi'om the fraud itself we may give alms. 

Origen; But because the Gentiles say that wisdom isOrigeu. 
a virtue, and define it to be the experience of what is good, j, i. 


evil, and indifferent, or the knowledge of what is and what 
is not to be done, we must consider whether this word 

Prov. 3, signifies many things, or one. For it is said that God by 
wisdom prepared the heavens. Now it is plain that wisdom 
is good, because the Lord by wisdom prepared the heavens. 
It is said also in Genesis, according to the LXX, that the 
serpent was the wisest animal, wherein he does not make 
wisdom a virtue, but evil-minded cunning. And it is in this 
sense that the Lord commended the steward that he had 
done wisely, that is, cunningly and evilly. And perhaps 
the word commended was spoken not in the sense of real 
commendation, but in a lower sense; as when we speak of 
a man being commended in slight and indifferent matters, and 
in a certain measure clashings and sharpness of wit are ad- 

Aug. mired, by which the power of the mind is drawn out. Aug. 

sup. Q^ ^-j^^ other hand this parable is spoken, that we should 

understand that if the steward who acted deceitfully, could 

be praised by his lord, how much more they please God who 

do their works according to His commandment. 

Origen; The children of this world also are not called 
wiser but more prudent than the children of light, and this 
not absolutely and simply, but in their generation. For it 
follows. For the children of this world are in their generation 
wiser thajt the children of lights 8$c. Bede; The children 
of light and the children of this world are spoken of in 
the same manner as the children of the kingdom, and the 
children of hell. For whatever works a man does, he is 
also termed their son. Theophyl. By the children of this 
world then He means those who mind the good things which 
are on the earth; by the children of light, those who beholding 
the divine love, employ themselves with spiritual treasures. 
But it is found indeed in the management of human affairs, 
that we prudently order our own things, and busily set our- 
selves to work, in order that when we depart we may have 
a refuge for our life ; but when we ought to direct the things 
of God, we take no forethought for what shall be our lot 

Greg. Greg. In order then that after death they may find 

cap. 18. something in their own hand, let men before death place 
their riches in the hands of the poor. Hence it follows, 

VEK- 8 — 13. ST. LUKE. 553 

And I say to you, Make to yourselves friends of the mam- 
mon of unrighteousness, ^c. Aug. That which the Hebrews Aug. 
call mammon, in Latin is " riches." As if He said, " Make 2^3™* 
to yourselves friends of the riches of unrighteousness." Now 
some misunderstanding this, seize upon the things of others, 
and so give something to the poor, and think that they are 
doing what is commanded. That interpretation must be Prov. 
conected into. Give alms of your righteous labours. For you lxx 
will not corrupt Christ your Judge. If from the plunder of a 
poor man, you were to give any thing to the judge that he 
might decide for you, and that judge should decide for you, 
such is the force of justice, that you would be ill pleased in 
yourself. Do not then make to yourself such a God. God 
is the fountain of Justice, give not your alms then from 
interest and usury. I speak to the faithful, to whom we 
dispense the body of Christ. But if you have such money, 
it is of evil that you have it. Be no longer doers of evil. 
Zaccheus said, Half tny goods I give to the poor. See how Luke 

1 Q O 

he runs who runs to make friends of the mammon of un- ' * 
righteousness; and not to be held guilty from any quarter, he 
says, / If have taken any thing from any one, I restore four- 
fold. According to another interpretation, the mammon of 
unrighteousness are all the riches of the world, whenever they 
come. For if you seek the true riches, there are some in 
which Job when naked abounded, when he had his heart frill 
towards God. The others are called riches from unrighteous- 
ness; because they are not true riches, for they are full of 
poverty, and ever liable to chances. For if they were true 
riches, they would give you security. 

Aug. Or the riches of unrighteousness are so called, be- Aug. de 
cause they are not riches except to the unrighteous, and§"®^*:. 
such as rest in their hopes and the fulness of their q. 34. 
happiness. But when these things are possessed by the 
righteous, they have indeed so much money, but no riches 
are theirs but heavenly and spiritual. Ambrose ; Or he 
spoke of the unrighteous Mammon, because by the various 
enticements of riches covetousness corrupts onr hearts, that we 
may be willing to obey riches. Basil; Or if thou hast Basil. 

succeeded to a patrimony, thou receivest what has beenY^'"-^^ 

. f , Avar, 

amassed by the unrighteous ; for in a number of pre- 


decessors some one must needs be found who has unjustly 
usurped the property of others. But suppose that thy 
father has not been guilty of exaction, whence hast thou 
thy money ? If indeed thou answerest, " From myself;" 
thou art ignorant of God, not having the knowledge of 
thy Creator ; but if, " From God," tell me the reason for 
Ps.2f,i. which thou receivedst it. Is not the earth and the fulness 
thereof the Lord's ? If then whatever is ours belongs to our 
common Lord, so will it also belong to our fellow-servant. 

Theophyl. Those then are called the riches of un- 
righteousness which the Lord has given for the necessities 
of our brethren and fellow-servants, but we spend upon 
ourselves. It became us then, from the beginning, to give all 
things to the poor, but because we have become the stewards 
of unrighteousness, wickedly retaining what was appointed 
for the aid of others, we must not surely remain in this 
cruelty, but distribute to the poor, that we may be received 
by them into everlasting habitations. For it follows. That, 
when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habita- 
Greg. Greg. But if through their friendship we obtain ever- 
cap. 14. lasting habitations, we ought to calculate that when we give 
we rather offer presents to patrons, than bestow benefits upon 
the needy. 
Aug. Aug. For who are they that shall have everlasting habita- 

113 ' tions but the saints of God ? and who are they that are to be 
received by them into everlasting habitations but they who 
administer to their want, and whatsoever they have need of, 
gladly supply. They are those little ones of Christ, who 
have forsaken all that belonged to them and followed Him ; 
and whatsoever they had have given to the poor, that they 
might serve God without earthly shackles, and freeing 
their shoulders from the burdens of the world, might raise 
them aloft as with wings. Aug. We must not then understand those by whom we wish 
Ev. 1. ii. to be received into everlasting habitations to be as it were 
^- 34- debtors of God; seeing that the just and holy are signified in 
this place, who cause those to enter in, who administered to 
their necessity of their own worldly goods. Ambrose ; Or 
else, make to yourselves friends of the mammon of un- 

VER. 8 — 13. ST. LUKE. 655 

righteousness, that by giving to the poor we may purchase 
the favour of angels and all the saints. Chrys. Mark also 
that He said not, " that they may receive you into their own 
habitations." For it is not they who receive you. There- 
fore when He said, Make to yourselves friends, he added, 
of the mammon of unrighteousness, to shew, that their friend- 
ship will not alone protect us unless good works accompany 
us, unless we righteously cast away all riches unrighteously 
amassed. The most skilful then of all arts is that of alms- 
giving. For it builds not for us houses of mud, but lays up 
in store an everlasting life. Now in each of the arts one 
needs the support of another; but when we ought to shew 
mercy, we need nothing else but the will alone. 

Cyril; Thus then Christ taught those who abound in 
riches, earnestly to love the fi'iendship of the poor, and to 
have treasure in heaven. But He knew the sloth of the 
human mind, how that thej^ who court riches bestow no work 
of charity upon the needy. That to such men there results 
no profit of spiritual gifts. He shevvs by obvious examples, 
adding, He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful 
also in much; and he that is unjust in the least is unjust 
also in much. Now our Lord opens to us the eye of the 
heart, explaining what He had said, adding. If therefore ye 
have not heenfaitJful in the unrighteous mammon, who will 
commit to your trust the true riches ? That which is least 
then is the mammon of unrighteousness, that is, earthly 
riches, which seem nothing to those that are heavenly wise. 
I think then that a man is faiihful in a little, when he 
imparts aid to those who are bowed down with sorrow. 
If then we have been unfaithful in a little thing, how shall 
we obtain from hence the true riches, that is, the fruitful gift 
of Divine grace, impressing the image of God on the human 
soul \ But that our Lord's words incline to this meaning is 
plain from the following ; for He says. And if ye have not 
been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give 
you that which is your own ? Ambrose ; Riches are foreign 
to us, because they are something beyond nature, they are 
not born with us, and they do not pass away with us. But 
Christ is ours, because He is the life of man. Lastly, He 
came unto His own. 


Theophyl. Thus then hitherto He has taught us how 
faithfully we ought to dispose of our wealth. But because 
the management of our wealth according to God is no other- 
wise obtained than by the indifference of a mind un- 
affected towards riches, He adds, No man can serve two 
masters. Ambrose ; Not because the Lord is two, but one. 
For although there are who serve mammon, yet he knoweth 
no rights of lordship ; but has himself placed upon himself 
a yoke of servitude. There is one Loi"d, because there is 
one God. Hence it is evident, that the power of the Father 
and the Son is one : and He assigns a reason, thus saying, 
For either he will hate the one, and love the other ; or else he will hold to the 07ie, and despise the other. Aug. But 

lib. ii/* these things were not spoken indifferently or at random. 

q. 36. jTor no one when asked whether he loves the devil, answers 
that he loves him, but rather that he hates him ; but all 
generally proclaim that they love God. Therefore either he 
will hate the one, (that is, the devil,) and love the other, (that 
is, God;) or will hold to the one, (that is, the devil, wdien he 
pursues as it were temporal wants,) and will despise the 
other, (that is, God,) as when men frequently neglect His 
threats for their desires, who because of His goodness 
flatter themselves that they will have impunity. 

Cyril ; But the conclusion of the whole discourse is what 
follows, Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Let us then 

Bede ex transfer all our devotions to the one, forsaking riches. Bede ; 
• Let then the covetous hear this, that we can not at the same 
time serve Christ and riches ; and yet He said not, " Who 
has riches," but, who serves riches ; for he who is the 
servant of riches, watches them as a servant; but he who 
has shaken off the yoke of servitude, dispenses them as 
a master; but he who serves mammon, verily serves him 
who is set over those earthly things as the reward of his 

John iniquity, and is called the prince of this world. 

2 Cor. 4, 

14. And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, 
heard all these things : and they derided him. 

15. And he said unto them. Ye are they which 
justify yourselves before men ; but God knoweth 

VER. 14 18. ST. LUKE. 557 

your hearts : for that which is highly esteemed 
among men is abomination in the sight of God. 

16. The Law and the Prophets were until John: 
since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and 
every man presseth into it. 

17. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, 
than one tittle of the law to fail. 

18. Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth 
another, committeth adultery : and whosoever mar- 
rieth her that is put away from her husband com- 
mitteth adultery. 

Bede ; Christ had told the Pharisees not to boast of their 
own righteousness, but to receive penitent sinners, and to 
redeem their sins by almsgiving. But they derided the 
Preacher of mercy, humility, and frugality; as it is said, 
And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard these 
things ; and derided him : it may be for two reasons, 
either because He commanded what was not sufficiently pro- 
fitable, or cast blame upon their past superfluous actions. 
Theophyl. But the Lord detecting in them a hidden 
malice, proves that they make a pretence of righteousness. 
Therefore it is added, Atid he said unto them, Ye are they 
which justify yourselves before men. Bede; They justify 
themselves before men who despise sinners as in a weak and 
hopeless condition, but fancy themselves to be perfect and 
not to need the remedy of almsgiving ; but how justly the 
depth of deadly pride is to be condemned, He sees who 
will enlighten the hidden places of darkness. Hence it 
follows, But God knoweth your hearts. Theophyl. And 
therefore ye are an abomination to Him because of your 
arrogance, and love of seeking after the praise of men ; as 
He adds. For that which is highly esteemed among men is 
abomination in the sight of God. 

Bede ; Now the Pharisees derided our Saviour disputing 
against covetousness, as if He taught things contrary to the 
Law and the Prophets, in which many very rich men are 
said to have pleased God ; but Moses also himself promised 


l)eut. that the people whom he ruled, if they followed the Law, 

' ' should abound in all earthly goods. These the Lord 

answers by shewing that between the Law and the Gospel, 

as in these promises so also in the commands, there is not 

the slightest difference. Hence He adds. The Law and the 

Prophets were until John, Ambrose; Not that the Law 

failed, but that the preaching of the Gospel began ; for that 

which is inferior seems to be completed when a better 

Chrys. succeeds. Chrys. He hereby disposes them readily to 

3r?Tn believe on Him, because if as far as John's time all things 

Matt, ^gj-g complete, I am He who am come. For the Prophets 

Pseudo- ^ ' Til 1 -11 

Chrys. had not ceased unless I had come; but you will say, 
Horn. « iiow" were the Prophets until John, since there have 
imp. been many more Prophets in the New than the Old Tes- 
tament. But He spoke of those prophets who foretold Christ's 

EusEB. Now the ancient prophets knew the preaching of 
the kingdom of heaven, but none of them had expressly 
announced it to the Jewish people, because the Jews having 
a childish understanding were unequal to the preaching of 
what is infinite. But John first openly preached that the 
kingdom of heaven was at hand, as well as also the remission 
of sins by the laver of regeneration. Hence it follows. Since 
that time the kingdom of heaven is preached, and every one 
presseth into it. Ambrose ; For the Law delivered many 
things according to nature, as being more indulgent to our 
natural desires, that it might call us to the pursuit of righte- 
ousness. Christ breaks through nature as cutting off even our 
natural pleasures. But therefore we keep under nature, that 
it should not sink us down to earthly things, but raise us to 
heavenly. Euseb. A great struggle befals men in their ascent 
to heaven. For that men clothed with mortal flesh should be 
able to subdue pleasure and every unlawful appetite, desiring 
to imitate the life of angels, must be compassed with violence. 
But who that looking upon those who labour earnestly in 
the service of God, and almost put to death their flesh, will 
not in reality confess that they do violence to the kingdom 
Aug. de of heaven. Aug. They also do violence to the kingdom of 
Ev. 1. ii. heaven, in that they not only despise all temporal things, 

q. 87. 

VER. 14—18. ST. LUKE. 559 

but also the tongues of those who desire their doing so. 
This the Evangelist added, when he said that Jesus was 
derided when He spoke of despising earthly riches. 

Bede ; But lest they should suppose that in His words, 
the Law and the Prophets were until John, He preached the 
destruction of the Law or the Prophets, He obviates such a 
notion, adding. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, 
than one tittle of the law should fail. For it is written, the 
fashion of this world passeth away. But of the Law, not i Cor. 7, 
even the very extreme point of one letter, that is, not even 
the least things are destitute of spiritual sacraments. And 
yet the Law and the Prophets were until John, because that 
could always be prophesied as about to come, which by the 
preaching of John it was clear had come. But that which 
He spoke beforehand concerning the perpetual inviolability 
of the Law, He confirms by one testimony taken therefrom for 
the sake of example, saying, Whosoever putteth away his 
wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and who- 
soever marrieth her that is put away from her husband, com- 
mitteth adultery ; that from this one instance they should 
learn that He came not to destroy but to fulfil the commands 
of the Law. Theophyl. For that to the imperfect the Law 
spoke imperfectly is plain from what he says to the hard 
hearts of the Jews, " If a man hate his wife, let him put her Deut. 
away," because since they were murderers and rejoiced in^^'^* 
blood, they had no pity even upon those who were united to 
them, so that they slew their sons and daughters for devils. 
But now there is need of a more perfect doctrine. Where- 
fore I say, that if a man puts away his wife, having no 
excuse of fornication, he commits adultery, and he who 
marrieth another commits adultery. 

Ambrose ; But we must first speak, I think, of the law of 
marriage, that we may afterwards discuss the forbidding of 
divorce. Some think that all marriage is sanctioned by God, 
because it is written, Whom God hath joined, let not man Matt. 
put asunder. How then does the Apostle say, If ^^^J^^^k 
unbelieving depart, let him, depart^ Herein he shews thatio, 9. 
the man'iage of all is not from God. For neither by God's 15 °^' ' 
approval are Christians joined with Gentiles. Do not then 
put away thy wife, lest thou deny God to be the Author of 


thy union. For if others, much more oughtest thou to bear 
with and con-ect the behaviour of thy wife. And if she is 
sent away pregnant with children, it is a hard thing to shut 
out the parent and keep the pledge ; so as to add to the 
parents' disgrace the loss also of filial affection. Harder still 
if because of the mother thou drivest away the children also. 
Wouldest thou suffer in thy lifetime thy children to be under 
a step-father, or when the mother was alive to be under a 
step-mother ? How dangerous to expose to error the tender 
age of a young wife. How wicked to desert in old age one, 
the flower of whose growth thou hast blighted. Suppose that 
being divorced she does not many, this also ought to be 
displeasing to you, to whom though an adulterer, she keeps 
her troth. Suppose she marries, her necessity is thy crime, 
and that which thou supposest marriage, is adultery. 

But to understand it morally. Having just before set 
forth that the kingdom of God is preached, and said that one 
tittle could not fall from the Law, He added. Whosoever putteth 
away his wife, SfC. Christ is the husband ; whomsoever 
then God has brought to His son, let not persecution sever, 
nor lust entice, nor philosophy spoil, nor heretics taint, 
nor 3qw seduce. Adulterers are all such as desire to corrupt 
truth, faith, and wisdom. 

19. There was a certain rich man, which was 
clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptu- 
ously every day: 

20. And there was a certain beggar named Laza- 
rus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 

21. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which 
fell from the rich man's table : moreover the dogs 
came and licked his sores. 

Bede ; Our Lord had just before advised the making 
friends of the Mammon of unrighteousness, which the Phari- 
sees derided. He next confirms by examples what he had 
set before them, saying, There was a certain rich man, S^c. 
Chrys. There was, not is, because he had passed away as a 

VER. 19 — 21. ST. LUKE. 561 

fleeting shadow. Ambrose ; But not all poverty is holy, or 
all riches criminal, but as luxury disgraces riches, so does 
holiness commend poverty. 

It follows, And he was clothed in purple and fine linen, hysso. 
Bede ; Purple, the colour of the royal robe, is obtained 
from sea shells, which are scraped with a knife. Byssus 
is a kind of white and very fine linen. Greg. Now Greg. 
if the wearing of fine and precious robes were not a fault, ^q°^|^* 
the word of God would never have so carefully expressed Ev. 
this. For no one seeks costly garments except for vain- 
glory, that he may seem more honourable than others; for 
no one wishes to be clothed with such, where he cannot be 
seen by others. Chrys. Ashes, dust, and earth he covered Chrys. 
with purple, and silk; or ashes, dust, and earth bore upon"*'^"P* 
them purple and silk. As his garments were, so was also his 
food. Therefore with us also as our food is, such let our 
clothing be Hence it follows. And he fared sumptuously 
every day. G reg. And here we must narrowly watch our- Greg. 
selves, seeing that banquets can scarcely be celebrated blame- ^°^- 
lessly, for almost always luxury accompanies feasting; andEv. 
when the body is swallowed up in the delight of refreshing 
itself, the heart relaxes to empty joys. 

It follows. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, 
Ambrqse; This seems rather a narrative than a parable, 
since the name is also expressed. Chrys. But a parable is chrvs 
that in which an example is given, while the names are "t s^^p- 
omitted. Lazarus is interpreted, " one who was assisted.'* 
For he was poor, and the Lord helped him. Cyril; Or else; 
This discourse concerning the rich man and Lazarus was 
written after the manner of a comparison in a parable, to 
declare that they who abound in earthly riches, unless they 
will relieve the necessities of the poor, shall meet with a 
heavy condemnation. But the tradition of the Jews relates 
that there was at that time in Jerusalem a certain Lazarus 
who was afflicted with extreme poverty and sickness, whom 
our Lord remembering, introduces him into the example for 
the sake of adding gi'eater point to His words. 

Greg. We must observe also, that among the heathen the ^reg. 
names of poor men are more likely to be known than of rich. Moral. 
Now our Lord mentions the name of the poor, but not 

VOL. IIL 2 o 


the name of the rich, because God knows and approves the 
humble, but not the proud. But that the poor man might be 
more approved, poverty and sickness were at the same time 
consuming him; as it follows, who was laid at his gate full 

Horn, of sores. Pseudo-Chrys. He lay at his gate for this reason, 
that the rich might not say, I never saw him, no one told me ; 
for he saw him both going out and returning. The poor is full 
of sores, that so he might set forth in his own body the cruelty 
of the rich. Thou seest the death of thy body lying before the 
gate, and thou pitiest not. Tf thou regardest not the com- 
mands of God, at least have compassion on thy own state, 
and fear lest also thou become such as he. But sickness 
has some comfort if it receives help. How great then was 
the punishment in that body, in which with such wounds he 
remembered not the pain of his sores, but only his hunger ; 
for it follows, desiring to be fed with the crumbs, ^c. As if 
he said. What thou throwest away from thy table, afford for 
alms, make thy losses gain. 

Ambrose ; But the insolence and pride of the wealthy is 
manifested afterwards by the clearest tokens, for it follows, 
and no one gave to him. For so unmindful are they of the 
condition of mankind, that as if placed above nature they 
derive from the wretchedness of the poor an incitement to 
their own pleasure, they laugh at the destitute, they mock the 

Aug. needy, and rob those whom they ought to pity. Aug. For 

367. * the covetousness of the rich is insatiable, it neither fears 
God nor regards man, spares not a father, keeps not its 
fealty to a friend, oppresses the widow, attacks the pro- 
perty of a ward. 

Greg. Greg. Moreover the poor man saw the rich as he went 

in Ev. ^ 

Horn, forth surrounded by flatterers, while he himself lay in sick- 
ness and want, visited by no one. For that no one came to 
visit him, the dogs witness, who fearlessly licked his sores, 
for it follows, moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 

ut sup. Pseudo-Chrys. Those sores which no man deigned to wash 
and dress, the beasts tenderly lick. 

Greg. Greg. By one thing Almighty God displayed two judg- 

ubi sup. ments. He permitted Lazarus to lie before the rich man's 
gate, both that the wicked rich man might increase the venge- 
ance of his condemnation, and the poor man by his trials 

VEU. 22 — 20. ST. LUKK. 563 

enhance his reward ; the one saw daily him on whom he 
should shew mercy, the other that for which he might b(; 

22. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, 
and was carried by the angels into Abraham^s bosom: 
the rich man also died, and was buried ; 

23. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in tor- 
ments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in 
his bosom. 

24. And he cried and said. Father Abraham, have 
mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the 
tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue ; for I 
am tormented in this flame. 

25. But Abraham said. Son, remember that thou 
in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and like- 
wise Lazarus evil things : but now he is comforted, 
and thou art tormented. 

26. And beside all this, between us and you there 
is a great gulf fixed : so that they which would pass 
from hence to you cannot ; neither can they pass to 
us, that would come from thence. 

Pseudo-Chrys. We have heard how both fared on earth, ubi sup. 
let us see what their condition is among the dead. That 
which was temporal has passed away ; that which follows is 
eternal. Both died; the one angels receive, the other torments; 
for it is said, A7id it came to pass, that the beggar died, and 
was carried by the angels, SfC. Those great sufferings are 
suddenly exchanged for bliss. He is carried after all his 
labours, because he had fainted, or at least that he might not 
tire by walking; and he was earned by angels. One angel 
was not sufficient to carry the poor man, but many come, 
that they may make a joyful band, each angel rejoicing 
to touch so great a burden. Gladly do they thus encumber 
themselves, that so they may bring men to the kingdom of 
heaven. But he was carried into Abraham's bosom, that he^ 

•2 o a y::^< !'i°'''^^^ 



might be embraced and cherished by him ; AhraJiaiii's hosoni 
is Paradise. And the ministering angels carried the poor 
man, and placed him in Abraham's bosom, because though 
he lay despised, he yet despaired not nor blasphemed, saying, 
This rich man living in wickedness is happy and suffers 
no tribulation, but T cannot get even food to supply my 
Aug. Aug. Now as to your thinking Abraham's bosom to be any 

^^jjj^'^* thing bodily, I am afraid lest you should be thought to treat 
4. 16. so weighty a matter rather lightly than seriously. For you 
could never be guilty of such folly, as to suppose the corpo- 
real bosom of one man able to hold so many souls, nay, to 
use your own words, so many bodies as the Angels carry 
thither as they did Lazarus. But perhaps you imagine that one 
soul to have alone deserved to come to that bosom. If you 
would not fall into a childish mistake, you must understand 
Abraham's bosom to be a retired and hidden resting-place 
where Abraham is; and therefore called Abraham's, not that 
it is his alone, but because he is the father of many nations, 
and placed first, that others might imitate his preeminence of 
Greg. Greg. When the two men were below on earth, that is, 
in Horn, ti^g poor and the rich, there was one above who saw into their 
hearts, and by trials exercised the poor man to glory, by 
endurance awaited the rich man to punishment. Hence it 
Chrys. follows, The rich man also died. Chrys. He died then 
in2ad indeed in body, but his soul was dead before. For he did 
^°^- none of the works of the soul. All that warmth which 
issues from the love of our neighbour had fled, and he was 

Chrys. more dead than his body. But no one is spoken of as having: 

Cone. .. . i-i,,. 

2. de mmistered to the rich man s burial as to that of Lazarus. 

Lazaro. gecause when he lived pleasantly in the broad road, he had 
many busy flatterers; when he came to his end, all forsook him. 
For it simply follows, and teas buried in hell. But his soul 
also when living was buried, enshrined in its body as it were in 
a tomb. Aug. The burial in hell is the lowest depth of tor- 
ment which after this life devours the proud and unmerciful. 

In Esai. Pseudo-Basil. Hell is a certain common place in the inte- 
rior of the earth, shaded on all sides and dark, in which there 
isakind of opening stretcliing downward, through which lies the 

VER. 22—26. ST. LUKE. 566 

descent of the souls who are condemned to perdition. Pseudo- Chrys. 
Chrys. Or as the prisons of kings are placed at a distance HonT^ 
without, so also hell is somewhere far off without the world, ^^• 

Matt. 8 

and hence it is called the outer darkness. 22. 25. ' 

Theophyl. But some say that hell is the passing from 
the visible to the invisible, and the unfashioning of the soul. 
For as long as the soul of the sinner is in the body, it is visible 
by means of its own operations. But when it flies out of 
the body, it becomes shapeless. 

Chrys. As it made the poor man's affliction heavier while Chrys. 
he lived to lie before the rich man's gate, and to behold the 2. de' 
prosperity of others, so when the rich man was dead it added Lazaro. 
to his desolation, that he lay in hell and saw the happiness 
of Lazarus, feeling not only by the nature of His own tor- 
ments, but also by the comparison of Lazarus's honour, his 
own punishment the more intolerable. Hence it follows. But 
lifting up his eyes. He lifted up his eyes that he might look 
on him, not despise him ; for Lazarus was above, he below. 
Many angels carried Lazarus ; he was seized by endless tor- 
ments. Therefore it is not said, being in torment, but tor- 
ments. For he was wholly in torments, his eyes alone were free, 
so that he might behold the joy of another. His eyes are 
allowed to be free that he may be the more tortured, not 
having that which another has. The riches of others are the 
torments of those who are in poverty. 

Greg. Now if Abraham sate below, the rich man placed Greg. 
in torments would not see him. For they who have followed ^'^^ '^ 
the path to the heavenly country, when they leave the flesh, 29. 
are kept back by the gates of hell; not that punishment smites 
them as sinners, but that resting in some more remote places, 
(for the intercession of the Mediator was not yet come,) the 
guilt of their first fault prevents them fi-om entering the 

Chrys. There were many poor righteous men, but he who Chrys. 
lay at his door met his sight to add to his woe. For it2. in°^*. 
follows. And Lazarus in his hosom. It may here be observed, Phil. 
that all who are offended by us are exposed to our view. conc. 
But the rich man sees Lazarus not with any other righteous ^^ ^^^* 
man, but in iVbraham's bosom. For Abraham was full of 
love, but the man is convicted of cruelty. Abraham sitting 


before his door followed after those that passed by, and 
brought them into his house, the other turned away even 
Greg, them that abode within his gate. Greg. And this rich man 
40°Tn ff^i'sooth, now fixed in his doom, seeks as his patron him to 
Ev. whom in this life he would not shew mercy. Tpieophyl. He 
does not however direct his words to Lazarus, but to Abra- 
ham, because he was perhaps ashamed, and thought Lazarus 
would remember his injuries; but he judged of him from himself. Hence it follows, And he cried and said. Pseudo- 

Piv. . 

Chrys. Great punishments give forth a great cry. Father Abra- 
ham. As if he said, I call thee father by nature, as the son who 
wasted his living', although by my own fault I have lost thee as 
a father. Have mercy on me. In vain thou workest repentance, 
when there is no place for repentance ; thy torments drive ihee 
to act the penitent, not the desires of thy soul. He who is in 
the kingdom of heaven, I know not whether he can have 
compassion on him who is in hell. The Creator pitieth His 
creature. There came one Physician who was to heal all; 
others could not heal. Send Lazarus. Thou errest, wretched 
man. Abraham cannot send, but he can receive. To dip 
the tip of his finger in ivater. Thou wouldest not deign to 
look upon Lazarus, and now thou desirest his finger. What 
thou seekest now, thou oughtest to have done to him when 
alive. Thou art in want of water, who before despisedst 
delicate food. Mark the conscience of the sinner; he durst 
not ask for the whole of the finger. We are instructed also 

Chrys. \^Qy^ good a thing it is not to trust in riches. See the rich 

Cone, . 

2. de man in need of the poor who was before starving. Things 

^^' are changed, and it is now made known to all who was rich 

and who was poor. For as in the theatres, when it grows 

towards evening, and the spectators depart, then going out, and 

laying aside their dresses, they who seemed kings and generals 

are seen as they really are, the sons of gardeners and fig-sellers. 

So also when death is come, and the spectacle is over, and all 

the masks of poverty and riches are put off, by their works alone 

are men judged, which are truly rich, which poor, which are 

Greg, worthy of honour, which of dishonour. Greg. For that 

"^ ®"P- rich man who would not give to the poor man even the scraps 

of his table, being in hell came to beg for even the least 

thing. For he sought for a drop of water, who refused to 

VER. 22 — 26. ST. LUKE. 567 

give a crumb of bread. Basil; But he receives a meet re- 
ward, fire and the torments of hell; the parched tongue; for 
the tuneful lyre, wailing; for drink, the intense longing for a 
drop; for curious or wanton spectacles, profound darkness; for 
busy flattery, the undying worm. Hence it follows, That he 
may cool my tongue^for I am tormented in thejiame, Chrys. Chrys. 
But not because he was rich was he tormented, but because 
he was not merciful. Greg. We may gather from this, with 
what torments he will be punished who robs another, if he is 
smitten with the condemnation to hell, who does not distribute 
what is his own. Ambrose; He is tormented also because 
to the luxurious man it is a punishment to be without his 
pleasures; water is also a refreshment to the soul which is 
set fast in sorrow. Greg. But what means it, that when in tor- 
ments he desires his tongue to be cooled, except that at his 
feasts having sinned in talking, now by the justice of retribu- 
tion, his tongue was in fierce flame; for talkativeness is gene- 
rally rife at the banquet. Chrys. His tongue too had spoken 
many proud things. Where the sin is, there is the punishment; 
and because the tongue oflendedmuch,it is the more tormented. 
Chrys. Or, in that he wishes his tongue to be cooled, when 
he was altogether burning in the flame, that is signified which 
is written. Death and life are in the hands of the tongue^Vrov, 
and wltli the mouth confession is made to salvation ; -^^^^ 
which from pride he did not do, but the tip of the finger lo, lo. 
means the very least work in which a man is assisted by the 
Holy Spirit. 

Aug. Thou sayest that the members of the soul are here Aug. 
described, and by the eye thou wouldest have the whole '^^ 9"^* 
head understood, because he was said to lift up his eyes;4. le.* 
by the tongue, the jaws; by the finger, the hand. But what 
is the reason that those names of members when spoken of 
God do not to thy mind imply a body, but when of the soul 
they do ? It is that when spoken of the creature they are to 
be taken literally, but when of the Creator metaphorically 
and figuratively. Wilt thou then give us bodily wings, seeing 
that not the Creator, but man, that is, the creature, says, If IPs. 139, 
take not the wings in the morning? Besides, if the rich^' 
man had a bodily tongue, because he said, to cool my 
tongue, in us also who live in the flesh, the tongue itself has 


Prov. bodily hands, for it is written, Death and life are in the 
' ' Jiands of the tongue. 

Grreg. Greg. Nyss. As the most excellent of mirrors represents 

deBeat.a^ image of the face, just such as the face itself which is 
opposite to it, a joyful image of that which is joyful, a 
sorrowful of that which is sorrowful; so also is the just 
judgment of God adapted to our dispositions. Wherefore 
the rich man because he pitied not the poor as he lay at his 
gate, when he needs mercy for himself, is not heard, for it 

Chrys. follows. And Abraham said unto him, Son, ^c. Chrys. 

2 3. "(3e ^6^^^^^ t^^ kindness of the Patriarch; he calls hira son, 
Lazaro. (which may express his tenderness,) yet giv^es no aid to him 

who had depiived himself of cure. Therefore he says, 

Remember, that is, consider the past, forget not that thou 

delightedst in thy riches, and thou receivedst good things in thy 

life, that is, such as thou thoughtest to be good. Thou couldest 

not both have triumphed on earth, and triumph here. Riches 

can not be true both on earth and below. It follows. And 

Lazarus Likewise evil things ; not that Lazarus thought them 

evil, but he spoke this according to the opinion of the 

rich man, who thought poverty, and hunger, and severe 

sickness, evils. When the heaviness of sickness harasses 

us, let us think of Ijazanis, and joyfully accept evil things 

in this life. 

Aug. Aug. All this then is said to Him because he chose the 

Ev.^lib. happiness of the world, and loved no other life but that in 

"•<1"'38- which he proudly boasted; but he saj^s, Lazarus received 

evil things, because he knew that the perishableness of this 

life, its labours, sorrows, and sickness, are the penalty of sin, 

for we all die in Adam who by transgression was made liable 

Chrys. to death. Chrys. He says. Thou receivedst good things in 

3 (jg* tlry life, (as if thy due;) as though he said, If thou hast done 
Lazaro. any good thing for which a reward might be due, thou hast 

received all things in that world, living luxuriously, abounding 
in riches, enjoying the pleasure of prosperous undertakings; 
but he if he committed any evil has received all, afflicted 
with poverty, hunger, and the depths of wretchedness. And 
each of you came hither naked; Lazarus indeed of sin, 
wherefore he receives his consolation ; thou of righteous- 
ness, whereibre thou endurest thy inconsolable punishment; 

VER. 22 26. ST. LUKE. 569 

and hence it follows, But vow he is comfort ed, aiid thou art 

Greg. Whatsoever then ye have well in this world, when Greg. 
ye recollect to have done any thing good, be very fearful 40. 
about it, lest the prosperity granted you be your recompense 
for the same good. And when ye behold poor men doing 
any thing blameably, fear not, seeing that perhaps those whom 
the remains of the slightest iniquity defiles, the fire of honesty 
cleanses. Chrys. But you will say, Is there no one who Chrys. 
shall enjoy pardon, both here and there .^ This is indeed ^2,^^' 
hard thing, and among those which are impossible. For^azaro. 
should poverty press not, ambition urges ; if sickness pro- 
voke not, anger inflames ; if temptations assail not, corrupt 
thoughts often overwhelm. It is no slight toil to bridle 
anger, to check unlawful desires, to subdue the swellings of 
vain-glory, to quell pride or haughtines.s, to lead a severe 
life. He that doeth not these things, can not be saved. 

Greg. It may also be answered, that evil men receive in Greg. 
this life good things, because they place their whole joy in ^^' ^"P* 
transitory happiness, but the righteous may indeed have 
good things here, yet not receive them for reward, because 
while they seek better things, that is, eternal, in their jndg- 
ment whatever good things are present seem by no means 

Chrys. But after the mercy of God, we must seek in our Chrys. 
own endeavours for hope of salvation, not in numbering ^° L°^2? 
fathers, or relations, or friends. For brother does not deliver 
brother; and therefore it is added, And beside all this between 
us and you there is a great gulf Jixed. Theophyl. The 
great gulf signifies the distance of the righteous from sinners. 
For as their affections were different, so also their abiding 
places do not slightly differ. Chrys. The gulf is said to be 
fixed, because it cannot be loosened, moved, or shaken. 

Ambrose ; Between the rich and the poor then there is a 
great gulf, because after death rewards cannot be changed. 
Hence it follows. So that they ivho would pass from hence 
to yi)H cannot, nor come thence to us. Chrys. As if he 
says. We can see, we cannot pass; and we see what we 
have escaped, you what you have lost ; our joys enhance 
your torments, your torments our joys. Greg. For as the Greg. 

ubi sup. 


wicked desire to pass over to the elect, that is, to depart from 
the pangs of their sufferings, so to the afflicted and tormented 
would the just pass in their mind by compassion, and wish 
to set them free. But the souls of the just, although in the 
goodness of their nature they feel compassion, after being 
united to the righteousness of their Author, are constrained 
by such great uprightness as not to be moved with com- 
passion towards the reprobate. Neither then do the unrigh- 
teous pass over to the lot of the blessed, because ihey are 
bound in everlasting condemnation, nor can the righteous 
pass to the reprobate, because being now made upright by 
the righteousness of judgment, they in no way pity them 
from any compassion. Theophyl. You may from this 
derive an argument against the followers of Origen, who say, 
that since an end is to be placed to punishments, there will be 
a time when sinners shall be gathered to the righteous and to 
Aug. God. Aug. For it is shewn by the unchangeableness of the 
lib.ii. Divine sentence, that no aid of mercy can be rendered to 
qu. 88. jjjgjj \^y ^}^g righteous, even though they should wish to give 
it; by which he reminds us, that in this life men should 
relieve those they can, since hereafter even if they be well 
received, they would not be able to give help to those they love. 
For that which was written, fJiat they may receive you into 
everlasihtg liahitations, was not said of the proud and un- 
merciful, but of those who hav^e made to themselves 
fi'iends by their works of mercy, Avhom the righteous receive, 
not as if by their own power benefitting them, but by Divine 

27. Ihen he said, I pray thee therefore, father, 
that thou wouldest send him to my father's house : 

28. For I have five brethren; that he may testify 
unto them, lest they also come into this place of 

29. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses 
and the prophets ; let them hear them. 

30. And he said. Nay, father Abraham : but if one 
went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 

VER. 27 — 31. ST. LUKE. 571 

31 . And he said unto him. If they hear not Moses 
and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, 
though one rose from the dead. 

Greg. When the rich man in flames found that all hope was Greg. 

• TT 

taken away from him, his mind turns to those relations whom ^q j^ 
he had left behind, as it is said, Then said lie, I pray thee Ev. 
therefore, fat Iter Abraham, to send him to my father'' s house. 
Aug. He asks that Lazarus should be sent, because he felt Aug. 
himself unworthy to offer testimony to the truth. And as he 
had not obtained even to be cooled for a little while, much 
less does he expect to be set free from hell for the preaching 
of the truth. Chrys. Now mark his perverseness; not even 
in the midst of his torments does he keep to truth. If 
Abraham is thy father, how sayest thou, Send him to thy 
father's house ? But thou hast not forgotten thy father, for 
he has been thy ruin. 

Greg. The hearts of the wicked are sometimes by their Greg, 
own punishment taught the exercise of charity, but in vain; " ^"P* 
so that they indeed have an especial love to their own, who 
while attached to their sins did not love themselves. Hence 
it follows, For I have five brethren, that he may testify to 
them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 

Ambrose; But it is too late for the rich man to begin 
to be master, when he has no longer time for learning or 
teaching. Greg. And here we must remark what fearful Greg. 
sufferings are heaped upon the rich man in flames. For in^ 
addition to his punishment, his knowledge and memory are 
preserved. He knew Lazarus whom he despised, he remem- 
bered his brethren whom he lelt. For that sinners in punish- 
ment may be still more punished, they both see the glory of 
those whom they had despised, and are harassed about the 
punishment of those whom they have unprofitably loved. 
But to the rich man seeking Lazarus to be sent to them, 
Abraham immediately ansvvers, as follows, Abraham saith to 
him, Thexj leave Moses and the prophets, let them hear them. 

Chrys. As if he said. Thy brethren are not so much thy Chrys. 
care as God's, who created them, and appointed* 
teachers to admonish and urge them. But by Moses and ^^'^^^^* 


the Prophets, he here means the Mosaic and prophetic 
writings. Ambrose; In this place our Lord most plainly 
declares the Old Testament to be the ground of faith, thwart- 
ing the treachery of the Jews, and precluding the iniquity 
of Heretics. 
Grreg. Greg. But he who had despised the words of God, supposed 
40. 'that his followers could not hear them. Hence it is added, 
And he said, Naij, father Abraham^ hut if one went to them 
from the dead they would repent. For when he heard the 
Scriptures he despised them, and thought them fables, and 
therefore according to what he felt himself, he judged the 
Greg, like of his brethren. Greg. Nyss. But we are also taught 
i '. ® somethinsr besides, that the soul of Lazarus is neither anxious 

Anima. " ' 

about present things, nor looks back to aught that it has left 
behind, but the rich man, (as it were caught by birdlime,) 
even after death is held down by his carnal life. For a man who 
becomes altogether carnal in his heart, not even after he has 

Greg, put off his body is out of the reach of his passions. Greg. 
But soon the rich man is answered in the words of truth ; 
for it follows. And he said unto him^ If they hear not Moses 
and the prophets, neither will they believe though one rose 
from the dead. For they who despise the words of the 
Law, will find the commands of their Redeemer who rose 
from the dead, as they are more sublime, so much the more 
difficult to fulfil. 

Chrys. CiiRYS. But that it is true that he who hears not the 
"^' Scriptures, takes no heed to the dead who rise again, the 
Jews have testified, who at one time indeed wished to kill 
Lazarus, but at another laid hands upon the Apostles, not- 
withstanding that some had risen from the dead at the hour 
of the Cross. Observe this also, that every dead man 
is a servant, but whatever the Scriptures say, the Lord says. 
Therefore let it be that dead men should rise again, and 
an angel descend from heaven, the Scriptures are more wor- 
thy of credit than all. For the Lord of Angels, the Lord as well 
of the living and the dead, is their author. But if God 
knew this that the dead rising again, profited the living. He 
would not have omitted it, seeing that He disposes all things 
for our advantage. Again, if the dead were often to rise 
again, this too would in time be disregarded. And the devil 

VER. 27 — 81. ST. LUKE. 573 

also would easily insinuate perverse doctrines, devising resur- 
rection also by means of his own instruments, not indeed 
really raising up the deceased, but by certain delusions 
deceiving the sight of the beholders, or contriving, that is, 
setting up some to pretend death. 

Aug. But some one may say. If the dead have no care for Aug. 
the living, how did the rich man ask Abraham, that he should proMor- 
send Lazarus to his five brethren? But because he said this, <^i«ha- 
did the rich man therefore know what his brethren were 
doing, or what was their condition at that time? His care 
about the living was such that he might yet be altogether 
ignorant what they were doing, just as we care about the 
dead, although we know nothing of what they do. But 
again the question occurs. How did Abraham know that 
Moses and the prophets are here in their books? whence 
also had he known that the rich man had lived in luxury, 
but Lazarus in affliction. Not surely when these things 
were going on in their lifetime, but at their death he might 
know through Lazarus' telling him, that in order that might not 
be false which the prophet says ; Ahraham heard us not. The isa. 63, 
dead might also hear something from the angels who are ^^• 
ever present at the things which are done here. They might 
also know some things which it was necessary for them to 
have known, not only past, but also future, through the 
revelation of the Church of God. 

Aug. But these things may be so taken in allegory, that Aug. 
by the rich man we understand the proud Jews ignorant of^^^j^j' 
the righteousness of God, and going about to establish their qu. 38. 
own. The purple and fine linen are the grandeur of the lo 3*. 
kingdom. And the kingdom of Qod (he says) shall be taken 
away from you. Tiie sumptuous feasting is the boasting of 
the Law, in which they gloried, rather abusing it to swell their 
pride, than using it as the necessary means of salvation. 
But the beggar, by name Lazarus, which is interpreted 
" assisted," signifies want ; as, for instance, some Gentile, or 
Publican, who is all the more relieved, as he presumes 
less on the abundance of his resources. Greg. Lazarus Greg. 
then full of sores, figuratively represents the Gentile people, "J^^°°^* 
who when turned to God, were not ashamed to confess their Ev. 
sins. Their wound was in the skin. For what is confession 


of sins but a certain bursting forth of wounds. But Lazarus, 
full of wounds, desired to he fed by the crumbs which fell 
from the rich mwCs table ^ and no one gave to him ; because 
that proud people disdained to admit any Gentile to ihe 
knowledge of the Law, and words flowed down to him from 

Aug. knowledge, as the crumbs fell from the table. Aug. But the 
* dogs which licked the poor man's sores are those most 
wicked men who loved sin, who with a large tongue cease 
not to praise the evil works, which another loathes, groaning 
in himself, and confessing. Greg. Sometimes also in the 
holy Word by dogs are understood preachers ; according to 

Ps. 68, that. That the tongue of thy dogs may be red by the very blood 


Vuiff. ^f ^^y enemies I for the tongue of dogs while it licks the 
wound heals it ; for holy teachers, when they instruct us in 
confession of sin, touch as it were by the tongue the soul's 
wound. The rich man was buried in hell, but Lazarus was 
earned by angels into Abraham's bosom, that is, into that 
secret rest of which the truth says. Many shall come from 
the east and the west^ and shall lie down with Abraham.^ 
Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, hut the children 
of the kingdom shall be cast into outer darkness. But being 
afar off, the rich man lifted up his eyes to behold Lazarus, 
because the unbelievers while they suffer the sentence of 
their condemnation, lying in the deep, fix their eyes upon 
certain of the faithful, abiding before the day of the last Judg- 
ment in rest above them, whose bliss afterwards they would in 
no wise contemplate. But that which they behold is afar off, 
for thither they cannot attain by their merits. But he is 
described to burn chiefly in his tongue, because the un- 
believing people held in their mouth the word of the Law, 
which in their deeds they despised to keep. In that part 
then a man will have most burning wherein he most of all 
shews he knew that which he refused to do. Now Abraham 
calls him his son, whom at the same time he delivers not 
from torments; because the fathers of this unbelieving people, 
observing that many have gone aside from their faith, are 
not moA^ed with any compassion to rescue them from tor- 

Aug. ments, whom nevertheless they recognise as sons. Aug. 

Ev. lib. ^y ^^^ fi^'<^ brothers whom he says he has in his father's 

ii.qu.39. house, he means the Jews who were called five, because 

VER. 27 31. ST. LUKE. 575 

they were bound under the Law, which was given by Moses 
who wrote five books. 

Chrys. Or he liad five brothers, that is, the f]ve senses, to 
which he was before a slave, and therefore he could not love 
Lazarus because his brethren loved not poverty. Those 
brethren have sent thee into these torments, they cannot 
be saved unless they die ; otherwise it must needs be that 
the brethren dwell with their brother. But why seekest thou 
that I should send Lazarus? They have Moses and the 
Prophets. Moses was the poor Lazarus who counted the Htb.n 
poverty of Christ greater than the riches of Pharaoh. Jere-^^- 
miah, cast into the dungeon, was fed on the bread ofo. 
affliction ; and all the prophets teach those brethren. But 
those brethren cannot be saved unless some one rise from 
the dead. For those brethren, before Christ was risen, 
brought me to death ; He is dead, but those brethren have 
risen again. For my eye sees Christ, my ear hears Him, 
my hands handle Him. From what we have said then, we 
determine the fit place for Marcion and Manichacus, who 
destroy the Old Testament. See what Abraham says, J[f 
they hear not Moses and the prophets. As though he said. 
Thou doest well by expecting Him who is to rise again ; 
but in them Christ speaks. If thou wilt hear them, thou wilt 
hear Him also. Greg. But the Jewish people, because they Greg. 
disdained to spiritually understand the words of Moses, did'°*^°""* 
not come to Him of whom Moses had spoken. 

Ambrose; Or else, Lazarus is poor in this world, but rich 
to God; for not all poverty is holy, nor all riches vile, 
but as luxury disgraces riches, so holiness commends 
poverty. Or is there any Apostolical man, poor in speech, 
but rich in faith, who keeps the true faith, requiring not the 
appendage of words. To such a one I liken him who oft- 
times beaten by the Jews offered the wounds of his body 
to be licked as it were by certain dogs. Blessed dogs, unto 
whom the dropping from such wounds so falls as to fill the 
heart and mouth of those whose office it is to guard the 
house, preserve the flock, keep off the wolf ! And because 
the word is bread, our faith is of the word ; the crumbs are 
as it were certain doctrines of the faith, that is to say, the 
mysteries of the Scriptures. But the Arians, who court the 


alliance of regal power that they may assail the truth of the 
Church, do not they seem to you to be in purple and fine 
linen ? And these, when they defend the counterfeit instead 
of the truth, abound in flowing discourses. Rich heresy 
has composed many Gospels, and poor faith has kept this 
single Gospel, which it had received. Rich philosophy has 
made itself many gods, the poor Church has known only one. 
Do not those riches seem to you to be poor, and that poverty 
Aug. to be rich .? Aug. Again also that story may be so under- 
sup. g^QQ^^ ag iiig^i ^yg shouW takc Lazarus to mean our Lord ; 
lyinff at the gate of the rich man, because he condescended 
to the proud ears of the Jews in the lowliness of His 
incarnation; desiring to he fed from the crumbs which fell 
from the rich mans table, that is, seeking from them even 
the least works of righteousness, which through pride they 
would not use for their own table, (that is, their own power,) 
which works, although very slight and without the discipline 
of perseverance in a good life, sometimes at least they might 
do by chance, as crumbs frequently fall from the table. 
The wounds are the sufferings of our Lord, the dogs who 
licked them are the Gentiles, whom the Jews called unclean, 
and yet, with the sweetest odour of devotion, they lick the 
sufferings of our Lord in the Sacraments of His Body and 
Blood throughout the whole world. Abraham's bosom is 
understood to be the hiding place of the Father, whither 
after His Passion our Lord rising again was taken up, whither 
He was said to be carried by the angels, as it seems to me, 
because that reception by which Christ reached the Father's 
secret place the angels announced to the disciples. The 
rest may be taken according to the former explanation, 
because that is well understood to be the Father's secret 
place, where even before the resurrection the souls of the 
righteous live with God. 


1. Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible 
but that offences will come : but woe unto him, 
through whom they come ! 

2. It were better for him that a millstone were 
hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than 
that he should offend one of these little ones. 

Theophyl. Because the Pharisees were covetous and 
railed against Christ when He preached poverty, He put to 
them the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Afterwards, 
in speaking with His disciples concerning the Pharisees, He 
declares them to be men who caused division, and placed 
obstacles in the divine way. As it follows ; Then said he 
unto his disciples. It is impossible hut that offences will 
come, that is, hindrances to a good life and which is 
pleasing to God. Cyril; Now there are two kinds of 
offences, of which the one resist the glory of God, but 
the other serve only to cause a stumbling-block to the 
brethren. For the inventions of heresies, and every word 
that is spoken against the truth, are obstructions to the glory 
of God. Such offences however do not seem to be men- 
tioned here, but rather those which occur between friends 
and brethren, as strifes, slanders, and the like. Therefore 
He adds afterwards. If thy brother trespass against thee, 
rebuke him. Theophyl. Or, He says that there must arise 
many obstacles to preaching and to the truth, as the Phari- 
sees hindered the preaching of Christ. But some ask, If 
it needs be that offences should come, why does our Lord 
rebuke the author of the offences ? for it follows. But woe to 
him through whom they come. For whatsoever necessity 

VOL. III. 2 P 


engenders is pardonable, or deserving of pardon. But 
observe, that necessity itself derives its birth from free-will. 
For our Lord, seeing how men cling to evil, and put 
forward nothing good, spoke with reference to the con- 
sequence of those things which are seen, that offences must 
needs come; just as if a physician, seeing a man using an 
unwholesome diet, should say, Tt is impossible but that such 
a one should be sick. And therefore to him that causes 
offences He denounces woe, and threatens punishment, 
saying, It were better for him that a mill-stone were hanged 
about his neck, and he cast into the sea, ^c. Bede ; This is 
spoken according to the custom of the province of Palestine; 
for among the ancient Jews the punishment of those 
who were guilty of the greater crimes was that they should 
be sunk into the deep with a stone tied to them ; and in 
truth it were better for a guilty man to finish his bodily 
life by a pmiishment however barbarous, yet temporal, than 
for his innocent brother to deserve the eternal death of his 
soul. Now he who can be offended is rightly called a little 
one ; for he who is gTeat, whatsoever he is witness of, and how 
great soever his sufferings, swerves not from the faith. As 
far then as we can without sin, we ought to avoid giving 
offence to our neighbours. But if an offence is taken at 
the truth, it is better to let the offence be, than that truth 
should be abandoned. Chrys. But by the punishment 
of the man who offends, learn the reward of him who saves. 
For had not the salvation of one soul been of such exceed- 
ing care to Christ, He would not threaten with such a punish- 
ment the offender. 

3. Take heed to yourselves : If thy brother tres- 
pass against thee, rebuke him ; and if he repent, 
forgive him. 

4. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a 
day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, 
saying, I repent ; thou shalt forgive him. 

Ambrose ; After the parable of the rich man who is 
tormented in punishment, Christ added a commandment to 

VER. 3, 4. ST. LUKE. 579 

give forgiveness to those who turn themselves from their 
trespasses, lest any one through despair should not be 
reclaimed from his fault ; and hence it is said, Take heed to 
yourselves. Theophyl. As if He says. Offences must needs 
come ; but it does not follow that you must perish, if only 
you be on your guard : as it need not that the sheep should 
perish when the wolf comes, if the shepherd is watch- 
ing. And since there are great varieties of offenders, (for 
some are incurable, some are curable,) He therefore adds, 
If thy brother trespass against thee., rebuke him. 

Ambrose; That there might neither be hard- wrung 
pardon, nor a too easy forgiveness, neither a harsh upbraid- 
ing, to dishearten, nor an overlooking of faults, to invite to 
sin ; therefore it is said in another place. Tell him his fault Mat. 18, 
between him and thee alone. For better is a friendly cor- 
rection, than a quarrelsome accusation. The one strikes 
shame into a man, the other moves his indignation. He 
who is admonished will more likely be saved, because 
he feai's to be destroyed. For it is well that he who is 
connected should believe you to be rather his friend than his 
enemy. For we more readily give ear to counsel than yield 
to injury. Fear is a weak preserver of consistency, but 
shame is an excellent master of duty. For he who fears is 
restrained, not amended. But He has well said, If he 
trespass against thee. For it is not the same thing to sin 
against God and to sin against man. Bede ; But we 
must mark, that He does not bid us forgive every one 
who sins, but him only who repents of his sins. For 
by taking this course we may avoid offences, hurting 
no one, correcting the sinner with a righteous zeal, 
extending the bowels of mercy to the penitent. Theophyl. 
But some one may well ask. If when I have several times 
forgiven my brother he again trespass against me, what 
must I do with him ? In answer therefore to this question 
He adds, And if he trespass against thee seven times in 
a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, 
I repent; forgive him. 

Bede ; By using the number seven He assigns no bound 
to the giving of pardon, but commands us either to forgive 
all sins, or always to forgive the penitent. For by seven 

2 p2 


tlie whole of any tluDg or time is frequently represented. 
Ambrose ; Or this number is used because God rested on the 
seventh day from His works. After the seventli day of the 
world everlasting rest is promised us, that as the evil works of 
that world shall then cease, so also may the sharpness of 
punishment be abated. 

5. And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase 
our faith. 

6. And the Lord said. If ye had faith as a grain 
of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine 
tree. Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou 
planted in the sea ; and it should obey you, 

Theophyl. Tlie disciples hearing our Lord discoursing of 
cenain arduous duties, such as poverty, and avoiding of- 
fences, entreat Him to increase their faith, that so they 
might be able to follow poverty, (for nothing so prompts to 
a life of poverty as faith and hope in tlie Lord,) and through 
faith to guard against giving oifences. Therefore it is said. And 
Gre?. fhe Apostles said unto the Lord^ Increase our faith. Greg. 
~f 21/*'^' That is, that tlie faith which has already been received in its 
beginning, might go on increasing more and more unto perfec- 
Aug. de tion. Aug. We may indeed understand that they asked for the 
Et mJ>^ increase of that faith by which men believe in the things which 
qu. 39. they see not; but there is further signified a faith in things, 
whereby not with the words only, but the things themselves 
present, we believe. And this shall be, when the Wisdom of 
God, by whom all things were made, shall reveal Himself 
openly to His saints face to face. 

Theofhyl. But our Lord told them that they asked well, 
and that they ought to believe stedfastly, forasmuch as faith 
could do many things ; and hence it follows. And the Lord 
said, 1/ ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, S^c. Two 
mighty acts are here brought together in the same sentence ; 
the transplanting of that which was rooted in the earth, and 
the planting thereof in the sea, (for what is ever planted in the 
waves?) by which two things He declares the power of faith. 
ChxTs. Chrys. He mentions the mustard seed, because, though 
^°™- small in size, it is mightier in power than all the others. 

VER. 7 10. ST. LUKE. 581 

He implies then that the least part of faith can do great 
things. But though the Apostles did not transplant the 
mulberry tree, do not thou accuse them ; for our Lord said 
not, You shall transplant, but, You shall be able to trans- 
plant. But they did not, because there was no need, seeing 
that they did greater things. But some one will ask, How Horn. 
does Christ say, that it is the least part of faith which can ^^ cor. 
transplant a mulberry tree or a mountain, whereas Paul says*'* ^^' '2. 
that it is all faith which moves mountains ? We must then 
answer, that the Apostle imputes the moving of mountains to 
all faith, not as though only the whole of faith could do this, 
but because this seemed a great thing to carnal men on ac- 
count of the vastness of the body. 

Bede ; Or our Lord here compares perfect faith to a grain 
of mustard seed, because it is lowly in appearance, but fervid 
in heart. But mystically by the mulberry tree, (whose fruit 
and branches are red with a blood-red colour,) is represented 
the Gospel of the cross, which, through the faith of the 
Apostles being uprooted by the word of preaching from 
the Jewish nation, in which it was kept as it were in the 
lineal stock, was removed and planted, in the sea of the 
Gentiles. Ambrose ; Or this is said because faith keeps out 
the unclean spirit, especially since the nature of the tree falls 
in with this meaning. For the fruit of the mulberry is at first 
white in the blossom, and being formed from thence grows 
red, and blackens as it gets ripe. The devil also having by 
transgression fallen from the white flower of the angelic nature 
and the bright beams of his power, grows terrible in the black 
odour of sin. Chrys. The mulberry may be also compared 
to the devil, for as by the leaves of the mulberry tree certain 
worms are fed, so the devil, by the imaginations which pro- 
ceed from him, is feeding for us a never dying worm ; but 
this mulbeny tree faith is able to pluck out of our souls, and 
plunge it into the deep. 

7. But which of you, having a servant plowing 
or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when 
he is come from the field. Go and sit down to meat ? 

8. And will not rather say unto him. Make ready 


wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, 
till I have eaten and drunken ; and afterward thou 
shalt eat and drink ? 

9. Doth he thank that servant because he did the 
things that were commanded him ? I trow not. 

10. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all 
those things which are commanded you, say. We are 
unprofitable servants : we have done that which was 
our duty to do, 

Theophyl. Because faith makes its possessor a keeper of 
God's commandments, and adorns him with wonderful works ; 
it would seem from thence that a man might thereby fall 
into the sin of pride. Our Lord therefore forewarned His 
Apostles by a fit example, not to boast themselves in then* 
virtues, saying. But which of you having a servant plowing, 

Aug. de Aug. Or else ; To the many who understand not this faith in 
Ev^r2 *^^ truth already present, our Lord might seem not to have 
qu. 39. answered the petitions of His disciples. And there appears 
adifiiculty in the connexion here, unless we suppose He meant 
the change from faith to faith, from that faith, namely, by which 
we serve God, to that whereby we enjoy Him. For then will 
our faith be increased when we first believe the word preached, 
next the reality present. But that joyful contemplation pos- 
sesseth perfect peace, which is given unto us in the everlasting 
kingdom of God. And that perfect peace is the reward of 
those righteous labours, which are performed in the admin- 
istration of the Church. Be then the servant in the field 
ploughing, or feeding, that is, in this life either following 
his worldly business, or serving foolish men, as it were 
cattle, he must after his labours return home, that is, be 
united to the Church. 

Bede; Or the servant departs from the field when giving 
up for a time his work of preaching, the teacher retires into 
his own conscience, pondering his own words or deeds within 
himself To whom our Lord does not at once say. Go from 
this mortal life, and sit down to meat, that is, refresh thyself 

VER. 7 — 10. ST. LUKE. 583 

in the everlasting resting-place of a blessed life. Ambrose; 
For we know that no one sits down before he has first passed 
over. Moses indeed also passed over, that he might see a great 
sight. Since then thou not only sayest to thy servant, Sit down 
to meat, but requirest from him another service, so in this life 
the Lord does not put up with the performance of one work and 
labour, because as long as we live we ought always to work. 
Therefore it follows. And will not rathe?- say, Make ready 
wherewith I may sup. Bede; He bids make ready where- 
with he may sup, that is, after the labours of public discourse, 
He bids him humble himself in self-examination. With such 
a supper our Lord desires to be fed. But to gird one's self is 
to collect the mind which has been enfolded in the base coil 
of fluctuating thoughts, whereby its steps in the cause of good 
works are wont to be entangled. For he who girds up his 
garments does so, that in walking he may not be tripped 
up. But to minister unto God, is to acknowledge that we 
have no strength without the help of His grace. 

Aug. While His servants also are ministering, that is, Aug. de 
preaching the Gospel, our Lord is eating and drinking theS'^^®**. 
faith and confession of the Gentiles. It follows, And after- sup. 
ward thou shall eat and drink. As if He says. After that 
I have been delighted with the work of thy preaching, and 
refreshed myself with the choice food of thy compunction, 
then at length shalt thou go, and feast thyself everlastingly 
with the eternal banquet of wisdom. 

Cyril; Our Lord teaches us that it is no more than the just 
and proper right of a master to require, as their bounden duty, 
subjection from servants, adding. Doth he thank that servant 
because he did the things that vjere commanded him ? I trow 
not. Here then is the disease of pride cut away. Why 
boastest thou thyself? Dost thou know that if thou payest 
not thy debt, danger is at hand, but if thou payest, thou 
doest nothing thankworthy? As St. Paul says. For though /i Cor. 9, 
preach the Gospel I have nothing to glory of , for necessity is ^^' 
laid upon me, yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel. 

Observe then that they who have rule among us, do not 
thank their subjects, when they perform their appointed 
service, but by kindness gaining the affections of their people, 
breed in them a greater eagerness to serve them. So likewise 


God requires from us that we should wait upon Him as 
His servants, but because He is merciful, and of great 
goodness, He promises reward to them that work, and the 
greatness of His loving-kindness far exceeds the labours of 
His servants. 

Ambrose; Boast not thyself then that thou hast been a 

good servant. Thou hast done what thou oughtest to have 

done. The sun obeys, the moon submits herself, the angels are 

subject; let us not then seek praise from ourselves. Therefore 

He adds in conclusion. So likewise ye, when ye have done 

all good things^ say. We are unprojitahle servants., we have 

done that which it was our duty to do. Bede; Servants, 

1 Cor. I say, because bought with a price; unprofitable, for the Lord 

Ps. \Q needeth not our good things, or because the sufferings of 

^* this "present time are not worthy to he compared to the 

18. ^ glory which shall he revealed in us. Herein then is the 

perfect faith of men, when having done all things w^hich 

were commanded them, they acknowledge themselves to be 


11. And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, 
that he passed through the midst of Samaria and 

12. And as he entered into a certain village, 
there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood 
afar off: 

13. And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, 
Master, have mercy on us. 

14. And when he saw them, he said unto them. 
Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came 
to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 

15. And one of them, when he saw that he was 
healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified 

16. And fell down on his face at his feet, giving 
him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 

17. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten 
cleansed ? but where are the nine ? 

VER. 11 — 19. ST. LUKE; 585 

18. There are not found that returned to give 
glory to God, save this stranger. 

19. And he said unto him. Arise, go thy way : thy 
faith hath made thee whole. 

Ambrose; After speaking the foregoing parable, our Lord 
censures the ungrateful; Tit. Bost. saying, And it came 
to pass, shewing that the Samaritans were indeed well disposed 
towards the mercies above mentioned, but the Jews not so. 
For there was enmity between the Jews and the Samaritans, 
and He to allay this, passed into the midst of both nations, 
that he might cement both into one new man, 

Cyril; The Saviour next manifests His glory by drawing 
over Israel to the faith. As it follows, And as heenteredinio 
a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers^ 
men who were banished from the towns and cities, and 
counted unclean, according to the rites of the Mosaic law. 

Tit. Bost. They associated together from the sympathy 
they felt as partakers of the same calamity, and were waiting 
till Jesus passed, anxiously looking out to see Him approach. 
As it is said. Which stood afar off, for the Jewish law esteems 
leprosy unclean, whereas the law of the Gospel calls unclean 
not the outward, but the inward leprosy. 

THEorHYL. They therefore stand afar off as if ashamed of 
the uncleanness which was imputed to them, thinking that 
Christ would loathe them as others did. Thus they 
stood afar off, but were made nigh unto Him by their prayers. 
For the Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him in Ps. 145, 
truth. Therefore it follows. And they lifted up their voices,^^' 
and said, Jesus, Blaster, have 7nercy upon us. Tit. Bost. 
They pronounce the name of Jesus, and gain to themselves 
the reality. For Jesus is by interpretation Saviour. They 
say, Have mercy upon us, because they were sensible of His 
power, and sought neither for gold and silver, but that their 
bodies might put on again a healthful appearance. Theo- 
PHYL. They do not merely supplicate or entreat Him as if He 
were a man, but they call Him Master or Lord, as if almost 
they looked upon Him as God. But He bids them shew 
themselves to the priests, as it follows, And when he saw 


them, he said, Go, shew yourselves unto the priests. For they 
were examined whether they were cleansed from then* leprosy 
or not. 

Cyeil ; The law also ordered, that those who were cleansed 
from leprosy should offer sacrifice for the sake of their puri- 
fication. Theophyl. Therefore in bidding them go to the 
priestSj he meant nothing more than that they were just about 
to be healed; and so it follows, And it came to pass that as 
theji went they were Jiealed. Cyril ; Whereby the Jewish 
priests who were jealous of His glory might know that it was 
by Christ granting them health that they were suddenly 
and miraculously healed. 

Theophyl. But out of the ten, the nine Israelites were 
ungrateful, whereas the Samaritan stranger returned and 
lifted up his voice in thanksgiving, as it follows, And one of 
them turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. 
Tit. Bost. When he found that he was cleansed, he had 
boldness to di'aw near, as it follows. And fell doiin on his 
face at his feet giving him thanks. Thus by his prostration 
and prayers shewing at once both his faith and his gratitude. 
It follows. And he was a Samaritan. Theophyl. We 
may gather from this that a man is not one whit hindered from 
pleasing God because he comes from a cursed race, only let 
him bear in his heart an honest purpose. Further, let not 
him that is born of saints boast himself, for the nine who 
were Israelites were ungrateful; and hence it follows, And 
Jesus answering him said, Were there not ten cleansed^ Tit. 
BosT. Wherein it is shewn, that strangers were more ready to 
receive the faith, but Israel was slow to believe ; and so it 
follows, And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way, thy faith 
has made thee whole. 
Aug de Aug. The lepers may be taken mystically for those who, 
Qusest^._ j^aving no knowledge of the true faith, profess various erro- 
qu.40. neous doctrines. For they do not conceal their ignorance, 
but blazen it forth as the highest wisdom, making a vain 
show of it with boasting words. But since leprosy is a blemish 
in colour, when true things appear clumsily mixed up with 
false in a single discourse or narration, as in the colour of 
a single body, they represent a leprosy streaking and disfigurr 
ing as it were with true and false dyes the colour of the 


VEIL 11 — 19. ST. LUKE. 587 

human form. Now these lepers must be so put away from the 
Church, that being as far removed as possible, they may with 
loud shouts call upon Christ. But by their calling Him 
Teacher, I think it is plainly implied that leprosy is truly 
the false doctrine which the good teacher may wash away. 
Now we find that of those upon whom our Lord bestowed 
bodily mercies, not one did He send to the priests, save 
the lepers, for the Jewish priesthood was a figure of that 
priesthood which is in the Church. All vices our Lord 
corrects and heals by His own power working inwardly 
in the conscience, but the teaching of infusion by means 
of the Sacrament, or of catechizing by word of mouth, was 
assigned to the Church. A?id as they ivent, they were 
cleansed; just as the Gentiles to whom Peter came, having 
not yet received the sacrament of Baptism, whereby we come 
spiritually to the priests, are declared cleansed by the infu- 
sion of the Holy Spirit. Whoever then follows true and 
sound doctrine in the fellowship of the Church, pro- 
claiming himself to be free from the confusion of lies, as it were 
a leprosy, yet still ungrateful to his Cleanser does not pros- 
trate himself with pious humility of thanksgiving, is like to 
those of whom the Apostle says, that when they kneWRom. i, 
God, they glorified him not as God, nor ivere thankful. Such^^' 
then will remain in the ninth number as imperfect. For the 
nine need one, that by a certain form of unity they may be 
cemented together, in order to become ten. But he who gave 
thanks was approved of as a type of the one only Church. 
And since these were Jews, they are declared to have lost 
through pride the kingdom of heaven, wherein most of 
all unity is preserved. But the man who was a Samaritan, 
which is by interpretation " guardian," giving back to Him 
who gave it that which he had received, according to the 
Psalm, My strength tcill I preserve for thee, has kept the p^ ^g 
unity of the kingdom with humble devotion. Bede ; He 9- 
fell upon his face, because he blushes with shame when 
he remembers the evils he had committed. And he is com- 
manded to rise and walk, because he who, knowing his own 
weakness, lies lowly on the ground, is led to advance by the 
consolation of the divine word to mighty deeds. But if 
faith made him whole, who hurried himself back to 

^ / ST. r.'.ICKtEL'S 



thanks, therefore does unbelief destroy those who have 
neglected to give glory to God for mercies received. Where- 
fore that we ought to increase our faith by humility, as it is 
declared in the former parable, so in this is it exemplified in 
the actions themselves. 

20. And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, 
when the kingdom of God should come, he answered 
them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with 
observation : 

21. Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! 
for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. 

Cyril; Because our Saviour, in His discourses which He 
addressed to others, spake often of the kingdom of God, the 
Pharisees derided Him ; hence it is said, And when he was 
asked hy the Pharisees when the kingdom of Ood should 
come. As though they said tauntingly, " Before the kingdom 
of God come, which Thou speakest of, the death of the 
cross will be Thy lot." But our Lord testifying His patience, 
when reviled reviles not again, but the rather because they 
were evil, returns not a scornful answer; for it follows. He 
answered and said, The kingdom cometh not with observation ; 
as if he says, " Seek not to know the time when the kingdom 
of heaven shall again be at hand. For that time can be ob- 
served neither by men nor angels, not as the time of the Incar- 
nation which was proclaimed by the foretelling of Prophets and 
the heraldings of Angels." Wherefore He adds. Neither shall 
they say, Lo here! or, Lo there ! Or else, They ask about the 
kingdom of God, because, as is said below, they thought that 
on our Lord's coming into Jerusalem, the kingdom of God 
would be immediately manifested. Therefore our Lord 
answers, that the kingdom of God will not come with observ- 
ation. Cyril ; Now it is only for the benefit of each indi- 
vidual that He says that which follows. For behold the king- 
dom of God is ivithin you ; that is, it rests with you and 
Greff your own hearts to receive it. For every man who is justi- 
lib. de fied by faith and the grace of God, and adorned with virtues, 

secf* may obtain the kingdom of heaven. Greg. Nyss. Or, per- 

VER. 22 25. ST. LUKE. 589 

haps, the kingdom of God being within us, means that joy 
that is implanted in om* hearts by the Holy Spirit. For that 
is, as it were, the image and pledge of the everlasting joy 
with which in the world to come the souls of the Saints 
rejoice. Bede ; Or the kingdom of God means that He 
Himself is placed in the midst of them, that is, reigning in 
their hearts by faith. 

22. And he said unto the disciples. The days will 
come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of 
the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. 

23. And they shall say to you, See here; or, see 
there : go not after them, nor follow them. 

24. For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of 
the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other 
part under heaven ; so shall also the Son of man be 
in his day. 

25. But first must he suffer many things, and be 
rejected of this generation. 

Cyril; When our Lord said. The kingdom of God is 
within you, He would fain prepare His disciples for suffering, 
that being made strong they might be able to enter the 
kingdom of God; He therefore foretells to them, that before 
His coming from heaven at the end of the world, persecution 
will break out upon them. Hence it follows, And lie said 
unto the disciples, The days icill come, 8^c. meaning that so 
tenible will be the persecution, that they would desire to see 
one of His days, that is, of that time when they yet walked 
with Christ. Truly the Jews ofttimes beset Christ with re- 
proaches and insults, and sought to stone Him, and ofttimes 
would have hurled Him down from the mountain ; but even 
these seem to be looked upon as slight in comparison 
of greater evils that are to come Theophyl. For their life 
was then without trouble, for Christ took care of them and 
protected them. But the time was coming when Christ 
should be taken away, and they should be exposed to perils, 
being brought before kings and princes, and then they 


should long for the first time and its tranquillity. Bede; Or, 
by the day of Christ He signifies His kingdom, which we hope 
will come, and He rightly says, one day, because there shall 
no darkness disturb the glory of that blessed time. It is 
right then to long for the day of Christ, yet from the earnest- 
ness of our longing, let us not vision to ourselves as though 
the day were at hand. Hence it follows, Aiid they shall say 
to you, Lo here! and, Lo there! Euseb. As if he said, If at 
the coming of Antichrist, his fame shall be spread abroad, as 
though Christ had appeared, go not out, nor follow him. 
For it cannot be that He who was once seen on earth, shall 
any more dwell in the corners of the earth. It will therefore 
be he of whom we speak, not the true Christ. For this is the 
clear sign of the second coming of our Saviour, that suddenly 
the lustre of His coming shall fill the whole world; and so it 
follows. For as the lightning that lighteneth, <^c. For He 
will not appear walking upon the earth, as any common man, 
but will illuminate our whole universe, manifesting to all men 
the radiance of His divinity. 

Bede; And he well says, that Ughteneth out of the one 
part U9ider heaven, hecawse the judgment will be given under 
the heaven, that is, in the midst of the air, as the Apostle 
1 Thess.says, PVe shall be caught up together with them in the 
' clouds. But if the Lord shall appear at the Judgment like 

lightning, then shall no one remain hidden in the deep of 
his heart, for the very brightness of the Judge pierces through 
him; we may also take this answer of our Lord to refer to 
His coming, whereby He comes daily into His Church. For 
ofttimes have heretics so vexed the Church, by saying that 
the faith of Christ stands in their own dogma, that the faith- 
ful in those times longed that the Lord would if it were possible 
even for one day return to the earth, and Himself make known 
what was the true faith. And you shall not see it, because it 
need not that the Lord should again testify by a bodily 
presence that which has been spiritually declared by the 
light of the Gospel, once scattered and diffused throughout 
the whole world. Cyril; Now His disciples supposed that 
He would go to Jerusalem, and would at once make a mani- 
festation of the kingdom of God. To rid them therefore of this 
belief, He informs them that it became Him first to suffer the 

VER. 26 — 30. ST. LUKE. 591 

Life-giving Passion, then to ascend to the Father and 
shine forth from above, that He might judge the world in 
righteousness. Hence He adds, But first must he suffer many 
things, and he rejected of this cjeneration. 

Bede; He means the generation not only of the Jews, but 
also of all wicked men, by whom even now in His own body, 
that is. His Church, the Son of man suffers many things, and 
is rejected. But while He spake many things of His coming 
in glory, He inserts something also concerning His Passion, 
that when men saw Him dying, whom they had heard would be 
glorified, they might both soothe their sorrow for His suffer- 
ings by the hope of the promised glory, and at the same time 
prepare themselves, if they love the glories of His kingdom, 
to look without alarm upon the horrors of death. 

26. And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it 
be also in the days of the Son of man. 

27. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, 
they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe 
entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed 
them all. 

28. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they 
did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they 
planted, they builded ; 

29. But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom 
it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed 
them all. 

30. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son 
of man is revealed. 

Bede; The coming of our Lord, which He had compared 
to lightning flying swiftly across the heavens, He now likens 
to the days of Noah and Lot, when a sudden destruction came 
upon mankind. Chrys. For refusing to believe the words Chrys. 
of warning they were suddenly visited with a real punishment jq g* 
from God; but their unbelief proceeded from self-indulgence, ^\ ^^ 
and softness of mind. For such as a man's wishes and 
inclinations are, will also be his expectations. Therefore 
it follows, they eat and drank. 


Ambrose; He rightly declares the deluge to have been 
caused by our sins, for God did not create evil, but our 
deservings found it out for themselves. Let it not however be 
supposed that marriages, or again meat and drink, are con- 
demned, seeing that by the one succession is sustained, by the 
other nature, but moderation is to be sought for in all things. 
For whatsoever is more than this is of evil. Bede ; Now Noah 
builds the ark mystically. The Lord builds His Church of 
Christ's faithful servants, by uniting them together in one, as 
smooth pieces of wood; and when it is perfectly finished, He 
enters it: as at the day of Judgment, He who ever dwells 
within His Church enlightens it with His visible presence. 
But while the ark is in building, the wicked flourish, when it 
is entered, they perish ; as they who revile the saints in their 
warfare here, shall when they are crowned hereafter be smitten 
with eternal condemnation. 

EusEB. Having used the example of the deluge, that no 
one might expect a future deluge by water, our Lord cites, 
secondly, the example of Lot, to shew the manner of the 
destruction of the wicked, namely, that the wrath of God 
would descend upon them by fire from heaven. Bede; 
Passing by the unutterable wickedness of the Sodomites, 
He mentions only those which may be thought trifling 
offences, or none at all; that you may understand how 
fearfully unlawful pleasures are punished, when lawful 
pleasures taken to excess receive for their reward fire and 

EusEB. He does not say that fire came down from heaven 
upon the wicked Sodomites before that Lot went out from 
them, just as the deluge did not swallow up the inhabitants 
of the earth before that Noah entered the ark; for as long as 
Noah and Lot dwelt with the wicked, God suspended His 
anger that they might not perish together with the sinners, 
but when He would destroy those. He withdrew the righ- 
teous. So also at the end of the world, the consummation 
shall not come before all the just are separated from the wicked. 
Bede; For He who in the mean time though we see Him 
not yet sees all things, shall then appear to judge all things. 
And He shall come especially at that time, when He shall see 
all who are forgetful of His judgments in bondage to this 

VER. 31—33. ST. LUKE. 593 

world. Theophyl. For when Antichrist has come, then 
shall men become wanton, given up to abominable vices, as 
the Apostle says, Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of^ Tim. 
God. For if Antichrist is the dwelling-place of every sin, ' 
what else will he then implant in the miserable race of men, 
but what belongs to himself. And this our Lord implies by 
the instances of the deluge and the people of Sodom. 
Bede; Now mystically, Lot, which is interpreted ' turning 
aside,' is the people of the elect, who, while in Sodom, i. e. 
among the wicked, live as strangers, to the utmost of 
their power turning aside from all their wicked ways. But 
when Lot went out, Sodom is destroyed, for at the end of 
the world, the angels shall go forth and sever the wicked from Matt. 
among the just, and cast them into a furnace of fire. The ^^' ^^* 
fire and brimstone, however, which He relates to have rained 
from heaven, does not signify the flame itself of everlasting 
punishment, but the sudden coming of that didiy. 

3L In that day, he which shall be upon the house- 
top, and his stuff in the house, let him not come 
down to take it away : and he that is in the field, let 
him likewise not return back. 

32. Remember Lot's wife. 

33. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose 
it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. 

Ambrose; Because good men must needs on account of 
the wicked be sore vexed in this world, in order that they 
may receive a more plentiful reward in the world to come, 
they are here punished with certain remedies, as it is here 
said, In that day, S^c. that is, if a man goes up to the top of 
his house and rises to the summit of the highest virtues, let 
him not fall back to the grovelling business of this world. 
Aug. For he is on the housetop who, departing from carnal 
things, breathes as it were the free air of a spiritual life. But 
the vessels in the house are the carnal senses, which many 
using to discover truth which is only taken in by the intellect, 
have entirely missed it. Let the spiritual man then beware, 
lest in the day of tribulation he again take pleasure in the 

VOL. III. 2 Q 


carnal life which is fed by the bodily senses, and descend to 
take away this world's vessels. It follows, Arid he that is in 
the Jield, lei him not retuvfi back; that is. He who labours 
in the Church, as Paul planting and Apollos watering, let 
him not look back upon the worldly prospects which he has 

Theophyl. Matthew relates all these things to have been 
said by our Lord, with reference to the destruction of Jeru- 
salem, that when the Romans came upon them, they who 
were on the housetop should not come down to take any 
thing, but fly at once, nor they that were in the field return 
home. And surely so it was at the taking of Jerusalem, and 
again will be at the coming of Antichrist, but much more 
at the completion of all things, when that intolerable de- 
struction shall come. 

EusEB. He hereby implies that a persecution will come 
from the son of perdition upon Christ's faithful. By that 
day then He means the time previous to the end of the 
world, in which let not him who is flying return, nor care 
to lose his goods, lest he imitate Lot's wife, who when she 
fled out of the city of Sodom, turning back, died, and be- 
came a pillar of salt. 

Ambrose ; Because thus she looked behind, she lost the 
gift of her nature. For Satan is behind, behind also Sodom. 
Wherefore flee fi'om intemperance, turn away from lust, for 
recollect, that he who turned not back to his old pursuits 
escaped, because he reached the mount; whereas she looking 
back to what was left behind, could not even by the aid of 
her husband reach the mount, but remained fixed. Aug. 
Lot's wife represents those who in time of trouble look back 
and turn aside from the hope of the divine promise, and 
hence she was made a pillar of salt as a warning to men not 
to do likewise, and to season as it were their hearts, lest they 
become corrupt. 

Theophyl. Next follows the promise. Whosoever shall 
seek, 8^c. as if he said. Let no man in the persecutions of 
Antichrist seek to secure his life, for he shall lose it, but 
whoso shall expose himself to trials and death shall be 
safe, never submitting himself to the tyrant from his love 
of life. Cyril ; How a man may lose his own life to save it, 

VER. 34 — 37. ST. LUKE. 595 

St. Paul explains when he speaks of some who crucifiod Gal. 5 


their flesh with the affections and lusts, that is, with per- 
severance and dev^otion engaging in the conflict. 

34. I tell you, in that night there shall be two 
men in one bed ; the one shall be taken, and the 
other shall be left. 

3.5. Two women shall be grinding together ; the 
one shall be taken, and the other left. 

36. Two men shall be in the field ; the one shall 
be taken, and the other left. 

37. And they answered and said unto him. Where, 
Lord ? And he said unto them^ Wheresoever the 
body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together. 

Bede ; Our Lord had just before said, that he who is in 
the field must not return back ; and lest this should seem to 
have been spoken of those only who would openly return 
from the field, that is, who would publicly deny their Lord, 
He goes on to shew, that there are some who, while seeming 
to turn their face forward, are yet in their heart looking 
behind. Ambrose ; He rightly says, iiight, for Antichrist 
is the hour of darkness, because he pours a dark cloud over 
the minds of men while he declares himself to be Christ. 
But Christ as lightning shines brightly, that we may be able 
to see in that night the glory of the resurrection. Aug. Or Aug. de 
He says, in that night, meaning in that tribulation. Theo-Jv^'ij * 
PHYL. Or He teaches us the suddenness of Christ's coming, qu. 41. 
which we are told will be in the night. And having said 
that the rich can scarcely be saved. He shews that not all the 
rich perish, nor all the poor are saved. Cyril; For by the 
two men in one bed, He seems to denote the rich who repose 
themselves in worldly pleasures, for a bed is a sign of rest. 
But not all who abound in riches are wicked, but if one 
is good and elect in the faith, he will be taken, but 
another who is not so will be left. For when our Lord 
descends to judgment, He will send His Angels, who while 
they leave behind on the earth the rest to suffer punishment, 

•2 Q 2 


will bring the holy and righteous men to Him; according to 
1 Thess. the Apostle's words, We shall be caught up together in the 
' ■ clouds to meet Christ in the air, Ambrose ; Or out of the 
same bed of human infirmity, one is left, that is, rejected, an- 
other is taken up, that is, is caught to meet Christ in the air. 
By the two grinding together, he seems to imply the poor and 
the oppressed. To which belongs what follows. Two men 
shall he in the Jield, 8^c. For in these there is no slight 
difference. For some nobly bear up against the burden 
of poverty, leading a lowly but honest life, and these shall 
be taken up ; but the others are very active in wickedness, 
and they shall be left. Or those grinding at the mill seem to 
represent such as seek nourishment from hidden sources, 
and from secret places draw forth things openly to view. 
And perhaps the world is a kind of corn mill, in which the 
soul is shut up as in a bodily prison. And in this corn mill 
either the synagogue or the soul exposed to sin, like the 
wheat, softened by grinding and spoilt by too great moisture, 
cannot separate the outward from the inner parts, and so is 
left because its flour dissatisfies. But the holy Church, or 
the soul which is not soiled by the stains of sin, which grinds 
such wheat as is ripened by the heat of the eternal sun, 
presents to God a good flour from the secret shrines of the 
heart. Who the two men in the field are we may discover if 
we consider, that there are two minds in us, one of the outer 
man which wasteth away, the other of the inner man which is 
renewed by the Sacrament. These are then the labourers in 
the field, the one of which by diligence brings forth good 
fruit, the other by idleness loses that which he has. Or 
those who are compared we may interpret to be two nations, 
one of which being faithful is taken, the other being unfaith- 
ful is left. 
Aug. de Aug. Or there are three classes of men here represented. 
ut sup! The first is composed of those who prefer their ease and quiet, 
and busy not themselves in secular or ecclesiastical con- 
cerns. And this quiet life of theirs is signified by the bed. 
The next class embraces those who being placed among the 
people are governed by teachers. And such he has described 
by the name of women, because it is best for them to be 
ruled by the advice of those who are set over them ; and he 


VER. 34 — 37. ST. LUKE. 697 

has described these as grinding at the mill, because in their 
hands revolves the wheel and circle of temporal concerns. 
And with reference to these matters he has represented them 
as grinding together, inasmuch as they give their services to 
the benefit of the Church. The third class are those w^ho 
labour in the ministry of the Church as in the field of God. 
In each of these three classes then there are two sorts of 
men, of which the one abide in the Church and are taken 
up, the other fall away and are left. Ambrose ; For God is 
not unjust that He should separate in His reward of their 
deserts men of like pursuits in life, and not differing in the 
quality of their actions. But the habit of living together 
does not equalize the merits of men, for not all accomplish 
what they attempt, but he only who shall persevere to the 
end shall be saved. Cyril ; When He said that some should 
be taken up, the disciples not unprofitably inquire, ' Where, 
Lord ?' Bede ; Our Lord was asked two questions, where 
the good should be taken up, and where the bad left; He gave 
only one answer, and left the other to be understood, saying, 
Wheresoever the body is, iliither will the eagles he gathered 
together. Cyril; As if He said, As when a dead body is 
thrown awav, all the birds which feed on human flesh flock 
to it, so when the Son of man shall come, all the eagles, that 
is, the saints, shall haste to meet Him. Ambrose ; For the 
souls of the righteous are likened to eagles, because they 
soar high and forsake the lower parts, and are said to live 
to a great age. Now concerning the body, we can have no 
doubt, and above all if we remember that Joseph received 
the body from Pilate. And do not you see the eagles around Matt. 
the body are the women and Apostles gathered together ^^• 
around our Lord's sepulchre } Do not you see them then, 
ivhen he shall come in the clouds, and every eye shall behold Rev. i, 
him ? But the body is that of which it was said. My j^^^^ g 
Jlesh is meat indeed; and around this body are the eagles 55. 
which fly about on the wings of the Spirit, around it also 
eagles which believe that Christ has come in the flesh. And 
this body is the Church, in which by the grace of baptism 
we are renewed in the Spirit. 

EusEB. Or by the eagles feeding on the dead animals, he 
has here described the rulers of the world, and those who 


shall at that time persecute the saints of God, in whose 
power are left all those who are unworthy of being taken up, 
who are called the body or carcase. Or by the eagles are 
meant the avenging powers which shall fly about to torment 
Aug. de the wicked. Aug. Now these things which Luke has given J 
l.ii. c. 7!^^ in a different place from Matthew, he either relates by 
anticipation, so as to mention beforehand what was afterwards 
spoken by our Lord, or he means us to understand that they 
were twice uttered by Him. 


1. And he spake a parable unto them to this end, 
that men ought always to pray, and not to faint ; 

2. Saying, There was in a city a judge, which 
feared not God, neither regarded man : 

3. And there was a widow in that city; and she 
came unto him, saying. Avenge me of mine ad- 

4. And he would not for a while : but afterwards 
he said within himself. Though I fear not God, nor 
regard man ; 

5. Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will 
avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary 

6. And the Lord said. Hear what the unjust judge 

7. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which 
cry day and night unto him, though he bear long 
with them ? 

8. I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. 
Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he 
find faith on the earth ? 

Theophyl. Our Lord having spoken of the trials and 
dangers which were coming, adds immediately afterward 
their remedy, namely, constant and earnest prayer. Chrys. 
He who hath redeemed thee, hath shewn thee what He 
would have thee do. He would have thee be instant iti 
prayer, He would have thee ponder in thy heart the blessings 


thou art praying for, He would have thee ask and receive 
what His goodness is longing to impart. He never refuses 
His blessings to them that pray, but rather stirs men up by 
His mercy not to faint in praying. Gladly accept the Lord's 
encouragement: be willing to do what He commands, not to 
do what He forbids. Lastly, consider what a blessed privi- 
lege is granted thee, to talk with God in thy prayers, and 
make known to Him all thy wants, while He though not 
in words, yet by His mercy, answers thee, for He despiseth 
not petitions. He tires not but when thou art silent. 
Bede ; We should say that he is always praying, and 
faints not, who never fails to pray at the canonical hours. 
Or all things which the righteous man does and says 
■f^g-. towards God, are to be counted as praying. Aug. Our 
qu*. 45, Lord utters His parables, either for the sake of the com- 
parison, as in the instance of the creditor, who when forgiving 
his two debtors all that they owed him was most loved by 
him who owed him most ; or on account of the contrast, 
from which he draws his conclusion; as, for example, if God 
so clothe the grass of the Jield, ichich to-day is, and to- 
morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe 
you, O ye of little faith. So also here when he brings for- 
ward the case of the unjust judge. Theophyl. We may 
observe, that irreverence towards man is a token of a greater 
degree of wickedness. For as many as fear not God, yet are 
restrained by their shame before men, are so far the less sin- 
ful ; but when a man becomes reckless also of other men, the 
burden of his sins is greatly increased. 

It follows. And there was a widow in that city. Aug. 
The widow may be said to resemble the Church, which 
appears desolate until the Lord shall come, who now 
secretly watches over her. But in the following words, And 
she came unto him, saying, Avenge me, S^c. we are told 
the reason why the elect of God pray that they may be 
avenged ; which we find also said of the martyrs in the 
Rev. 6, Revelations of St. John, though at the same time we are 
very plainly reminded to pray for our enemies and perse- 
cutors. This avenging of the righteous then we must 
understand to be, that the wicked may perish. And 
they perish in two ways, either by conversion to righte- 


VER. 1 — 8. ST. LUKE. 601 

ousness, or by punishment having lost the opportunity of 
conversion. Although, if all men were converted to God, 
there would still remain the devil to be condemned at the 
end of the world. And since the righteous are longing for 
this end to come, they are not unreasonably said to desire 
vengeance. Cyril; Or else; Whenever men inflict injury 
upon us, we must then think it a noble thing to be forgetful 
of the evil; but when they offend against the glory of God 
by taking up arms against the ministers of God's ordinance, 
we then approach God imploring His help, and loudly re- 
buking them who impugn His glory. 

Aug. If then with the most unjust judge, the perseverance Aug. 
of the suppliant at length prevailed even to the fulfilment of"*^^!** 
her desire, how much more confident ought they to feel who 
cease not to pray to God, the Fountain of justice and mercy? 
And so it follows. A7id the Lord said^ Hear what, SfC. 
Theophyl. As if He said, If perseverance could melt a judge 
defiled with every sin, how much more shall our prayers 
incline to mercy God the Father of all mercies ! But some 
have given a more subtle meaning to the parable, saying, that 
the widow is a soul that has put off the old man, (that is, the 
devilj) who is her adversary, because she approaches God, 
the righteous Judge, who neither fears (because He is God 
alone) nor regards man, for with God there is no respect of 
persons. Upon the widow then, or soul ever supplicating Him 
against the devil, God shews mercy, and is softened by her 
importunity. After having taught us that we must in the 
last days resort to prayer because of the dangers that are 
coming, our Lord adds. Nevertheless, ichen the Son of man 
cometh, shall he Jind faith on the earth f^ Aug. Our Lord Aug. 
speaks this of perfect faith, which is seldom found on earth. 125™* 
See how full the Church of God is; were there no faith, who 
would enter it? Were there perfect faith, who would not 
move mountains? Bede ; When the Almighty Creator shall 
appear in the form of the Son of man, so scarce will the elect be, 
that not so much the cries of the faithful as the torpor of the 
others will hasten the world's fall. Our Lord speaks then as 
it were doubtfully, not that He really is in doubt, but to re- 
prove us; just as we sometimes, in a matter of certainty, might 
use the words of doubt, as, for instance, in chiding a servant, 


Aug. " Remember, am I not thy master .?" Aug. Our Lord adds 

sup. ^Y^[^ iq shew, that when faith fails, prayer dies. In order to 

pray then, we must have faith, and that our faith fail not, we 

must pray. Faith pours forth prayer, and the pouring forth 

of the heart in prayer gives stedfastness to faith. 

9. And he spake this parable unto certain which 
trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and 
despised others : 

10. Two men went up into the temple to pray; 
the one a Pharisee, and the other a Publican. 

11. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with him- 
self, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men 
are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this 

12. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all 
that I possess. 

13. And the Publican, standing afar ofF, would not 
lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote 
upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a 

14. I tell you, this man went down to his house 
justified rather than the other : for every one that 
exalteth himself shall be abased ; and he that hum- 
bleth himself shall be exalted. 

Aug. Aug. Since faith is not a gift of the proud but of the 
115, * humble, our Lord proceeds to add a parable concerning 
humility and against pride. Theophyl. Pride also beyond 
all other passions disturbs the mind of man. And hence 
the very frequent warnings against it. It is moreover a con- 
tempt of God; for when a man ascribes the good he doth to 
himself and not to God, what else is this but to deny God? 
For the sake then of those that so trust in themselves, that 
they will not ascribe the whole to God, and therefore 
despise others. He puts forth a parable, to shew that righte- 
ousness, although it may bring man up to God, yet if he is 

VER. 9 — 14. ST. LUKE. 003 

clothed with pride, casts him down to hell. Greek Ex. To be Aste- 
diligent in prayer was the lesson taught by our Lord in the 
parable of the widow and the judge, He now instructs us 
how we should, direct our prayers to Him, in order that our 
prayers may not be fruitless. The Phaiisee was condemned 
because he prayed heedlessly. As it follows, The Pharisee 
stood and prayed, with himself. Theophyl. It is said 
" standing," to denote his haughty temper. For his very 
posture betokens his extreme pride. Basil; " He prayed Basil, 
with himself," that is, not with God, his sin of pride sent him^. 2/ 
back into himself. It follows, God, I thank thee. Aug. Aug. 
His fault was not that he gave God thanks, but that hcj^is. * 
asked for nothing further. Because thou art full and 
abouudest, thou hast no need to say. Forgive us our debts. 
What then must be his guilt who impiously fights against 
grace, when he is condemned who proudly gives thanks ? 
Let those hear who say, " God has made me man, I made 
myself righteous. O worse and more hateful than the 
Pharisee, who proudly called himself righteous, yet gave 
thanks to God that he was so. 

Theophyl. Observe the order of the Pharisee's prayer. 
He first speaks of that which he had not, and then of that 
which he had. As it follows. That I am not as other men 
are. Aug. He might at least have said, " as many men;" Aug. 
for what does he mean by " other men," but all besides him- " ^"^* 
self.'' " I am righteous, he says, the rest are sinners." 
Greg. There are different shapes in which the pride of Greg, 
self-confident men presents itself; when they imagine that^, g 
either the good in them is of themselves ; or when believing it 
is given them fi'om above, that they have received it for their 
own merits ; or at any rate when they boast that they have that 
which they have not. Or lastly, when despising others they 
aim at appearing singular in the possession of that which 
they have. And in this respect the Pharisee awards to himself 
especially the merit of good works. Aug. See how he Aug. 
derives fi-om the Publican near him a fresh occasion for 
pride. It follows. Or even as this Publican; as if he says, 
" I stand alone, he is one of the others." 

Chrys. To despise the whole race of man was not enough Chrjs. 
for him ; he must yet attack the Publican. He would have ?°!^' ^' 

'' cle i-oen. 


sinned, yet far less if he had spared the Publican, but now in 
one word he both assails the absent, and inflicts a wound on 
Horn. 3. him who was present. To give thanks is not to heap re- 
'proaches on others. When thou returnest ^hanks to God, 
let Him be all in all to thee. Turn not thy thoughts to 
Basil, men, nor condemn thy neighbour. Basil; The difference 
^'between the proud man and the scoraer is in the outward 
form alone. The one is engaged in reviling others, the 
other in presumptuously extolling himself. Chrys. He who 
rails at others does much harm both to himself and others. 
First, those who hear him are rendered worse, for if sinners 
they are made glad in finding one as guilty as themselves, if 
righteous, they are exalted, being led by the sins of others to 
think more highly of themselves. Secondly, the body of the 
Church suffers ; for those who hear him are not all content to 
blame the guilty only, but to fasten the reproach also on the 
Christian religion. Thirdly, the glory of God is evil spoken of; 
for as our well-doing makes the name of God to be glorified, 
so our sins cause it to be blasphemed. Fourthly, the object 
of reproach is confounded and becomes more reckless and 
immoveable. Fifthly, the ruler is himself made liable to 
punishment for uttering things which are not seemly. 

Theophyl. It becomes us not only to shun evil, but also 

to do good; and so after having said, I am not as other men 

are, extortioners^ unjust, adulterers , he adds something by 

Sabba- way of Contrast, I fast twice in a week. They called the week 

the Sabbath, from the last day of rest. The Pharisees fasted 

upon the second and fifth day. He therefore set fasting 

against the passion of adultery, for lust is born of luxury ; but 

to the extortioners and usurists he opposed the payment of 

tithes; as it follows, / give tithes of all I possess ; as if he 

says, So far am I from indulging in extortion or injuring, that 

Greg. I even give up what is my own. Greg. So it was pride that 

c 21 °^ ^^^^ h'.ix^ to his wily enemies the citadel of his heart, which 

prayer and fasting had in vain kept closed. Of no use are 

all the other fortifications, as long as there is one place which 

the enemy has left defenceless. 

Aug. If you look into his words, you will find that he asked 
nothing of God. He goes up indeed to pray, but instead of 
asking God, praises himself, and even insults him that asked. 

VER. 9—14. ST. LUKE. 605 

The Publican, on the other hand, driven by his stricken 
conscience afar off, is by his piety brought near. Theophyl. 
Although reported to have stood, the Publican yet differed 
from the Pliarisee, both in his manner and his words, as well 
as in liis having a contrite heart. For he feared to Uft up 
his eyes to heaven, thinking unworthy of the heavenly 
vision those which had loved to gaze upon and wander after 
earthly things. He also smote his breast, striking it as it 
were because of the evil thoughts, and moreover rousing it 
as if asleep. And thus he sought only that God would be 
reconciled to him, as it follows, saying, Qod, be merciful. 

Chrys. He heard the words, that 1 am not as the Publican. 
He was not angry, but pricked to the heart. The one 
uncovered the wound, the other seeks for its remedy. Let 
no one then ever put forth so cold an excuse as, I dare not, 
I am ashamed, I cannot open my mouth. The devils have 
that kind of fear. The devil would fain close against thee 
every door of access to God. 

Aug. Why then marvel ye, whether God pardons, since Aug. 
He himself acknowledges it. The Publican stood afar off, j^™* 
yet drew near to God. And the Lord was nigh unto him, 
and heard him, For the Lord is on high, yet hath he regard 
to the loicly. He lifted not so much as his eyes to heaven ; 
that he might be looked upon, he looked not himself Con- 
science weighed him down, hope raised him up, he smote 
his own breast, he exacted judgment upon himself. Therefore 
did the Lord spare the penitent. Thou hast heard the accu- 
sation of the proud, thou hast heard the humble confession of 
the accused. Hear now the sentence of the Judge; Verily I 
say unto you, this man went down to his house Justified rather 
than the other. 

Chrys. This parable represents to us two chariots on the race Chrys. 
course, each with two charioteers in it. In one of the cha- p^jj^^'^. 
riots it places righteousness with pride, in the other sin and Horn. 5. 
humility. You see the chariot of sin outstrip that of righte- 
ousness, not by its own strength but by the excellence of 
humility combined with it, but the other is defeated not by 
righteousness, but by the weight and swelling of pride. 
For as humility by its own elasticity rises above the weight 
of pride, and leaping up reaches to God, so pride by its 


great weight easily depresses righteousness. Although there- 
fore thou art earnest and constant in well doing, yet thinkest 
thou mayest boast thyself, thou art altogether devoid of the 
fruits of prayer. But thou that bearest a thousand loads of 
guilt on thy conscience, and only thinkest this thing of thyself 
that thou art the lowest of all men, shalt gain much confidence 
before God. And He then goes on to assign the reason of His 
sentence. For every one who exalteth himself shall be 
Chrys. abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. The 
142 ^'<^i'd humility has various meanings. There is the humility 
Ps. 51, of virtue, as, A humble and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt 
^'^^ not despise. There is also a humility arising from sorrows, as, 
Ps. 142, He has humbled my life upon the earth. There is a humility 
derived from sin, and the pride and insatiability of riches. 
For can any thing be more low and debased than those who 
grovel in riches and power, and count them great things? 
Basil. Basil ; In like manner it is possible to be honourably elated 

in Esai. . ii«ii iii > -, 

2. 12. when your thoughts indeed are not lowly, but your mind by 
greatness of soul is lifted up towards virtue. This loftiness of 
mind is seen in a cheerfulness amidst sorrow ; or a kind of 
noble dauntlessness in trouble ; a contempt of earthly things, 
and a conversation in heaven. And this loftiness of mind 
seems to differ from that elevation which is engendered 
of pride, just as the stoutness of a well-regidated body 
differs from the swelling of the flesh which proceeds from 
Chrys. Chrys. This inflation of pride can cast down even from 
Prof, heaven the man that taketh not warning, but humility can raise 
^^'- a man up from the lowest depth of guilt. The one saved the 
Publican before the Pharisee, and brought the thief into Pa- 
radise before the Apostles ; the other entered even into the 
spiritual powers. But if humility though added to sin 
has made such rapid advances, as to pass by pride united to 
righteousness, how much swifter will be its course when you 
add to it righteousness ? It will stand by the judgment-seat 
of God in the midst of the angels with great boldness. More- 
over if pride joined to righteousness had power to depress it, 
unto what a hell will it thrust men when added to sin? This 

1 say not that we should neglect righteousness, but that we 
should avoid pride. Theophyl. But should any one per- 

VEI?.. 15 — 17. ST. LUKE. 007 

chance marvel that the Pharisee for uttering a few words in 
his own praise is condemned, while Job, though he poured 
forth many, is crowned, I answer, that the Pharisee spoke 
these at the same time that he groundlessly accused others; 
but Job was compelled by an urgent necessity to enumerate 
his own virtues for the glory of God, that men might not 
fall away from the path of virtue. 

Bede ; Typically, the Pharisee is the Jewish people, who 
boast of their ornaments because of the righteousness of the 
law; but the Pubhcan is the Gentiles, who being at a distance 
from God confess their sins. Of whom the one for His pride 
returned humbled, the other for his contrition was thought 
worthy to draw near and be exalted. 

15. And they brought unto him also infants, that 
he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, 
they rebuked them. 

16. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, 
Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid 
them not : for of such is the kingdom of God. 

17. Verily I say unto you. Whosoever shall not 
receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in 
no wise enter therein. 

Theophyl- After what He had said, our Lord teaches us 
a lesson of humility by His own example ; He does not turn 
away the little children who are brought to Him, but gra- 
ciously receives them. Aug. To whom are they brought to Aug. 
be touched, but to the Saviour? And as being the Saviour ^^™- 
they are presented to Him to be saved, who came to save that 
which was lost. But with regard to these innocents, when 
were they lost? The Apostle ^dij?,^ By one man sin entered ^^^^^^ 
into the world. Let then the little children come as the sick ^2. 
to a physician, the lost to their Redeemer. 

Ambrose ; It may be thought strange by some that the disci- 
ples wished to prevent the little children from coming to our 
Lord, as it is said, when they saiv it, they rebuked them. But 
we must understand in this either a mystery, or the effect of 
their love to Him. For they did it not from envy or harsh 


feeling towards the children, but they manifested a holy zeal 
in their Lord's service, that he might not be pressed by the 
crowds. Our own interest must be given up where an injury 
is threatened to God. But we may understand the mystery 
to be, that they desired the Jewish people to be first saved, 
of whom they were according to the flesh. 

They knew indeed the mystery, that to both nations the 
call was to be made, (for they entreated for the Canaanitish 
woman,) but perhaps they were still ignorant of the order. 
It follows, But Jesus called them unto hiTn, and said, Suffer 
little children, SfC. One age is not preferred to another, else 
it were hurtful to grow up. But why does He say that 
children are fitter for the kingdom of heaven ? It is because 
they are ignorant of guile, are incapable of theft, dare not 
return a blow, are unconscious of lust, have no desire for 
wealth, honours, or ambition. But to be ignorant of these 
things is not virtue, we must also despise them. For virtue 
consists not in our inability to sin, but in our unwillingness. 
Childhood then is not meant here, but that goodness which 
rivals the simplicity of childhood. Bede ; Hence our Lord 
pointedly says, of such, not " of these," to shew that to 
character, not to age, is the kingdom given, and to such as 
have a childlike innocence and simplicity is the promise of 
the rew^ard. Ambrose ; Lastly, our Saviour expressed this 
when He said. Verily I say unto you. Whosoever will not 
receive the kingdom of God as a little child, S^c. What 
child were Christ's Apostles to imitate but Him of whom 
I.sai.9, Esaias speaks. Unto us a Child is given? Who when He 
IP t 2 ^'^'^ reviled, reviled not again. So that there is in childhood 
a certain venerable antiquity, and in old age a childlike 
Basil, innocence. Basil ; We shall receive the kingdom of God 
B ^^^' as a child if we are disposed towards our Lord's teaching as 
ad int. a child under instruction, never contradicting nor disputing 
with his masters, but trustfully and teachably imbibing learn- 
ing. Theophyl. The wise men of the Gentiles therefore 
who seek for wisdom in a mystery, which is the kingdom of 
God, and will not receive this without the evidence of 
logical proof, are rightly shut out from this kingdom. 

VER. 18 — 23. ST. LUKE. 609 

18. And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good 
Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life ? 

19. And Jesus said unto him. Why callest thou 
me good ? none is good, save one, that is, God. 

20. Thou knowest the commandments. Do not 
commit adultery. Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not 
bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. 

21. And he said, All these have I kept from my 
youth up. 

22. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said 
unto him. Yet lackest thou one thing : sell all that 
thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou 
shalt have treasure in heaven : and come, follow me. 

23. And when he heard this, he was very sorrow- 
ful : for he was very rich. 

Bede ; A certain ruler having heard our Lord say, that 
only those who would be like little children should enter the 
kingdom of heaven, entreats Him to explain to him not by 
parable but openly by what works he may merit to obtain 
eternal life. Ambrose ; That ruler tempting Him said. Good 
Master, he ought to have said, Good God. For although 
goodness exists in divinity and divinity in goodness, yet by 
adding Good Master, he uses good only in part, not in the 
whole. For God is good altogether, man partially. Cvril; 
Now he thought to detect Christ in blaming the law of 
Moses, while He introduced His own commands. He went 
then to the Master, and calling Him good, says that he 
wishes to be taught by Him, for he sought to tempt Him. 
But He who takes the wise in their craftiness answers him 
fitly as follows, Why callest thou me good? there is none 
good, save God alone. Ambrose; He does not deny that He 
is good, but points to God. None is good then except he be 
full of goodness. But should it strike any one that it is said, 
none is good, let this also strike him, save God, and if the 
Son is not excepted from God, surely neither is Christ 
excepted from good. For how is He not good who is born 
from good ? A good tree brings forth good fruits. How is Matt. 7, 
VOL. III. 2 R ^'' 


He not good, seeing that the substance of His goodness which 

He took unto Him from the Father has not degenerated in the 

Ps. 148, Son which did not degenerate in the Spirit. Thy good spirit^ 

he says, shall lead vie into a land of uprightness. But if the 

Spirit is good who received from the Son, verily He also is 

good who gave It. Because then it was a lawyer who tempted 

Him, as is plainly shewn in another book, He therefore well 

said. None is good, save God, that He might remind him that 

Deut. 6, it was written. Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God, but 

Ps.n 8.^^ ^^^^ rather gives thanks to the Lord that He is good. 

Chrys. Chrys. Or else ; I shall not hesitate to call this ruler 

63°Tn covetous, for wdth this Christ reproaches him, but I say not 

Matt, that he w^as a tempter. Tit. Bost. AVhen he says then, Good 

Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? it is the same 

as if he says. Thou art good ; vouchsafe me then an answer 

to my question. I am learned in the Old Testament, but I 

see in Thee something far more excellent. For Thou makest 

no earthly promises, but preachest the kingdom of heaven. 

Tell me then, what shall I do to inherit eternal life ? The 

Saviour then considering his meaning, because faith is the 

way to good works, passes over the question he asked, and 

leads him to the knowledge of faith ; as if a man was to ask a 

physician, " What shall I eat ?" and he was to shew him 

what ought to go before his food. And then He sends him 

to His Father, saying. Why callest thou me good? not that 

He was not good, for He was the good branch from the good 

Aug. de tree, or the good Son of the good Father. Aug. It may 

Ev. lib. seem that the account given in Matthew is different, where it 

l^^^^^-is said, " AVhy askest thou me of good.?" w^hich might apply 

JO. better to the question which he asked. What good shall I do? 

In this place he both calls Him good, and asks the question 

about good. It will be best then to understand both to have 

been said, Why callest thou me good? and, Why askest thou 

me of good ? though the latter may rather be implied in the 


Tit. Bost. After instructing him in the knowledge of the 
faith, He adds, Titou knowest the commandments. As though 
He said. Know God first, and then will it be time to seek what 
thou askest. Cyril ; But the ruler expected to hear Christ 
say. Forsake the commandments of Moses, and listen to Mine. 

VER. J 8 23. ST. LUKK. (HI 

Whereas He sends him to the former; as it follows, Thou shalt 
not kill. Thou shall not commit adultery. Tiieophyl. The 
law first forbids those things to which we are most prone, as 
adultery for instance, the incitement to which is within us, 
and of our nature ; and murder, because rage is a great and 
savage monster. But theft and bearing false witness are sins 
which men seldom fall into. And besides, the former 
also are the more grievous sins, therefore He places theft and 
bearing false witness in the second place, as both less com- 
mon, and of less weight than the other. Basil ; Now we n:isil. 
must not understand by thieves, only such as cut strips off can. T.' 
hides, or commit robberies in the baths. But all such also as, 23. 
when appointed leaders of legions, or installed governors of 
states or nations, are guilty of secret embezzlement, or violent 
and open exactions. Tit. Bost. But you may observe that 
these commandments consist in not doing certain things; that 
if thou hast not committed adultery, thou art chaste ; if thou 
stealest not, honestly disposed ; if thou bearest not false 
witness, truth-telling. Virtue then we see is rendered easy 
through the goodness of the Lawgiver. For He speaks of 
avoiding of evil, not practising of good. And any cessation 
from action is easier than any actual work. 

Theophyl. Because sin against parents, although a great 
crime, very rarely happens, He places it last of all. Honour 
thy father and mother . Ambrose; Honour is concerned not 
only with paying respect, but also with giving bountifully. 
For it is honouring to reward deserts. Feed thy father, feed 
thy mother, and when thou hast fed them thou hast not re- 
quited all the pangs and agony thy mother underwent for thee. 
To the one thou owest all thou hast, to the other all thou 
art. What a condemnation, should the Church feed those 
whom thou art able to feed! But it may be said. What I was 
going to bestow upon my parents, I prefer to give to the 
Church. God seeks not a gift which w^ill starve thy parents, 
but the Scripture says as well that parents are to be fed, 
as that they are to be left for God's sake, should they check 
the love of a devout mind. 

It follows. And he said, All these things have I kept from 
my youth up. Jerome; The young man speaks false, for ifnier. 

in Matt. 
19, 19. 

he had fulfilled that which was afterwards placed among the 

2 r2 


commandments, Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself, how 
was it that when he heard, Go and sell all that thou ha^t, 
and give to the poor, he went away sorrowful? Bede; Or 
we must not think him to have lied, but to have avowed 
that he had Hved honestly, that is, at least in outward 
Mark thinsfs, else Mark could never have said, And Jesus seeing 

10,21. J.J.J. 

Iiim, loved him. 

Tit. Bost. Our Lord next declares, that though a man 

has kept the old covenant, he is not perfect, since he lacks 

to follow Christ. Thou yet lackest one thing. Sell all that 

thou hast, <^c. As if He says, Thou askest how to possess 

eternal life; scatter thy goods among the poor, and thou 

shalt obtain it. A little thing is that thou spendest, thou 

Athan. receivest great things. Athan. For when we despise the 

de sua" ^'orld, we must not imagine we have resigned any thing great, 

fuga. for the whole earth in comparison of the heaven is but a 

span long ; therefore even should they who renounce it be lords 

of the whole earth, yet still it would be nothing worth in 

comparison of the kingdom of heaven. Bede; Whoever then 

wishes to be perfect must sell all that he hath, not a part 

only, as Ananias and Sapphira did, but the whole. Theophyl. 

Hence when he says. All that thou hast, He inculcates the 

most complete poverty. For if there is any thing left over 

Basil, or remaining to thee, thou art its slave. Basil; He does 

in Keg. 

Brev. not tell US to sell our goods, because they are by nature evil, 

mt. 92. for then they would not be God's creatures; He therefore does 

not bid us cast them away as if they were bad, but distribute 

them; nor is any one condemned for possessing them, but for 

abusing them. And thus it is, that to lay out our goods 

according to God's command both blots out sins, and bestows 

Chrys. the kingdom. Chrys. God might indeed feed the poor 

Horn, without our taking compassion upon them, but He wishes the 

ad Cor. givers to be bound by the ties of love to the receivers. 

Basil. Basil; When our Lord says, Give to the poor, it becomes 

fus.dtfp. ^ ™^^ ^^ longer to be careless, but diligently to dispose of all 

3. ad int. things, first of all by himself if in any measure he is able, 

if not, by those who are known to be faithful, and prudent in 

Jerem. their management; for cursed is he who doeth the work 

Ch'ry.s. Of the Lord negligently. Chrys. But it is asked, how does 

Horn. Christ acknowledge the giving all things to the poor to be 

ad Cor. 

VER. 24 — 30. ST. LUKE. 613 

perfection, whereas St. Paul declares this very thing without 
charity to be imperfect. Their harmony is shewn in the words 
which succeed, And come ^follow me, which betokens it to be 
from love. For herein shall all men know that ye are my John 

1 o OK 

disciples, if ye have love one toward another, Theophyl. ' 
Together with poverty must exist all the other virtues, 
therefore He says, Come, follow me, that is, In all other 
things be My disciples, be always following Me. 

Cyril; The ruler was not able to contain the new word, 
but beinff like an old bottle, burst with sorrow. Basil; Basil. 
The merchant when he goes to the market, is not loth to eieemos. 
part with all that he has, in order to obtain what he requires, 
but thou art grieved at giving mere dust and ashes that thou 
mayest gain everlasting bliss. 

24. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrow- 
ful, he said. How hardly shall they that have riches 
enter into the kingdom of God ! 

25. For it is easier for a camel to go through a 
needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the 
kingdom of God. 

26. And they that heard it said. Who then can be 

27. And he said. The things which are impossible 
with men are possible with God. 

28. Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and 
followed thee. 

29. And he said unto them. Verily 1 say unto 
you. There is no man that hath left house, or parents, 
or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of 
God's sake, 

30. Who shall not receive manifold more in this 
present time, and in the world to come life ever- 

Theophyl. Our Lord, seeing that the rich man was 
sorrowful when it was told him to surrender his riches, 
marvelled, saying. How hardly shall they that have riches 
enter into the kingdom of Qod! He says not. It is impossible 


for them to enter, but it is difficult. For they might through 

their riches reap an heavenly reward, but it is a hard thing, 

seeing that riches are more tenacious than birdlime, and 

hardly is the soul ever plucked away, that is once seized by 

them. But he next speaks of it as impossible. It is easier 

for a camel to go through a needle'' s eye. The word in the 

Greek answers equally to the animal called the camel, and 

to a cable, or ship rope. However we may understand it, 

impossibility is implied. What must we say then ? First of all 

that the thing is positively true, for we must remember that 

the rich man differs from the steward, or dispenser of riches. 

The rich man is he who reserves his riches to himself, the 

steward or dispenser one who holds them entrusted to his 

^^O''^- care for the benefit of others. Chrys. Abraham indeed 

24. in 1 possessed wealth for the poor. And all they who righteously 

ad Cor. pQggggg \\_^ spend it as receiving it from God, according to 

the divine command, while those who have acquired wealth 

in an ungodly way, are ungodly in their use of it; whether 

in squandering it on harlots or parasites, or hiding it in the 

Horn, ground, but sparing nothing for the poor. He does not 

Joan, then forbid men to be rich, but to be the slaves of their 

riches. He would have us use them as necessary, not keep 

guard over them. It is of a servant to guard, of a master 

to dispense. Had he wished to presei've them. He would 

never have given them to men, but left them to remain in 

the earth. 

Theophyl. Again, observe that He says, a rich man can 

not possibly be saved, but one who possesses riches hardly; 

as if he said. The rich man who has been taken captive by 

his riches, and is a slave to them, shall not be saved; but 

he who possesses or is the master of them shall with difficulty 

be saved, because of human infirmity. For the devil is ever 

trying to make our foot slip as long as we possess riches, 

and it is a hard matter to escape his wiles. Poverty therefore 

Chrys. is a blessing, and as it were free from temptation. Chrys. 

Horn. 'p]^(3Y.g jg jjq profit in riches while the soul suffers poverty. 

Matt, no hurt in poverty, while the soul abounds in wealth. But 

if the sign of a man waxing rich is to be in need of nothing, 

and of becoming poor to be in want, it is plain that the poorer 

a man is, tlic richer he grows. For it is far easier for one 

VER. 24 — 30. ST. LUKE. 615 

in poverty to despise wealth, than for the rich. Nor again 
is avarice wont to be satisfied by having more, for thereby 
are men only the more inflamed, just as a fire spreads, 
the more it has to feed upon. Those which seem to be 
the evils of poverty, it has in common with riches, but the 
evils of riches are peculiar to them. Aug. The name of Aug. de 

. OuSBSt 

*' rich" he here gives to one who covets temporal things, and Evang. 
boasts himself in them. To such rich men are opposed the ^^^- "• 

c. 42. 

poor in spnit, of whom is the kingdom of heaven. Now 
mystically it is easier for Christ to suffer for the lovers of this 
world, than for the lovers of this world to be converted to 
Christ. For by the name of a camel He would represent 
Himself: for He voluntarily humbled Himself to bear the 
burdens of our infirmity. By the needle He signifies sharp 
piercings, and thereby the pangs received in His Passion, 
but by the form of the needle He describes the straitening of 
the Passion. Chrys. These weighty words so far exceeded ^^'■y^- 
the capacity of the disciples, that when they heard them, 63. in 
they asked, Who then can be saved? not that they feared for ^^*^* 
themselves, but for the whole world. Aug. Seeing that Aug. 
there is an incomparably gTeater number of poor which 
might be saved by forsaking their riches, they understood that 
all who love riches, even though they cannot obtain them, 
were to be counted among the number of the rich. It follows. 
And he said to them. The things which are impossible with 
men are possible with God, which must not be taken as if 
a rich man with covetousness and pride might enter into the 
kingdom of God, but that it is possible with God for a man 
to be converted from covetousness and pride, to charity and 
humility. Theophyl. With men therefore whose thoughts 
creep earthward, salvation is impossible, but v. ith God it is 
possible. For when man shall have God for his counsellor, 
and shall have received the righteousness of God and His 
teaching concerning poverty, as well as have invoked His 
aid, this shall be possible to him. 

Cyril; The rich man who has despised many things will 
naturally expect a reward, but he who possessing little resigns 
what he has, may fairly ask what there is in store for him; as 
it follov/s. Then Peter said, Lo, ive have left all. Matthew 
adds, What shall we have therefore? Bede; As if he says, ^I''^^2*^ 


We have done what Thou commandedst us, what reward then 

wilt Thou give us? And because it is not enough to have 

left all things, he adds that which made it perfect, saying, 

And have followed thee. Cyril; It was necessary to say 

this, because those who forsake a few things, as far as regards 

their motives and obedience, are weighed in the same balance 

with the rich, who have forsaken all, inasmuch as they act 

from the like affections, in voluntarily making a surrender of 

all tliat they possess. And therefore it follows, Verily I say 

unto you^ there is no man that hath left house^ SfC. who shall 

not receive manifold more, ^c. He inspires all who hear 

Him with the most joyful hopes, confirming His promises to 

them with an oath, beginning His declaration with Verily. 

For when the divine teaching invites the world to the faith of 

Christ, some perhaps regarding their unbelieving parents are 

unwilling to distress them by coming to the faith, and have 

the like respect of others of their relations; while some again 

forsake their father and mother, and hold lightly the love of 

their whole kindred in comparison of the love of Christ. 

Bede; The sense then is this; He who in seeking the 
kingdom of God has despised all earthly affections, has 
trampled under foot all riches, pleasures, and smiles of the 
world, shall receive far greater in the present time. Upon 
the ground of this declaration, some of the Jews build up 
the fable of a millennium after the resuiTection of the just, 
when all things which we have given up for God's sake shall 
be restored with manifold interest, and eternal life be granted. 
Nor do they from their ignorance seem to be aware, that even 
if in other things there might be a fit promise of restoration, 
yet in the matter of wives, who might be according to some 
Evangelists an hundred fold, it would be manifestly shock- 
ing, especially since our Lord declares that in the resurrec- 
tion there will be no marrying. And according to Mark, those 
things which have been given up. He declares shall be re- 
ceived at this time with persecutions, which these Jews 
assert will be absent for a thousand years. 

Cyril; This then we say, that he who gives up all worldly 
and carnal things will gain for himself far greater, inasmuch as 
the Apostles, after leaving a few things, obtained the manifold 
gifts of grace, and were accounted great every where. We 

VER. 31 — 34. ST. LUKE. 617 

then shall be like to ihem. If a man has left his home, he 
shall receive an abiding place above. If his father, he shall 
have a Father in heaven. If he has forsaken his kindred, 
Christ shall take him for a brother. If he has given up a 
wife, he shall find divine wisdom, from which he shall beget 
spiritual offspring. If a mother, he shall find the heavenly 
Jerusalem, who is our mother. From brethren and sisters 
also united together with him by the spiritual bond of his 
will, he shall receive in this life far more kindly affections. 

31. Then he took unto him the twelve^ and said 
unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all 
things that are written by the prophets concern- 
ing the Son of man shall be accomplished. 

32. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, 
and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and 
spitted on: 

33. And they shall scourge him, and put him to 
death : and the third day he shall rise again. 

34. And they understood none of these things : 
and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they 
the things which were spoken. 

Greg. The Saviour foreseeing that the hearts of His disci- Greg, 
pies would be troubled at His Passion, tells them long before- jn^Ev. 
hand both the suffering of His Passion and the glory of His 
Resurrection. Bede; And knowing that there would arise 
certain heretics, saying, that Christ taught things contrary to 
the Law and the Prophets, He shews already that the voices 
of the Prophets had proclaimed the accomplishment of His 
Passion, and the glory which should follow\ 

Chrys. He speaks with His disciples apart, concerning Chrys. 
His Passion. For it was not fitting to publish this word to g^^'J^^ 
the multitudes, lest they should be troubled, but to His disci- J^att. 
pies He foretold it, that being habituated by expectation, they 
might be the more able to bear it. 

Cyril; And to convince them that FTe foreknew His 
Passion, and of His own accord came to it, that they might 
not say, " How has He fallen into the hands of the enemy, 


who promised us salvation?" He relates in order the suc- 
cessive events of the Passion ; He shall be delivered unto the 
Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and scourged, and spitted on, 
Chrys. Chrys. Esaias prophesied of this when he said, I gave my 
^sa.60 back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off 
5* the hair: I hid not my face froyn shame and spitting . The 

12. ' Prophet also foretold the crucifixion, saying. He hath poured 
out his soul unto death, and was numbered with the trails- 
(jressors; as it is said here, And after they have scourged 
him, they shall put him to death. But David foretold Christ's 
f*s. 16, resurrection, For thou shall not leave my soul iii hell, and so 

it is here added, And on the third day he shall rise again. 
Isid. Isidore; I marvel at the folly of those w^ho ask how Christ 

1. 11. Ep. ^Qgg again before the three days. If indeed He rose later than 
he had foretold, it were a mark of weakness, but if sooner, a 
token of the highest power. For when we see a man who 
has promised his creditor that he will pay him his debt after 
three days, iiilfilling his promise on that very day, we are so far 
from looking upon him as deceitful, that we admire his veracity. 
I must add, however, that He said not that He should rise 
again after three days, but on the third day. You have then 
the preparation, the Sabbath until sun set, and the fact that 
He rose after the Sabbath was over. 

Cyril; The disciples did not as yet know exactly 
what the Prophets had foretold, but after He rose again, 
Luke24, jjg opened their understanding that they should under- 
stand the Scriptures. Bede; For because they desired 
His life above all things, they could not hear of His death, 
and as they knew him to be not only a spotless man, 
but also very God, they thought He could in no wise 
die. And whenever in the parables, which they frequently 
heard Him utter. He said any thing concerning His Passion, 
they believed it to be spoken allegoric ally, and referred to 
something else. Hence it follows. And this saying was hid 
from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken . 
But the Jews, who conspired against His life, knew that He 
spoke concerning His Passion, when he said, The Son of man 
must be lifted up ; therefore said they, We have heard in our 
law that Christ abidethfor ever, and how sayest thou the 
Son of man must be lifted up ? 

VER. 35 — 43. ST. LUKE. 019 

35. And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh 
unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side 

36. And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked 
what it meant. 

37. And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth 
passeth by. 

38. And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, 
have mercy on me. 

39. And they which went before rebuked him, that 
he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the 
more. Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 

40. And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be 
brought unto him: and when he was come near, he 
asked him, 

41. Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto 
thee ? And he said. Lord, that I may receive my 

42. And Jesus said unto him. Receive thy sight : 
thy faith hath saved thee. 

43. And immediately he received his sight, and 
followed him, glorifying God : and all the people, 
when they saw it, gave praise unto God. 

Greg. Because the disciples being yet carnal were unable Greg. 
to receive the words of mystery, they are brought to a miracle. ^^^[ ^" 
Before their eyes a blind man receives his sight, that by 
a divine work their faith might be strengthened. Theophyl. 
And to shew that our Lord did not even walk without doing 
good, He performed a miracle on the way, giving His disci- 
ples this example, that we should be profitable in all things, 
and that nothing in us should be in vain. Aug. We might 
understand the expression of being nigh to Jericho, as if they 
had already gone out of it, but were still near. It might, though 
less common in this sense, be so taken here, since Matthew 
relates, that as they were ejoing out of Jericho, two men re- 
ceived their sight who sat by the way side. There need be 


no question about the number, if we suppose that one of the 
Evangelists remembering only one was silent about the other. 
Mark also mentions only one, and he too says that he received 
his sight as they were going out of Jericho; he has given 
also the name of the man and of his father, to let us under- 
stand that this one was well known, but the other not so, so 
that it might come to pass that the one who was known would 
be naturally the only one mentioned. But seeing that what 
follows in St. Luke's Gospel most plainly proves the truth of 
his account, that while they were yet coming to Jericho, the 
miracle took place, we cannot but suppose that there were 
two such miracles, the first upon one blind man when our 
Lord was coming to that city, the second on two, when He was 
departing out of it; Luke relating the one, Matthew the other. Pseudo-Chrys. There was a great multitude gathered round 

caeco et Christ, and the blind man indeed knew Him not, but felt a 


chseo. drawing towards Him, and grasped with his heart what his sight 

embraced not. As it follows, A7id when he hear dike multitude 

passing by, he asked what it was. And those that saw spoke 

indeed according to their own opinion. And they told him, 

that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. But the blind man cried 

out. He is told one thing, he proclaims another; for it follows, 

And he cried out, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have 

mercy on me. Who taught thee this, O man ? Hast thou 

that art deprived of sight read books? Whence then knowest 

Ps. 146, thou the Light of the world } Verily the Lord giveth sight 

to the blind. 

Cvril; Having been brought up a 3ew, he was not 

ignorant that of the seed of David should God be born 

according to the flesh, and therefore he addresses Him as 

God, saying, Have mercy t«pon me. Would that those 

might imitate him who divide Christ into two. For he speaks 

of Christ as God, yet calls Him Son of David. But they 

marvel at the justice of his confession, and some even wished 

to prevent him from confessing his faith. But by checks of 

this kind his ardour was not damped. For faith is able to 

resist all, and to triumph over all. It is a good thing to lay 

aside shame in behalf of divine worship. For if for money's 

sake some are bold, is it not fitting when the soul is at stake, 

to put on a righteous boldness } As it follows. But he cried 

VER. 35 — 43. ST. LUKE. 621 

out the more. Son of David, ^c. The voice of one invoking 
in faith stops Christ, for He looks back upon them who call 
upon Him in faith. And accordingly He calls the blind man 
to Him, and bids him draw nigh, that he in truth who had first 
laid hold on Him in faith, mioht approach Him also in the 
body. The Lord asks this blind man as he drew near, 
What wilt thou that I s/iall do ? He asks the question pur- 
posely, not as ignorant, but that those who stood by might 
know that he sought not money, but divine power from God. 
And thus it follows, Buf he said, Lord, that I may receive 
my siylit. 

Pseudo-Chrys. Or because the Jews perverting the truth Chrys. 
might say, as in the case of him who was born blind, Tins is^jo^^d 
not he, hut one like unto //zV/, He wished the blind first to make ^• 
manifest the infirmity of his nature, that then he might fully 
acknowledge the greatness of the grace bestowed upon him. 
And as soon as the blind man explained the nature of his 
request, with words of the highest authority He commanded 
him to see. As it follows, And Jesus said to him. Receive 
thy sight. This served only still more to increase the guilt 
of unbelief in the Jews. For what prophet ever spoke in this 
way } Observe moreover what the physician claims from 
him whom he has restored to health. Thy faith hath saved 
thee. For faith then mercies are sold. Where faith is 
willing to accept, there grace abounds. And as from the 
same fountain some in small vessels draw little water, 
while others in large draw much, the fountain knowing no 
difference in measure ; and as according to the windows 
which are opened, the sun sheds more or less of its bright- 
ness within ; so according to the measure of a man's 
motives does he draw down supplies of grace. The voice of 
Christ is changed into the light of the afflicted. For He was 
the Word of true li^ht. And thus it follows. And imme- 
diately he said. But the blind man as before his restoration 
he shewed an earnest faith, so afterwards did he give plain 
tokens of his gratitude ; And lie followed him, glorifying 
God. Cyril ; From which it is clear, that he was released 
from a double blindness, both bodily and intellectual. 
For he would not have glorified Him as God, had he not 
truly seen Him as He is. But he also gave occasion to others 


to glorify God ; as it follows, And all the people, when 
they saw it, gave praise unto God. Bede ; Not only for 
the gift of light obtained, but for the merit of the faith which 
Chrys. obtained it. Pseudo-Chrys. We may here well inquire, why 
Christ forbids the healed demoniac who wished to follow Him, 
but permits the blind man who had received his sight. There 
seems to be a good reason for both the one case and the 
other. He sends away the former as a kind of herald, to 
proclaim aloud by the evidence of his own state his benefactor, 
for it was indeed a notable miracle to see a raving madman 
brought to a sound mind. But the blind man He allows to 
follow Him, since He was going up to Jerusalem about to 
accomplish the high mystery of the Cross, that men having 
a recent report of a miracle might not suppose that He 
suffered so much from helplessness as from compassion. 

Ambrose; In the blind man we have a type of the Gentile 
people, who have received by the Sacrament of our Lord the 
brightness of the light which they had lost. And it matters 
not whether the cure is conveyed in the case of one or two 
blind men, inasmuch as deriving their origin from Ham and 
Japhet, the sons of Noah, in the two blind men they put 
Greg, forward two authors of their race. Greg. Or, blindness is a 
in e!^ symbol of the human race, which in our first parent knowing 
not the brightness of heavenly light, now suffers the darkness 
of his condemnation. Jericho is interpreted ' the moon,' 
whose monthly wanings represent the feebleness of our mor- 
tality. While then our Creator is drawing nigh to Jericho, 
the blind is restored to sight, because when God took upon 
Him the weakness of our flesh, the human race received 
back the light which it had lost. He then who is ignorant 
of this brightness of the everlasting light, is blind. But if he 
John 13, does no more than believe in the Redeemer who said, I am 
^- the way^ lite truth, and the life; he sits by the way side. 

If he both believes and prays that he may receive the ever- 
lasting light, he sits by the way side and begs. Those that 
went before Jesus, as He was coming, represent the multitude 
of carnal desires, and the busy crowd of vices which before 
that Jesus comes to our heart, scatter our thoughts, and 
disturb us even in our prayers. But the blind man cried 
out the more ; for the more violently we are assailed by our 

YFAl. 35 — 48. ST. LUKE. G23 

restless thoughts, the more fervently ought we to giv^e our- 
selves to prayer. As long as we still suffer our manifold fancies 
to trouble us in our prayers, we feel in some measure Jesus 
passing by. But when we are very stedfast in prayer, God 
is fixed in our heart, and the lost light is restored. Or to 
pass by is of man, to stand is of God. The Lord then 
passing by heard the blind man crying, standing still restored 
him to sight, for by His humanity in compassion to our 
blindness He has pity upon our cries, by the power of His 
divinity He pours upon us the light of His grace. 

Now for this reason He asks what the blind man wished, 
that He might stir up his heart to prayer, for He wishes that to 
be sought in prayer, which He knows beforehand both that 
we seek and He grants. Ambrose ; Or, He asked the blind 
man to the end that we might believe, that without con- 
fession no man can be saved. Greg. The blind man seeks Greg. 
from the Lord not gold, but light. Let us then seek not for 
false riches, but for that light which together with the Angels 
alone we may see, the way whereunto is faith. Well then was 
it said to the blind, Receive fhy sigltt; thif faith hath saved 
thee. He who sees, also follows, because the good which 
he understands he practises. 

Aug. If we interpret Jericho to mean the moon, and there- Aug. de 
fore death, our Lord when approaching His death commanded ^"fj^ j,-^ 
the light of the Gospel to be preached to the Jews only, who q"- ^^' 
are signified by that one blind man whom Luke speaks of, 
but rising again from the dead and ascending to heaven, to 
both Jews and Gentiles; and these two nations seem to be 
denoted by the two blind men whom Matthew mentions. 


1. And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 

2. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchagus, 
which was the chief among the Publicans, and he was 

3. And he sought to see Jesus who he was ; and 
could not for the press, because he was little of 

4. And he ran before, and climbed up into a syco- 
more tree to see him : for he was to pass that way. 

5. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked 
up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make 
haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at 
thy house. 

6. And he made haste, and came down, and re- 
ceived him joyfully. 

7. And when they saw it, they all murmured, say- 
ing. That he was gone to be guest with a man that 
is a sinner. 

8. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord ; 
Behold, Lord, the half of my goods T give to the 
poor ; and if I have taken any thing from any man 
by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 

9. And Jesus said unto him. This day is salvation 
come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of 

10. For the Son of man is come to seek and to 
save that which was lost. 


Ambrose; Zacchyeus in the sycamore, the blind man by the 
way side : upon the one our Lord waits to shew mercy, upon 
the other He confers the great glory of abiding in his house. 
The chief among the Publicans is here fitly introduced. For 
who will hereafter despair of himself, now that he attains to 
grace who gained his living by fraud. And he too moreover 
a rich man, that we may know that not all rich men are covet- 
ous. Cyril ; But Zacchaeus made no delay in what he did, 
and so was accounted worthy of the favour of God, which 
gives sight to the blind, and calls them who are afar off. 

Tit. Bost. The seed of salvation had begun to spring up 
in him, for he desired to see Jesus, having never seen Him. 
For if he had seen Him, he would long since have given up 
the Publican's wicked life. No one that sees Jesus can 
remain any longer in wickedness. But there were two 
obstacles to his seeing Him. The multitude not so much of 
men as of his sins prevented him, for he was little of stature. 
Ambrose; What means the Evangelist by describing his 
stature, and that of none other } It is perhaps because he 
was young in wickedness, or as yet weak in the faith. For 
he was not yet prostrate in sin who could climb up. He 
had not yet seen Christ. Tit. Bost. But he discovered a 
good device ; running before he climbed up into a sycamore, 
and saw Him whom he had long wished for, i. e. Jesus, passing 
by. Now Zacchaeus desired no more than to see, but He who 
is able to do more than we ask for, granted to Him far above 
what he expected ; as it follows. And when Jesus came io 
the place, he looked up, and saw him. He saw the soul of 
the man striving earnestly to live a holy life, and converts 
him to godliness. Ambrose ; Uninvited he invites Himself 
to his house ; as it follows, Zacchceus, make haste, and come 
down, 8^c, for He knew how richly He would reward his 
hospitality. And though He had not yet heard the word of 
invitation, He had already seen the will. 

Bede; See here, the camel disencumbered of his hunch 
passes through the eye of a needle, that is, the rich man and 
the publican abandoning his love of riches, and loathing his 
dishonest gains, receives the blessing of his Lord's company. 
It follows, And he made haste, and came down, and received 
him joyfully. Ambrose ; Let the rich learn that guilt 

VOL. iif. 2 s 


attaches not to the goods themselves, but to those who know 
not how to use them. For riches, as they are hindrances to 
virtue in the unworthy, so are they means of advancing it in 
the good. 
Horn. Pseudo-Chkys. Observe the gracious kindness of the 
et Zacc. Saviour. The innocent associates with the guilty, the fountain 
of justice with covetousness, which is the source of injustice. 
Having entered the publican's house, He suffers no stain from 
the mists of avarice, but disperses them by the bright beam 
of His righteousness. But those who deal with biting words 
and reproaches, try to cast a slur upon the things which were 
done by Him ; for it follows. And when they saw it, they all 
murmured, saying, That he ii'as gone to he guest with a 
man that is a sinner. But He, though accused of being a 
wine-bibber and a friend of publicans, regarded it not, so long 
as He could accomplish His end. As a physician sometimes 
can not save his patients from their diseases without the 
defilement of blood. And so it happened here, for the pub- 
lican was converted, and lived a better life. Zacchceus stood, 
and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods 
I give to the poor; and if L have defrauded any man, I 
restore him fourfold. Behold here is a marvel: without 
learning he obeys. And as the sun pouring its rays into a 
house enlightens it not by word, but by work, so the Saviour 
by the rays of righteousness put to flight the darkness of sin; 
for the light shineth in darkness. Now every thing united 
is strong, but divided, weak ; therefore Zacchaeus divides 
into two parts his substance. But we must be careful to 
observe, that his wealth was not made up from unjust gains, 
but from his patrimony, else how could he restore fourfold 
what he had unjustly extorted. He knew that the law ordered 
what was wrongly taken away to be restored fourfold, that 
if the law deten'ed not, a man's losses might soften him. 
Zacchaeus waits not for the judgment of the law, but makes 
himself his own judge. 

Theophyl. If we examine more closely, w^e shall see that 
nothing was left of his own property. For having given 
half of his goods to the poor, out of the remainder he restored 
fourfold to those whom he had injured. He not only 
promised this, but did it. For he says not, " I will give the 

VER. ] 10. ST. LUKE. C27 

half, and I will restore fourfold, but, / give, and / restore. 
To such Christ announces salvation; Jesus saith unto Mm, 
This day is salvation come to this house, signifying that 
Zacchgeus had attained to salvation, meaning by the house 
the inhabitant thereof. And it ioWo^s, forasmuch as he also 
is a son of Abraham. For He would not have given the 
name of a son of Abraham to a lifeless building. Bede; 
Zacchaeus is called the son of Abraham, not because he was 
born of Abraham's seed, but because he imitates his faith, 
that as Abraham left his country and his father's house, so he 
abandoned all his goods in giving them to the poor. And He 
well says, " He also," to declare that not only those who had 
lived justly, but those who are raised up from a life of 
injustice, belong to the sons of promise. Theophyl. He 
said not that he " was" a son of Abraham, but that he now is. 
For before when he was the chief among the publicans, and 
bore no likeness to the righteous Abraham, he was not his 
son. But because some murmured that he tarried with 
a man who was a sinner, he^ adds in order to restrain them. 
For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was 
lost, Pseudo-Chrys. Why do ye accuse me if I bring sinners ubi sup, 
to righteousness ? So far am I from hating them, that for their 
sakes T came. For I came to heal, not to judge, therefore 
am I the constant guest of those that are sick, and I suffer 
their noisomeness that I may supply remedies. But some 
one may ask, how does Paul bid us. If we have a brother i Cor. 
that is a fornicator or covetous man, with such not even ' 
to take food; whereas Christ was the guest of publicans? 
They were not as yet so far advanced as to be brethren, 
and besides, St. Paul bids us avoid our brethren only when 
they persist in evil, but these were converted. Bede; 
Mystically, Zacchaeus, which is by interpretation " justified," 
signifies the Gentile believers, who were depressed and 
brought very low by their worldly occupations, but sanctified 
by God. And he was desirous to see our Saviour entering 
Jericho, inasmuch as he sought to share in that faith which 
Christ brought into the world. Cyril; The crowd is the 
tumultuous state of an ignorant multitude, which cannot see 
the lofty top of wisdom. Zacchceus therefore, while he was in 
the crowd, saw not Christ, but having advanced beyond the 




vulgar ignorance, was thought worthy to entertain Hira, 
whom he desired to look upon. Bede; Or the crowd, 
that is, the general habit of vice, which rebuked the blind 
man crying cut, lest he should seek the light, also impedes 
Zacchaeus looking up, that he might not see Jesus; that as by 
crying out the more the blind man overcame the crowd, so 
the man weak in the faith by forsaking earthly things, and 
climbing the tree of the Cross, surmounts the opposing mul- 
titude. The sycamore, which is a tree resembling the mulberry 
in foliage, but exceeding it in height, whence by the Latins 
it is called " lofty," is called the " foolish fig-tree;'"" and so the 
Cross of our Lord sustains believers, as the fig-tree figs, and is 
mocked by unbelievers as foolishness. This tree Zacchseus, 
who was little in stature, climbed up, that he might be raised 
together with Christ; for every one who is humble, and 
Gal. 6, conscious of his own weakness, cries out, Ood forbid that 
I shoidd glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Ambrose; He has well added, that our Lord was to pass 
that way, either where the sycamore-tree was, or where he 
was who was about to believe, that so He might preserve the 
mystery, and sow the seeds of grace. For He had so come 
as that through the Jews He came to the Gentiles. He sees 
then Zacchaeus above, for already the excellence of his faith 
shone forth amidst the fruits of good works, and the loftiness 
of the fruitful tree ; but Zacchaeus stands out above the tree, as 
one who is above the law. Bede; The Lord as He journeyed 
came to the place where Zaccha3us had climbed the sycamore, 
for having sent His preachers throughout the world in whom 
He Himself spoke and went. He comes to the Gentile 
people, who were already raised up on high through faith in 
His Passion, and whom when He looked up He saw, for He 
chose them through grace. Now our Lord once abode in 
the house of the chief of the Pharisees, but when He did 
works such as none but God could do, they railed at Him. 
Matt. Wherefore hating their deeds He departed, saying, Your 
23, 38. j^gr^gQ shall be left unto you desolate; but now He must 
needs stay at the house of the weak Zacchaeus, that is, by the 
grace of the new law brightly shining. He must take rest in 
the hearts of the lowly nations. But that Zacchaeus is bid to 
come dovyn from the sycamore tree, and prepare an abode for 

VER. I 10. ST. LUKE. 629 

Christ, this is what the vVpostle says, Yea, though we have2Cor.5, 
known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we ' 
Him no more. And again elsewhere, For though he wasidox. 
crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of ' * 
God. It is plain that tlie Jews always hated the salvation 
of the Gentiles; but salvation, which formerly filled the 
houses of the Jews, has this day shone upon the Gentiles, 
forasmuch as this people also by believing on God is a son 
of Abraham. 

Theophyl. It is easy to turn this to a moral use. For 
whoever surpasses many in wickedness is small in spiritual 
growth, and cannot see Jesus for the crowd. For disturbed 
by passion and worldly things, he beholds not Jesus walking, 
that is, working in us, not recognising His operation. But 
he climbs up to the top of a sycamore-tree, in that he rises 
above the sweetness of pleasure, which is signified by a fig, 
and subduing it, and so becoming more exalted, he sees and 
is seen by Christ. Greg. Or because the sycamore is from Greg. 
its name called the foolish fig, the little Zacchseus gets up into ^ ^Iq 
the sycamore and sees the Lord, for they who humbly choose 
the foolish things of this world are those who contemplate 
most closely the wisdom of God. For what is more 
foolish in this world than not to seek for what is lost, 
to give our possessions to robbers, to return not injury for 
injury.'' However, by this wise foolishness, the wisdom of 
God is seen, not yet really as it is, but by the light of 

Theophyl. The Lord said to him. Make haste and come 
down, that is, *' Thou hast ascended by penitence to a place 
too high for thee, come down by humility, lest thy exaltation 
cause thee to slip. I must abide in the house of a humble 
man. We have two kinds of goods in us, bodily, and 
spiritual; the just man gives up all his bodily goods to the 
poor, but he forsakes not his spiritual goods, but if he has 
extorted any thing from any one, he restores to him fourfold; 
signifying thereby that if a man by repentance walks in the 
opposite path to his former perverseness, he by the manifold 
practice of virtue heals all his old offences, and so merits 
salvation, and is called the son of Abraham, because he 


went out from his own kindred, that is, from his ancient 

11. And as they heard these things, he added 
and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jeru- 
salem, and because they thought that the kingdom 
of God should immediately appear. 

12. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went 
into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, 
and to return. 

13. And he called his ten servants, and delivered 
them ten pounds, and said unto them. Occupy till 
I come. 

14. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message 
after him, saying. We vt^ill not have this man to reign 
over us. 

15. And it came to pass, that when he was re- 
turned, having received the kingdom, then he com- 
manded these servants to be called unto him, to 
whom he had given the money, that he might know 
how much every man had gained by trading. 

16. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound 
hath gained ten pounds. 

17. And he said unto him. Well, thou good 
servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very 
little, have thou authority over ten cities. 

1 8. And the second came, saying. Lord, thy pound 
hath gained five pounds. 

19. And he said likewise to him. Be thou also over 
five cities. 

20. And another came, saying. Lord, behold, 
here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in 
a napkin: 

21. For I feared thee, because thou art an austere 

VER. 11 27. ST. LUKE. 631 

man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and 
reapest that thou didst not sow. 

22. And he saith unto him. Out of thine own 
mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou 
knewest that I was an austere man, taking up 
that 1 laid not down, and reaping that I did not 

23. Wherefore then gavest not thou my money 
into the bank, that at my coming I might have 
required mine own with usury ? 

24. And he said unto them that stood by. Take 
from him the pound, and give it to him that hath 
ten pounds. 

25. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten 

26. For I say unto you. That unto every one 
which hath shall be given; and from him that hath 
not, even that he hath shall be taken away from 

27. But those mine enemies, which would not 
that 1 should reign over them, bring hither, and 
slay them before me. 

EusEBius ; There vvere some who thought that our Saviour^s 
kingdom would commence at His first coming, and they were 
expecting it shortly to appear when He was preparing to go 
up to Jerusalem; so astonished were they by the divine 
miracles which He did. He therefore informs them, that He 
should not receive the kingdom from His Father until He 
had left mankind to go to His Father. Theophyl. The 
Lord points out the vanity of their imaginations, for the 
senses cannot embrace the kingdom of God; He also plainly 
shews to them, that as God He knew their thoughts, putting 
to them the following parable, A certain nobleman^ ^c. 

Cyril; This parable is intended to set before us the 
mysteries of Christ from the first to the last. For God was 
made man, vvho was the Word from the beginning; and 


though He became a servant, 3'et was He noble because of 

Basil. in Uis unspeakable birth from the Father. Basil; Noble, not 

13. 13. only in respect of His Godhead, but of His manhood, being 

sprung from the seed of David according to the flesh. He 

went into a far country, separated not so much by distance of 

place as by actual condition. For God Himself is nigh to 

every one of us, when our good works bind us to Him. 

And He is afar oiF, as often as by cleaving to destruction, we 

remove ourselves away from Him. To this earthly country 

then He came at a distance from God, that He might 

receive the kingdom of the Gentiles, according to the Psalm, 

Fs.2,8.Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine in- 

Au^. ^eheritance. Aug. Or the far country is the Gentile Church, 

lib. ii. extending to the uttermost parts of the earth. For He went 

qu.40. |-|^2it the fulness of the Gentiles might come in; He will 

return that all Israel may be saved. 

EusEB. Or by His setting out into a far country. He 
denotes His own ascension from earth to heaven. But when 
He adds. To receive for himself a kingdom, and to 
return; He points out His second appearance, when He 
shall come as a King and in great glory. He first of all 
calls Himself a man, because of His nativity in the flesh, 
then noble; not yet a King, because as yet at His first 
appearance He exercised no kingly power. It is also well 
said to obtain for Himself a kingdom, according to Daniel, 
Dan. 7, Behold one like the Son of man came with the clouds of 


Heb. 1, heaven, and a kingdom was given to him. Cyril; For 

^' ascending up to heaven, He sits on the right hand of the 

3IaJesty on high. But being ascended. He hath dispensed 

to those that believe on Him different divine gTaces, as unto 

the servants were committed their Lord's goods, that gaining 

something they might bring him token of their service. As it 

follows. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them 

ten pounds. Chrys. Holy Scripture is accustomed to use the 

number ten as a sign of perfection, for if any one wishes to 

count beyond it, he has again to begin from unity, having in 

ten as it were arrived at a goal. And so in the giving of the 

talents, the one who reaches the goal of divine obedience 

Aug. is said to have received ten pounds. Aug. Or by the ten 

ut sup. pom^fi^; \^Q signifies the law, because of the ten command- 

VER. 11—27. ' ST. LUKE. 683 

nients, and by the ten servants, those to whom while under 
the law grace was preached. For so we must interpret 
the ten pounds given them for trading, seeing that they un- 
derstood the law, when its veil was removed, to belong to the 
Gospel. Bede ; A pound which the Greeks call java is ecpial 
in weight to a hundred drachmas, and every word of Scripture, 
as suggesting to us the perfection of the heavenly life, shines 
as it were with the greatness of the hundredth number. 

EusEB. By those then who receive the pounds. He means 
His disciples, giving a pound to each, since Pie entrusts to all 
an equal stewardship; He bade them put it out to use, as it 
follows, Occupy till I come. Now there was no other employ- 
ment but to preach the doctrine of His kingdom to those who 
would hear it. But there is one and the same doctrine for 
all, one faith, one baptism. And therefore is one pound 
given to each. Cyril ; But greatly indeed do these differ 
from those who d3nied the kingdom of God, of whom it is 
added. But his citizens hcttecl him. And this it is for which 
Christ upbraided the Jews, when He said. But now have they 3 ohni 5, 
both seen and hated me and my Father. But they re- " 
jected His kingdom, saying to Pilate, We have no king 6z«^Jolini9, 
Ccesar. Euseb. By citizens He signifies the Jews, who were 
sprung from the same lineage according to the flesh, and 
with whom He joined in the customs of the law. Aug. Aug. de 

. Ousest 

And they sent a message after Him, because after His resur- Ev. ut* 
rection also, they persecuted His Apostles, and refused the^"P- 
preaching of the Gospel. 

EusEB. After our Saviour had instructed them in the 
things belonging to His first coming. He proceeds to set forth 
His second coming with majesty and great glory, saying, And 
it came to pass, that taken he teas returned, having received 
the kingdom. Chrys. Holy Scripture notes two kingdoms Chrys. 
of God, one indeed by creation, since by right of creation He 39. in i. 
is King over all men ; the other by justification, since He reigns ^°^' 
over the just, of their own will made subject to Him. And 
this is the kingdom which He is here said to have received. 

Aug. He also returns afler having received His kingdom, ^"g-de 

because in all glory will He come who appeared lowly to Ev. ut 

them to whom He said, My kinodom is not of this uvrld.^^P- 
„ >.:/./ ^ JohnlS, 

Cyril; But when returns, having taken unto Him- 36. 


self His kingdom, the ministers of the word will receive their 
deserved praises and delight in heavenly rewards, because 
they multiplied their talent by acquiring more talents, as it is 
added. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound has 
gained ten pounds. Bede; The first servant is the order of 
teachers sent to the circumcision, who received one pound to 
put out to use, inasmuch as it was ordered to preach one faith. 
But this one pound gained ten pounds, because by its teach- 
ing it united to itself the people who were subject to the law. 
It follows, And he said unto him. Well done, thou good ser- 
vant : because thou hast been faith/id in a very little, ^c. 
The servant is faithful in a very little who does not adulterate 
the word of God. For all the gifts we receive now are but 
Eva- small in comparison of what we shall have. Greek Ex. Be- 


cause he receives the reward of his own good works, he is 
said to be set over ten cities. And some conceiving un- 
worthily of these promises imagine that they themselves ai'e 
preferred to magistracies and chief places in the earthly Jeru- 
salem, which is built with precious stones, because they have 
had their conversation honest in Christ; so little do they 
purge their soul of all hankering after power and authority 
among men. Ambrose; But the ten cities are the souls over 
whom he is rightly placed who has deposited in the minds of 
men his Lord's money and the holy words, which are tried as 
Ps. 121, silver is tried in the fire. For as Jerusalem is said to be 
built as a city, so are peace-making souls. And as angels 
have rule, so have they who have acquired the life of angels. 

It follows, Ajid the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound 
has gained five pounds. Bede ; That servant is the assem- 
bly of those who were sent to preach the Gospel to the uncir- 
cumcision, whose pound, that is the faith of the Gospel, gained 
five pounds, because it converted to the grace of Evangelical 
faith, the nations before enslaved to the five senses of the 
body. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five 
cities; that is, be exalted to shine through the faith and 
conversation of those souls which thou hast enlightened. 

Ambrose ; Or perhaps differently ; he who gained five 
pounds has all the moral virtues, for there are five senses of 
the body. He who gained ten has so much more, that is to 
say, the mysteries of the law as well as the moral virtues. 

VER. 11 27. ST. LUKE. 635 

The ten pounds may also here be taken to mean the ten words, 
that is, the teaching of the law; the five pounds, the ordering 
of discipline. But the scribe must be perfect in all things. 
And rightly, since He is speaking of the Jews, are there two 
only who bring their pounds multiplied, not indeed by 
a gainful interest of money, but a profitable stewardship of 
the Gospel. For there is one kind of usury in money lent 
on interest, another in heavenly teaching. Chrys. For in 
earthly wealth it does not belong to one man to be made rich 
without another being made poor, but in spiritual riches, 
without his making another rich also. For in earthly matters 
participation lessens, in sphitual it increases wealth. 

Aug. Or else; That one of those who well employed 
money gained ten pounds, another ^\e, signifies that ^hey^"^^^** 
acquired them for the fiock of God, by whom the law was lib. ii. 
now understood through grace, either because of the ten com- ^^"' 
mandments of the law, or because he, through whom the law 
was given, wrote five books ; and to this belong the ten and 
five cities over which He appoints them to preside. For the 
manifold meanings or interpretations which spring up con- 
cerning some individual precept or book, when reduced and 
brought together in one, make as it were a city of living eternal 
reasons. Hence a city is not a multitude of living creatures, 
but of reasonable beings bound together by the fellowship of 
one law. The servants then who bring an account of that 
which they had received, and are praised for having gained 
more, represent those giving in their account who have well 
employed what they had received, to increase their Lord's 
riches by those who believe on Him, while they who are 
unwilling to do this are signified by that servant who kept his 
pound laid up in a napkin ; of whom it follows. And the third 
came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have 
kept laid up in a napkin, %'C. For there are some who 
flatter themselves with this delusion, saying. It is enough for 
each individual to answer concerning himself, what need then 
of others to preach and minister, in order that every one 
should be compelled also to give an account of himself, see- 
ing that in the Lord's sight even they are without excuse to 
whom the law was not given, and who were not asleep 


at the time of the preaching of the Gospel, for they might have 
known the Creator through the creature; and then it follows, 
For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man, 8^c. For 
this is, as it were, to reap when he did not sow, that is, to hold 
those guilty of ungodliness to whom this word of the law or 
the Gospel was not preached, and avoiding as it were this 
peril of judgment, with slothful toil they rest from the min- 
istration of the word. And this it is to tie up in a napkin 
w^hat they had received. Theophyl. For with a napkin the 
face of the dead is covered ; well then is this idler said to 
have wrapped up his pound in a napkin, because leaving it 
dead and unprofitable he neitheir touched nor increased it. 

Bede ; Or to tie up money in a napkin is to hide the gifts 
we have received under the indolence of a sluggish body. 
But that which he thought to have used as an excuse is 
turned to his own blame, as it follows. He says unto him, 
Out of thy own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. 
He is called a wicked servant, as being slothful in business, 
and proud in questioning his Lord's judgment. Thoit knew- 
est that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not 
down, and. reaping that I did not sow: wherefore then gavest 
thou not my money into the bank'^ As though he said, If 
thou knewest me to be a hard man, and a seeker of what is 
not mine own, why did not the thought of this strike thee 
with terror, that thou mightest be sure that I would require 
mine own with strictness ? 

But money or silver is the preaching of the Gospel and 
the word of God, for the words of the Lord are pure words 
Ps.l2,6.a5 silver tried in the fire. And this word of the Lord ought 
to be given to the bank, that is, put into hearts meet and 
Aug. de ready to receive it. Aug. Or the bank into which the money 
Ev^ubi '^^'^'^ ^^ ^® given, we take to be the very profession of religion 
sup- which is publicly put forth as a means necessary to salvation. 
Chrys. In the payment of earthly riches the debtors are 
obliged only to strictness. Whatever they receive, so much 
must they return, nothing more is required of them. But 
with regard to the words of God, we are not only bound dili- 
gently to keep, but we are connnanded to increase; and hence 
it follows, that at my coming I might have required the same 

VER. 11 — 27. ST. LUKK. G37 

with usury, Bp:de ; For they who by faith receive the riches 
of the word from a teacher, must by their works pay it back 
with usury, or be earnestly desirous to know something more 
than what they have as yet learnt from the mouth of their 
preachers. Cyril; It is the work of teachers to engraft in their 
hearers' minds wholesome and profitable words, but of divine 
power to win the hearers to obedience, and render their under- 
standing fruitful. Now this servant, so far from being com- 
mended or thought worthy of honour, was condemned as sloth- 
ful, as it follows. And he said unto them that stood by, Take 
from him the pound, and give to him that hath ten pounds. 
Aug. Signifying thereby that both he will lose the gift of God, Aug. de 
who having, hatli not, that is, useth it not, and that he will Jg^^f^ j; 
have it increased, who having, hath, that is, rightly useth it. <!"• ^6. 

Bede ; The mystical meaning T suppose is this, tliat at tlie 
coming in of the Gentiles all Israel shall be saved, and thatl^om.]], 


then the abundant grace of the Spirit will be poured out 
upon the teachers. Chrys. He says then to them that stood Chrys. 
by, Take front him. i]ic pound, because it is not the part of a43/in 
wise man to punish, but he needs some one else as the minister -^^^• 
of the judge in executing punishment. For even God does 
not Himself inflict punishment, but through the ministry 
of His angels. Ambrose ; Nothing is said of the other ser- 
vants, who like wasteful debtors lost all that they had re- 
ceived. By those two servants who gained by trading, are 
signified that small number, wdio in two companies were sent 
as dressers of the vineyard ; by the remainder all the Jews. 
It follows, And they said unto him, Lord^ he has ten pounds. 
And lest this should seem unjust, it is added. For to every 
one that hath, it shall be given. Theophyl. For seeing that 
he gained ten, by multiplying his pound tenfold, it is plain 
that by having more to multiply, he would be an occasion of 
greater gain to his Lord. But from the slothful and idle, 
who stirs not himself to increase what he has received, shall 
be taken away even that wdaich he possesses, that there may 
be no gap in the Lord's account when it is given to others 
and multiplied. But this is not to be applied only to the 
words of God and teaching, but also to the moral virtues ; 
for in respect of these also, God sends us His gracious gifts, 
endowing one man with fasting, another with prayer, another 


with mildness or humility; but all these so long as we watch 
strictly over ourselves we shall multiply, but if we grow cold 
we shall extinguish. He adds of His adversaries, But those 
mine enemies who would not that I should reign over them, 
Aug. bring them hither, and slay them before me. Aug. Whereby 
u 1 sup. j^^ describes the ungodliness of the Jews who refused to be 
converted to Him. Theophyl. Whom he will deliver to 
death, casting them into the outer fire. But even in this 
world they were most miserably slain by the Roman army. 

Chrys. These things are of force against the Marcionists. 
For Christ also says, Bring hither my enemies, and slay 
them before me. Whereas they say Christ indeed is good, 
Mat.2i,but the God of the Old Testament evil. Now it is plain that 
both the Father and the Son do the same things. For the Father 
sends His army to the vineyard, and the Son causes His 
Chrys. enemies to be slain before Him. Chrys. This parable as it 
Horn, -g related in Luke is different from that given in Matthew 
Matt, concerning the talents. For in the former indeed out of one 
Mat.25. g^^^d the same principal there were different sums produced, 
seeing that from the profits of one pound received, one ser- 
vant brought five, another ten pounds. But with Matthew it 
is very different. For he who received two pounds, thereto 
added two more. He who received five, gained as much 
again. So the rewards given are unlike also. 

28. And when he had thus spoken, he went before, 
ascending up to Jerusalem. 

29. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh 
to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the 
mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, 

30. Saying, Go ye into the village over against 
you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a 
colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and 
bring him hither. 

31. And if any man ask you. Why do ye loose 
him? thus shall ye say unto him. Because the Lord 
hath need of him. 

VER. 28 36. ST. LUKE. 639 

32. And they that were sent went their way, and 
found even as he had said unto them. 

33. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners 
thereof said unto them. Why loose ye the colt ? 

.^4. And they said, The Lord hath need of him. 

35. And they brought him to Jesus : and they 
cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus 

36. And as he went, they spread their clothes in 
the way. 

Tit. Bost. Because the Lord had said, The kingdom of 
heaven is at hand, they that saw Him going up to Jeru- 
salem thought that He was going then to commence the 
kingdom of God. When then the parable was finished in 
which He reproved the error above mentioned, and shewed 
plainly that He had not yet vanquished that death which was 
plotting against him, he proceeded forth to His passion, going 
up to Jerusalem. Bede ; Proving at the same time that the 
parable had been pronounced concerning the end of that 
city which was about both to slay Him, and to perish itself by 
the scourge of the enemy. It follows. And it came to pass, 
when he was come nigh to Bethphage, S^c. Bethphage was a 
small village belonging to the priests on Mount Olivet. 
Bethany was also a little town or hamlet on the side of the 
same mountain, about fifteen stades from Jerusalem. 

Chrys. At the beginning of His ministry our Lord shewed Chrys. 
Himself indifferent to the Jews, but when He had given gg"*]^* 
sufiicient token of His power, He transacts every thing Matt, 
with the highest authority. Many are the miracles which 
then took place. He foretold to them, ye shall find an 
unbroken colt. He foretels also that no one should hin- 
der them, but as soon as they heard it, should hold their 
peace. Tit. Bost. Here it was evident that there would be 
a divine summons. For no one can resist God calling for 
what is His own. But the disciples when ordered to fetch the 
colt refused not the office as a shght one, but went to bring 
him. Basil; So likewise should we set about even the low- 


est works with the greatest zeal and affection, knowing that 
whatever is done with God before our eyes is not slight, but 
meet for the kingdom of heaven. 

Titus; They who had tied the ass are struck dumb, because 
of the greatness of His mighty power, and are unable to resist 
the words of the Saviour; for " the Lord" is a name of 
majesty, and as a King was He about to come in the sight 
of all the people. 
Aug. de Aug. Nor matters it that Matthew speaks of an ass and its 
lib. ii. *ft>al, while the others say nothing of the ass; for when both 
cap. 66. niay be conceived, there is no variance even though one 
relate one thing, and another another, much less where one 
relates one thing, another both, 
non occ. Gloss. The disciples waited upon Christ not only in 
bringing the colt of another, but also with their own gar- 
ments, some of which they placed upon the ass, others they 
strewed in the way. Bede ; According to the other Evan- 
gelists, not the disciples only, but very many also out of the 
crowds scattered their garments in the way. 

Ambrose ; Mystically, our Lord came to Mount Olivet, 
that he might plant new olive trees on the heights of virtue. 
And perhaps the mountain itself is Christ, for who else could 
bear such fruit of olives abounding in the fulness of the Spirit ? 
Bede ; Rightly are the towns described as placed on Mount 
Olivet, that is, on the Lord Himself, who rekindles the unction 
of spiritual graces with the light of knowledge and piety. 

Origen ; Bethany is interpreted, the house of obedience, 
but Bethphage the house of cheek bones, being a place be- 
longing to the priests, for cheek bones in the sacrifices were 
the right of the priests, as it is commanded in the law. To 
that place then where obedience is, and where the priests 
have the possession, our Saviour sends His disciples to loose 
the ass's colt. Ambrose ; For they were in the village, and 
the colt was tied with its mother, nor could it be loosed 
except by the command of the Lord. The apostle's hand 
looses it. Such was the act, such the life, such the grace. 
Be such, that thou mayest be able to loose those that are 
bound. In the ass indeed Matthew represented the mother 
of error, but in the colt Luke has described the general 
character of the Gentile people. And rightly, whereon yet 

VER. 28—36. ST. LUia<:. 641 

never man sat, for none before Christ called the nations of the 
Gentiles into the Church. But this people was tied and bound 
by the chains of iniquity, being subject to an unjust master, 
the servant of error, and could not claim to itself authority 
whom not nature but crime had made guilty. Since tJie 
Lord is spoken of, one master is recognised. O wretched 
bondage under a doubtful mastery ! For he has many masters 
who has not one. Others bind that they may possess, Christ 
looses that he may keep, for He knew that gifts are more power- 
fid than chains. Origen; There were then many masters of 
this colt, before that the Saviour had need of him. But as 
soon as He began to be the master, there ceased to be any other. 
For no one can serve God and mammon. When we are the Matt. 6, 
servants of wickedness we are subject to many vices and 
passions, but the Lord has need of the colt, because He would 
have us loosed from the chain of our sins. 

Origen ; Now I think this place is not without reason 0"g- 
said to be a small village. For as if it were a village without joan. 
any further name, in comparison of the whole earth the *°"^* "• 
whole heavenly country is despised. 

Ambrose ; Nor is it for nothing that two disciples are 
directed thither; Peter to Cornelius, Paul to the rest. And 
therefore He did not mark out the persons, but detennined 
the number. Still should any one require the persons, he 
may believe it to be spoken of Philip, whom the Holy Spirit 
sent to Gaza, when he baptized the eunuch of Queen Acts 8, 
Candace. Theophyl. Or the two sent imply this, that 
the Prophets and Apostles make up the two steps to the 
bringing in of the Gentiles, and their subjection to Christ. 
But they bring the colt from a certain village, that it may be 
known to us that this people was rude and unlearned. 
Cyril; Those men who were directed, when they were 
loosing the colt, did not use their own words, but spoke as 
Jesus had told them, that you may know that not by their 
own words, but the word of God, not in their own name 
but in Christ's, they implanted the faith among the Gentile 
nations; and by the command of God the hostile powers 
ceased, which claimed to themselves the obedience of the 
Gentiles. Origen; The disciples next place their garments Orig. 
upon the ass, and cause the Saviour to sit thereon, inasmuch 3°-. "°' 

VOL. III. 2 T 


as they take upon themselves the word of God, and make it 
to rest upon the souls of their hearers. They divest them- 
selves of their gai'ments, and strew them in the way, for the 
clothing of the Apostles is their good works. And truly does 
the ass loosened by the disciples and carrying Jesus, walk 
upon the garments of the Apostles, when it imitates their 
doctrine. Which of us is so blessed, that Jesus should rest 
upon him.? Ambrose; For it pleased not the Lord of the 
world to be borne upon the ass's back, save that in a hidden 
mystery by a more inward sitting, the mystical Ruler might 
take His seat in the secret depths of men's souls, guiding 
the footsteps of the mind, bridling the wantonness of the 
heart. His word is a rein, His word is a goad. 

37. And when he was come nigh^ even now at 
the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole mul- 
titude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise 
God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that 
they had seen; 

38. Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in 
the name of the Lord : peace in heaven, and glory in 
the highest. 

39. And some of the Pharisees from among the 
multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy dis- 

40. And he answered and said unto them, I tell 
you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones 
would immediately cry out. 

Origen; As long as our Lord was in the mount Hi& 
Apostles only were with Him, but when He began to be 
near the descent, then there came to Him a multitude of the 
people. Theophyl. He calls by the name of disciples not 
only the twelve, or the seventy-two, but all who followed 
Christ, whether for the sake of the miracles, or from a 
certain charm in His teaching, and to them may be added 
the children, as the other Evangelists relate. Hence it 
follows, For all the mighty works which they had seen. 

VER. 37 — 40. ST. LUKE. ' 043 

Bede; They beheld indeed many of our Lord's mh-acle.s, 
but marvelled most at the resurrection of Lazarus. For as 
John says, For this cause the people also met him, for that they 
heard that he had done this miracle. For it must be observed 
that this was not the first time of our Lord's coming 
to Jerusalem, but He came often before, as John relates. 
Ambrose ; The multitude then acknowledging God, proclaims 
Him King, repeats the prophecy, and declares that the ex- 
pected Son of David according to the flesh had come, saying. 
Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord. 
Bede; That is, in the name of God the Father, although it 
might be taken " in His own name," since He Himself is the 
Lord. But His own words are better guides to the meaning 
when He says, / a7n come in my Father's name. For 
Christ is the Master of humility. Christ is not called King- 
as one who exacts tribute, or arms His forces with the sword, 
or visibly crushes His enemies, but because He rules men's 
minds, and brings them believing, hoping, and loving into 
the kingdom of heaven. For He was willing to be King of 
Israel, to shew His compassion, not to increase His power. 
But because Christ appeared in the flesh, as the redemption 
and light of the whole world, well do both the heaven and 
earth, each in their turn, chaunt His praises. When He 
is born into the world, the heavenly hosts sing; when He 
is about to return to heaven, men send back their note of 
praise. As it follows. Peace in heaven. Theophyl. That 
is, the ancient warfare, wherein we were at enmity against 
God, has ceased. And glory in the highest, inasmuch as 
Angels are glorifying God for such a reconciliation. For 
this very thing, that God visibly walks in the land of His 
enemies, shews that He has peace with us. But the Pha- 
risees when they heard that the crowd called Him King, 
and praised Him as God, murmured, imputing the name of 
King to sedition, the name of God to blasphemy. And 
some of the Pharisees said, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 
Bede ; O the strange folly of the envious ; they scruple not 
to call Him Master, because they knew He taught the truth, 
but His disciples, as though themselves were better taught, 
they deem worthy of rebuke. 

Cyril ; But the Lord forbade not them that glorified Him 



as God, but rather forbade those that blamed them, so bearing 
witness to Himself concerning the glory of the Godhead. 
Hence it follows, He answered and said unto them, I tell 
you, if these shoidd hold their peace, the stones would im- 
mediately cry out. Theophyl. As if He said, Not without 
cause do men praise me thus, but being constrained by the 
mighty vv^orks which they have seen. Bede; And so at the 
crucifixion of our Lord, when His kinsfolk were silent from 
fear, the stones and rocks sang forth, while after that He 
gave up the ghost, the earth was moved, and the rocks 
were rent, and the graves opened. Ambrose; Nor is it 
wonderful that the stones against their nature should chaunt 
forth the praises of the Lord, whom His murderers, harder 
than the rocks, proclaim aloud, that is, the multitude, in a 
little while about to crucify their God, denying Him in their 
hearts, whom with their mouths they confess. Or perhaps 
it is said, because, when the Jews were struck silent after the 
1 Pet. Lord's Passion, the living stones, as Peter calls them, were 
^' ^* about to cry out. Origen; When we also are silent, (that is, 
when the love of many waxeth cold,) the stones cry out, for 
God can from stones raise up children to Abraham. Ambrosei; 
Rightly we read that the crowds praising God met Him 
at the descent of the mountain, that they might signify that 
the works of the heavenly mystery had come to them from 
heaven. Bede; Again, when our Lord descends from the 
mount of Olives, the multitude descend also, because since 
the Author of mercy has suffered humiliation, it is necessary 
that all those who need His mercy should follow His 

4L And when he was come near, he beheld the 
city, and wept over it, 

42. Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at 
least in this thy day, the things which belong unto 
thy peace ! but now they are hid from thine eyes. 

43. For the days shall come upon thee, that 
thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and 
compass thee round, and keep thee in on every 


VER. 41 44. ST. LUKE. 645 

44. And shall lay thee even with the ground, and 
thy children within thee ; and they shall not leave 
in thee one stone upon another ; because thou knewest 
not the time of thy visitation. 

Origen; All the blessings which Jesus pronounced in 
His Gospel He confirms by His own example, as having 
declared, Blessed are the meek ; He afterwards sanctions it 
by saying. Learn of m^, for I am meek ; and because He 
had said, Blessed are they that iveep, He Himself also wept 
over the city. Cyril; For Christ had compassion upon the "~ 
Jews, who wills that all men should be saved. Which had 
not been plain to us, were it not revealed by a certain mark 
of His humanity. For tears poured forth are the tokens of 


Greg. The merciful Redeemer wept then over the fall of Greg. 


the false city, which that city itself knew not was about tOgg -^ 
come upon it. As it is added, saying, If thou hadst known^ Ev. 
even thou (we may here understand) v:ouldest weep. Thou 
who now rejoicest, for thou knowest not what is at hand. 
It follows, at least in this thy day. For when she gave 
herself up to carnal pleasures, she had the things which 
in her day might be her peace. But why she had present 
goods for her peace, is explained by what follows, But 
now they are hidden from thy eyes. For if the eyes of her 
heart had not been hidden from the future evils which were 
hanging over her, she would not have been joyful in the 
prosperity of the present. Therefore He shortly added the 
punishment which was near at hand, saying. For the days 
shall come upon thee. 

Cyril; If thou hadst known, even thou. The Jews 
were not worthy to receive the divinely inspired Scrip- 
tures, which relate the mystery of Christ. For as often 
as Moses is read, a veil overshadows their heart that 
they should not see what has been accomplished in 
Christ, who being the truth puts to flight the shadow. And 
because they regarded not the truth, they rendered them- 
selves unworthy of the salvation which flows from Christ. 
EusEBius; He here declares that His coming was to bring 
peace to the whole world. For unto this He came, that He 


should preach both to them that were near, and those that 
were afiir off. But as they did not wish to receive the peace 
that was announced to them, it was hid from them. And 
therefore the siege which was shortly to come upon them 
He most expressly foretells, adding. For the days shall come 
^"■^g- upon thee^ ^c. Greg. By these words the Roman leaders 
are pointed out. For that overthrow of Jerusalem is de- 
scribed, which was made by the Roman emperors Vespasian 
and Titus. 

EusEBius; But how these things were fulfilled we may 
gather from what is delivered to us by Josephus, who 
though he was a Jew, related each event as it took place, in 
exact accordance with Christ's prophecies. Greg. This too 
which is added, namely. They shall not leave in thee one 
stone upon another^ is now witnessed in the altered situation 
of the same city, which is now built in that place where 
Christ was crucified without the gate, whereas the former 
Jerusalem, as it is called, was rooted up from the very 
foundation. And the crime for which this punishment of 
overthrow was inflicted is added. Because thou knewest not 
the time of thy visitation. Theoihyl. That is, of my 
coming. For I came to visit and to save thee, which if thou 
hadst known and believed on Me, thou mightest have been 
reconciled to the Romans, and exx^mpted from all danger, 
as did those who believed on Christ. 

Origen ; I do not deny then that the former .Jemsalem 
was destroyed because of the wickedness of its inhabitants, 
but I ask whether the weeping might not perhaps concern 
this your spiritual Jerusalem. For if a man has sinned after 
receiving the mysteries of truth, he will be wept over. More- 
over, no Gentile is wept over, but he only who was of 
Greg. Jerusalem, and has ceased to be. Greg. For our Redeemer 
lit sup. (loes not cease to weep through His elect whenever he perceives 
any to have departed fiom a good life to follow evil wavs. 
Who if they had known their own damnation, hanging 
over them, would together with the elect shed tears over 
themselves. But the coiTupt soul here has its day, rejoicing 
in the passing time ; to whom things present are its peace^ 
seeing that it takes delight in that which is temporal. It 
shuns the foresight ol" the future which may disturb its present 

VER. 41 — 44. ST. LUKE. (M/ 

mirth; and hence it follows, But now are they hid from thine 
eyes. Origen; But our Jerusalem is also wept over, because 
after sin enemies surround it, (that is, wicked spirits,) and 
cast a trench round it to besiege it, and leave not a stone 
behind ; especially when a man after long continency, after 
years of chastity. Is overcome, and enticed by the blandish- 
ments of the flesh, has lost his fortitude and his modesty, 
and has committed fornication, they will not leave on him 
one stone upon another, according to Ezekiel, His former^^^^- 
righteousness I will not remember. 

Greg. Or else ; The evil spirits lay siege to the soul, as it Greg. 
goes forth from the body, for being seized with the love of 39^ \^ 
the flesh, they caress it with delusive pleasures. They sur- ^^^ 
round it with a trench, because bringing all its wickedness 
which it has committed before the eyes of its mind, they 
close confine it to the company of its own damnation, that 
being caught in the very extremity of life, it may see by what 
enemies it is blockaded, yet be unable to find any way of 
escape, because it can no longer do good works, since those 
which it might once have done it despised. On every side 
also they inclose the soul when its iniquities rise up before 
it, not only in deed but also in word and thought, that she 
who before in many ways greatly enlarged herself in wicked- 
ness, should now at the end be straitened every way in judg- 
ment. Then indeed the soul by the very condition of its 
guilt is laid prostrate on the ground, while its flesh which it 
believed to be its life is bid to return to dust. Then its 
children fall in death, when all unlawful thoughts which 
only proceed from it, are in the last punishment of life scattered 
abroad. These may also be signified by the stones. For the 
corrupt mind when to a corrupt thought it adds one more 
corrupt, places one stone upon another. But when the soul 
is led to its doom, the whole structure of its thoughts is rent 
asunder. But the wicked soul God ceases not to visit with His 
teaching, sometimes with the scourge and sometimes with 
a miracle; that the truth which it knew not it may hear, and 
though still despising it, may return pricked to the heart in 
sorrow, or overcome with mercies may be ashamed at the 
evil which it has done. But because it knows not the time 
of its visitation, at the end of life it is given over to its 


enemies, that with them it may be joined together in the 
bond of everlasting damnation. 

45. And he went into the temple, and began to 
cast out them that sold therein, and them that 
bought ; 

46. Saying unto them. It is written, My house is 
the house of prayer : but ye have made it a den of 

47. And he taught daily in the temple. But the 
Chief Priests and the Scribes and the chief of the 
people sought to destroy him, 

48. And could not find what they might do : for 
all the people were very attentive to hear him. 

Greg. GiiEG. When He had related the evils that were to come 
^"^' upon the city, He straightway entered the temple, that He 
might cast out them that bought and sold in it. Shewing 
that the destruction of the people arose chiefly from the guilt 
of the priests. Ambrose ; For God wishes not His temple 
to be a house of traffic, but the dwelling-place of holiness, 
nor does He fix the priestly service in a saleable per- 
formance of religion, but in a free and willing obedience. 

Cyril ; Now there were in the temple a number of sellers 
who sold animals, by the custom of the law, for the sacrificial 
victims, but the time was now come for the shadows to pass 
away, and the truth of Christ to shine forth. Therefore 
Christ, who together with the Father was worshipped in the 
temple, commanded the customs of the law to be reformed, 
but the temple to become a house of prayer; as it is added, 
My hoiise^ 8^c. Greg. For they who sat in the temple to 
receive money would doubtless sometimes make exaction to 
the injury of those who gave them none. 

Theophyl. The same thing our Lord did also at the 
beginning of His preaching, as John relates ; and now He 
did it a second time, because the crime of the Jews was 
much increased by their not having been chastened by the 
former warning. 

VEK. 45 — 48. ST. LUKE. 649 

Aug. Now mystically, you must understand by the temple Aug. de 
Christ Himself, as man in His human nature, or with His body ifb/ii/* 
united to Him, that is, the Church. But inasmuch as He is^"- ^8. 
the Head of the Church, it was said. Destroy this temple, Jo^n 2, 
and I will raise it itp in three days. Inasmuch as the 
Church is joined to Him, is the temple understood, of which 
He seems to have spoken in the same place, Take these away 
from hence; signifying that there would be those in the 
Church who would rather be pursuing their own interest, or 
find a shelter therein to conceal their wickedness, than follow 
after the love of Christ, and by confession of their sins 
receiving pardon be restored. 

Greg. But our Redeemer does not withdraw His word Greg. 


of preaching even from the unworthy and ungi'ateful. Ac- 39^ ^J 
cordingly after having by the ejection of the corrupt main- sup- 
tained the strictness of discipline, He now pours forth the 
gifts of grace. For it follows, And he was teaching daily in 
the temple. Cyril; Now from what Christ had said and 
done it was meet that men should worship Him as God, but 
far from doing this, they sought to slay Him ; as it follows, 
But the chief priests and scribes and the chief of the people 
sought to destroy him. Bede ; Either because He daily 
taught in the temple, or because He had cast the thieves 
therefrom, or that coming thereto as King and Lord, He was 
greeted with the honour of a heavenly hymn of praise. 
Cyril; But the people held Christ in far higher estimation 
than the Scribes and Pharisees, and chiefs of the Jew^s, who 
not receiving the faith of Christ themselves, rebuked others. 
Hence it follows. And they could not find tchat they might 
do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him. 
Bede ; This may be taken in two w^ays; either that fearing a 
tumult of the people they knew not what they should do 
with Jesus, whom they had settled to destroy; or they sought 
to destroy Him because they perceived their own authority 
set aside, and multitudes flocking to hear Him. Greg. Greg. 
Mystically, such as the temple of God is in a city, such is 
the life of the religious in a faithful people. And there are 
liequcntly some nho take upon themselves the religious 
habit, and while they are receiving the privilege of Holy 
Orders, are sinking the sacred office of religion into a bargain 


of worldly traffic. For the sellers in the temple are those 
who give at a certain price that which is the rightful posses- 
sion of others. For to sell justice is to observe it on con- 
dition of receiving a reward. But the buyers in the temple 
are those, who whilst unwilling to discharge what is just to 
their neighbour, and disdaining to do what they are in duty 
bound to, by paying a price to their patrons, purchase sin. 

Origen ; If any then sells, let him be cast out, and espe- 
cially if he sells doves. For of those things which have been 
revealed and committed to me by the Holy Spirit, I either 
sell for money to the people, or do not teach without hire, 
what else do I but sell a dove, that is, the Holy Spirit? 
Ambrose ; Therefore our Lord teaches generally that all 
worldly bargains should be far removed from the temple of 
God; but spiritually He drove away the money-changers, 
who seek gain from the Lord's money, that is, the divine 
Grreg. Scripture, lest they should discern good and evil. Greg. 
^"^* And these make the house of God a den of thieves, because 
when corrupt men hold religious offices, they slay with the 
sword of their wickedness their neighbours, whom they 
ought to raise to life by the intercession of their prayers. 
The temple also is the soul of the faithful, which if it put 
forth corrupt thoughts to the injury of a neighbour, then is it 
become as it were a lurking place of thieves. But when the 
soul of the faithful is wisely instructed to shun evil, truth 
teaches daily in the temple. 


1. And it came to pass, that on one of those days, 
as he taught the people in the temple, and preached 
the Gospel, the Chief Priests and the Scribes came 
upon him with the elders, 

2. And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what 
authority doest thou these things ? or who is he that 
gave thee this authority? 

3. And he answered and said unto them, I will 
also ask you one thing ; and answer me : 

4. The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of 
men ? 

5. And they reasoned with themselves, saying. If 
we shall say, From heaven; he will say. Why then 
believed ye him not? 

6. But and if we say. Of men ; all the people will 
stone us : for they be persuaded that John was a 

7. And they answered, that they could not tell 
whence it was. 

8. And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you 
by what authority I do these things. 

Aug. Having related the casting out of those that bought ^^g. de 
and sold in the temple, Luke oniits Christ's going to Bethany i.ii.'c.eo! 
and His return again to the city, and the circumstances of 
the fig-tree, and the answer which was made to the 
astonished disciples, concerning the power of faith. And 
having omitted all these, as he does not, like Mark, pursue the 
events of each clay in order, he commences with these words. 


And it came to pass, that on one of those days; by which we 
may understand that day on which Matthew and Mark related 
that event to have taken place. Euseb. But the rulers who 
should have been struck with wonder at one who taught such 
heavenly doctrines, and have been convinced by His words 
and deeds that this was the same Christ whom the Prophets 
had foretold, came to hinder Him, so helping onward the de- 
stiTiction of the people. For it follows. And spake unto him, 
saying, Tell us, hy what authority doest thou these things? 
8^c. As if he said; By the law of Moses, those only who are 
sprung from the blood of Levi have authority to teach, and 
power over the sacred buildings. But Thou who ai't of the 
line of Judah usurpest the offices assigned to us. Whereas, 
O Pharisee, if thou hadst known the Scriptures, thou wouldest 
have called to mind that this is the Priest after the order of 
Melchisedec, who offers to God them that believe on Him 
by that worship which is above the law. Why then art thou 
troubled. He cast out of the sacred house things which 
seemed necessary for the sacrifices of the law, because He 
calls us by faith to the true righteousness. 

Bede ; Or when they say. By what authority doest thou 
these things'? they doubt concerning the power of God, and 
wish it to be understood that of the devil He doeth this. 
Adding moreover. And who is he that gave thee this autho- 
rity? Most plainly do they deny the Son of God when they 
think that not by His own power but another's He doeth 
miracles. Now our Lord by a simj^le answer might have 
refuted such a calumny ; but He wisely asks a question, that 
by their silence or their words they might condemn them- 
selves. And he answered, and said unto them, I also will 
ask, S^c. Theofhyl. For that He might shew that they 
had always rebelled against the Holy Spirit, and that besides 
Isaiah, whom they remembered not, they had refused to believe 
John whom they had lately seen ; He now in his turn puts the 
question to them, proving that if so great a Prophet as John 
who was accounted greatest among them had been disbe- 
lieved when he testified of Him, they would in no wise 
believe Him, answering by what authority He did this. 

Euseb. His (juestion concerning John the Baptist is not 
from whence was he sprung, but whence received he his law 

vteR. 9 — 18. ST. LUKE. 653 

of baptism But they feared not to shun the truth. For 
God sent John as a voice, crying, Prepare ye the way of 
the Lord, But they dreaded to speak the truth, lest it should 
be said. Why did ye not believe? and they scruple to blame 
the forerunner, not from fear of God, but of the people; as 
it follows. And they reasoned within themselves^ saying, If 
we shall say. From heaven; he will say, Why tit en believed ye 
him not. Bede ; As if He should say, He whom you confess 
had his gift of prophecy from heaven, and gave testimony to 
Me. And ye heard from him by what power I should do 
these things. It follows. But if we shall say, Of men ; the 
whole people will stone us: for titey be persuaded that John 
was a prophet. Therefore perceived they in whatever way 
they should answer they would fall into a trap, fearing the 
stoning, but much more the confession of the truth. And 
then it follows. And they answered, that they could not tell 
whence it was. Because they will not confess that which 
they knew, they were baffled, and the Lord would not tell 
them what He knew ; as it follows. And Jesus said unto 
them. Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these 
tilings. For there are two reasons especially why we should 
conceal the truth from those that ask ; for example, when 
the questioner is incapable of understanding what he asks, 
or when from hatred or contempt he is unworthy to have his 
questions answered. 

9. Then began he to speak to the people this 
parable ; A certain man phmted a vineyard, and let 
it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country 
for a long time. 

10. And at the season he sent a servant to the 
husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit 
of the vineyard : but the husbandmen beat him, and 
sent him away empty. 

11. And again he sent another servant: and they 
beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and 
sent him away empty. 


12. And again he sent a third: and they wounded 
him also, and cast him out. 

13. Then said the lord of the vineyard. What 
shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be 
they will reverence him when they see him. 

14. But when the husbandmen saw him, they 
reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir : 
come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be 

15. So they cast him out of the vineyard, and 
killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the 
vineyard do unto them ? 

16. He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, 
and shall give the vineyard to others. And when 
they heard it, they said, God forbid. 

17. And he beheld them, and said. What is this 
then that is written, The stone which the builders 
rejected, the same is become the head of the corner ? 

18. Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be 
broken ; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind 
him to powder. 

EusEB. The rulers of the Jewish people being now assem- 
bled together in the temple, Christ put forth a parable, 
foretelling by a figure the things they were about to do to 

Aug. Him, and the rejection that was in store for them. Aug. 

gy^J^^'j Matthew has omitted for brevity's sake what Luke has not, 

c- 70. namely, that the parable was spoken not to the rulers only 
who asked concerning His authority, but also to the people. 

Ambrose ; Now many derive different meanings from the 
name vineyard, but Esaias clearly relates the vineyard of the 

Isa. 5. Lord of Sabaoth to be the house of Israel. This vineyard 
who else but God planted ? Bede ; The man then who 
plants the vineyard is the same who, according to another 
parable, hired labourers into his vineyard. Euseb. But the 
parable which Esaias gives denounces the vineyard, whereas 
our Saviour's parable is not directed against the vineyard, but 

VEU. 9 — 18. ST. LUKF. 055 

the cultivators of it; of whom it is added, A/td he let it out 

to hushaiidmen, that is, to the elders of the people, and the 

chief priests, and the doctors, and all the nobles. Theophyl. 

Or each one of the people is the vineyard, each likewise is 

the husbandman, for every one of us takes care of himself. 

Having committed then the vineyard to the husbandmen, 

he went away, that is, he left them to the guidance of their 

own judgment Hence it follows. And went into afar country 

for a long time. Ambrose; Not that our Lord journeys 

from place to place, seeing that He is ever present in every 

place, but that He is more present to those who love Him, 

while He removes Himself from those who regard Him not. 

But He was absent for a long time, lest His coming to require 

His fruit might seem too early. For the more indulgent it 

is, it renders obstinacy the less excusable. 

Cyril ; Or God took Himself away from the vineyard for 

the course of many years, for since the time that He was seen 

to descend in the likeness of fire upon Mount Sinai, He noExod. 

. . 19 

longer vouchsafed to them His visible presence ; though no 

change took place, in which He sent not His prophets and 
righteous men to give warning thereof; as it follows. And at 
the time of the vintage he sent a servant to the husbandmen ^ 
that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard. The- 
ophyl. He says of the fruit of the vineyard, because not the 
whole fruit, but part only. He wished to receive. For what 
does God gain fiom us, but His own knowledge, which is also 
our profit. Bede ; But it is rightly written fruit, not in- 
crease. For there was no increase in this vineyard. The 
first servant sent was Moses, who for forty years sought of 
the husbandmen the fruit of the law which he had given, 
but he was wroth against them, for they provoked his spirit. 
Hence it follows. But they heat him, and sent him away 

Ambrose ; And it came to pass that He ordained many 
others, whom the Jews sent back to him disgraced and empty, 
for they could reap nothing from them ; as it follows. And 
again he sent another servant. Bede ; By the other sen^ant 
is meant David, who was sent after the commandment of the law, 
that he by the music of his psalmody might stir up the hus- 
bandmen to the exercise of good works. But they on the 


1 Sam. contrary declared, What portion have we in David, neither 
1 Kings ^'^^^ ^^ inheritance in the son of Jesse. Hence it follows, 
12, 16. ^rf^ii ij^Qy jjQQ^i j^iyy^^ also , and entreated him shame/idly, and 
sent him aivay empty. But He does not stop here, for it 
follows, A7id again he sent a third: whereby we must un- 
derstand the company of prophets who constantly ^dsited the 
people with their testimony. But which of the Prophets did 
they not persecute ; as it follows, And they wounded him also, 
and cast him out. Now these three successions of ser- 
vants, our Lord elsewhere shews to comprehend under a 
figure all the teachers under the law, when He says. For 
all those things must be fulfilled which were written in the 
law of Moses, and the Prophets, and the Psalms, concerning 

Theophyl. After the prophets then had suffered all these 
things, the Son is delegated ; for it follows, Then said the 
Lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? That the Lord of 
the vineyard speaks doubtingly, arises not from ignorance, 
for what is there that the Lord knows not? but He is said to 
hesitate, that the free will of man may be preserved. Cyril ; 
The Lord of the vineyard also ponders what He should do, 
not that He is in need of ministers, but that having thoroughly 
tried every device of human aid, yet His people being in no 
wise healed, He may add something greater; as He goes on to 
say, / will send my beloved son : it may be they will reve- 
rence him when they see him. Theophyl. Now He said 
this, not as ignorant that they would treat Him worse than 
they did the prophets, but because the Son ought to be re- 
verenced by them. But if they should still be rebellious and 
slay Him, this would crown their iniquity. Lest therefore 
any should say that the Divine Presence has necessarily been 
the cause of their disobedience. He uses purposely this doubt- 
ful mode of speech. 

Ambrose ; When then the only-begotten Son was sent to 
them, the unbelieving Jews, wishing to be rid of the Heir, 
put Him to death by crucifying Him, and rejected Him 
by denying Him. Christ is the Heir and the Testator like- 
wise. The Heir, because He survives His own death ; and 
of the testament which He Himself bequeathed. He reaps as 
it were the hereditary profits in our advances. Bede; But 

VER. 9 — 18. ST. LUKE. 657 

our Lord most clearly proves that the Jewish rulers crucified 
the Son of God not from ignorance but for envy. For they 
knew it was He to whom it was said, / will give thee the Ps. 2, 8. 
heathen for thine inheritance. And they cast him out of the 
vineyard, and slew him. Because Jesus, that He, 
sanctify the people by His blood, suffered without the gate. 

Theophyl. Since we have already assumed the people, 
not Jerusalem, to be the vineyard, it may perhaps be more 
properly said that the people indeed slew Him without the 
vineyard; that is, our Lord suffered without the hands of the 
people, because in truth the people did not with their own 
hands inflict death upon Him, but delivered Him up to Pilate 
and the Gentiles. But some by the vineyard have under- 
stood the Scripture, which not believing they slew the Lord. 
And so without the vineyard, that is, without Scripture, our 
Lord is said to have suffered. 

Bede ; Or was He cast out of the vineyard and slain, be- 
cause He was first driven out of the hearts of the unbelievers, 
and then fastened to the cross ^ 

Chrys. Now it was not accidentally but part of the pur- 
pose of the divine dispensation that Christ came after the 
prophets. For God does not pursue all things at once, but 
accommodates Himself to mankind through His great mercy; 
for if they despised His Son coming after His servants, much 
less would they have heard Him before. For they who 
listened not to the inferior commands, how would they have 
heard the greater? 

Ambrose ; He rightly puts a question to them, that they 
may condemn themselves by their own words, as it follows. 
What then will the Lord of the vineyard do to them? 
Basil; And this happens as it were to men who are 
condemned, having nothing to answer to the plain evi- 
dence of justice. But it is the property of Divine mercy 
not to inflict punishment in secret, but to foretell it with 
threatenings, that so it might recall men to repentance ; and 
thus it follows here, He shall come and destroy those husband- 
men. Ambrose ; He says, the Lord of the vineyard will 
come, because in the Son is present also the Father's majesty; 
or because in the last times He will be more graciously pre- 
sent by His Spirit in the hearts of men, 

VOL. III. 2 u 


Cyril; The Jewish rulers were shut out then, because 
they resisted their Lord's will, and made the vineyard barren 
which was entrusted to them. But the cultivation of the 
vineyard was given to the Priests of the New Testament, 
upon which the Scribes and Pharisees, as soon as they per- 
ceived the force of the parable, refuse to permit it, saying as 
follows, God forhid. They did not however escape any 
whit the more, because of their obstinacy and disobedience 
to the faith of Christ- 

Theophyl. Now Matthew seems to relate the parable 
differently; that when our Saviour asked indeed, What will 
he do then to the husbandmen'^ the Jews answered, A^ tfz7/ 
miserably destroy them. But there is no difference between 
the two circumstances. The Jews at first pronounced 
that opinion, then perceiving the point of the parable 
^^^' ^^ said, God forbid, as Luke here relates. Aug. Or else, 
lib. iv. in tlie multitude of w^hicli we are speaking there were 
cap. 70. those who craftily asked our Lord by what authority He 
acted; there were those also who not craftily, but faithfully, 
cried aloud. Blessed is lie tvho cometh in the name of the 
Lord. And so there would be some who would say, He will 
miserably destroy those husbandmen, and let out his vine- 
yard to ot Iters. Which are rightly said to have been the 
words of our Lord Himself, either on account of their truth, 
or because of the unity of the members with the head ; 
while there would be others also who would say to those 
who made this answer, God forbid, inasmuch as they under- 
stood the parable was spoken against themselves. It follows. 
And he beheld them, and said. What is this then that is writ- 
ten. The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become 
the head of the comer ? Brde ; As if He said, How shall the 
prophecy be fulfilled, except that Christ, being rejected and 
slain by you, is to be preached to the Gentiles, who will be- 
lieve on Him, that as the corner stone He may thus from both 
nations build up one temple to Himself.? Etjseb. Christ is 
called a stone on account of His earthly body, cut out with- 
Dan. 2, out hands, as in the vision of Daniel, because of His birth of 
the Virgin. But the stone is neither of silver nor gold, because 
He is not any glorious King, but a man lowly and despised, 
wherefore the builders rejected Him. Theophyl. For the 


VER. 9 — 18. ST. LUKK. 059 

rulers of the people rejected Him, when they said, This ^na?^John9, 
is not of God, But He was so useful and so precious, that 
He was placed as the head stone of the corner. Cyril; But 
holy Scripture compares to a corner the meeting together j pgj 2 
of the two nations, the Jew and the Gentile, into one faith. 7. 
-T or the Saviour has compacted both peoples nito one new 20* 
man, reconciling them in one body to the Father. Of saving 
help then is that stone to the corner made by it, but to the 
Jews who resist this spiritual union, it bringeth destruction. 

Theophyl. He mentions two condemnations or destruc- 
tions of them, one indeed of their souls, which they suffered 
being offended in Christ. And He touches this when He 
says, Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be shaken to 
pieces. But the other of their captivity and extermination^ 
Avhich the Stone that was despivsed by them brought upon 
them. And He points to this when He says. But upon 
whomsoever it shall /all, it shall grind him to powder, or 
winnow him. For so were the Jews winnovved through the 
whole world, as the straw from the threshing floor. And 
mark the order of things; for first comes the wickedness com- 
mitted against Him, then follows the just vengeance of God* 
Bede ; Or else, He who is a sinner, yet believes on Christ, 
falls indeed upon the stone and is shaken, for he is preserved 
by penitence unto salvation. But upon whomsoever it shall 
fall, that is, upon whom the stone itself has come down be- 
cause he denied it, it shall grind him to powder, so that not 
even a broken piece of a vessel shall be left, in which may 
be drunk a little water. Or, He means by those who fall upon 
Him, such as only despise Him, and therefore do not yet 
utterly perish, but are shaken violently so that they cannot 
walk upright. But upon whom it falls, upon them shall He 
come in judgment with everlasting punishment, therefore 
shall it grind them to powder, that they may be as the dust Ps.i, 4. 
which the wind scatters from the face of the earth. 

Ambrose ; The vineyard is also our type. For the hus- 
bandman is the Almighty Father, the vine is Christ, but we Johnis, 
are the branches. Rightly are the people of Christ called a^* 
vine, either because it carries on its front the sign of the cross, 
or because its fruits are gathered in the latter time of the 
year, or because to all men, as to the equal rows of vines, poor as 

2 u 2 


well as rich, servants as well as masters, there is an equal 

allotment in the Chm'ch without distinction of persons. And 

as the vine is mamed to the trees, so is the body to the soul. 

Loving this vineyard, the husbandman is wont to dig it and 

prune it, lest it grow too luxuriant in the shade of its foliage, 

and check by unfruitful boastfhlness of words the ripening 

of its natural character. Here must be the vintage of the 

whole world, for here is the vineyard of the whole world. 

Bede. in Bede ; Or understanding it morally; to everyone of the 

Marc, faithful is let out a vineyard to cultivate, in that the mystery 

of baptism is entrusted to him to work out. One serv^ant is 

sent, a second and a third, when the Law, the Psalms, and 

the Prophets are read. But the servant who is sent is said 

to be treated despitefully or beaten, when the word heard is 

despised or blasphemed. The heir who is sent that man kills 

Heb. 6 ^s ^^^ ^s he can, who by sin tramples under foot the Son of 

^* God. The wicked husbandman being destroyed, the vineyard 

is given to another, when with the gift of grace, which the 

proud man spumed, the humble are enriched. 

19. And the Chief Priests and the Scribes the 
same hour sought to lay hands on him ; and they 
feared the people : for they perceived that he had 
spoken this parable against them. 

20. And they watched him, and sent forth spies, 
which should feign themselves just men, that they 
might take hold of his words, that so they might 
deliver him unto the power and authority of the 

21. And they asked him, saying. Master, we know 
that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither ac- 
ceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way 
of God truly : 

22. Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, 
or no ? 

23. But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto 
them, Why tempt ye me ? 


VER. 19— 26. ST. LUKE. 661 

24. Shew me a penny. Whose image and super- 
scription hath it ? They answered and said, Caesar's. 

25. And he said unto them. Render therefore unto 
Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God 
the things which be God's. 

26. And they could not take hold of his words 
before the people : and they marvelled at his answer, 
and held their peace. 

Cyril; It became indeed the rulers of the Jews, per- 
ceiving that the parable was spoken of them, to depart 
from evil, having been thus as it were warned concern- 
ing the future. But little mindful of this, they rather gather 
a fresh occasion for their crimes. The commandment of the 
Law restrained them not, which says, The innocent and righ- Exod. 
teous men thou shalt not slay, but the fear of the people ' 
checked their wicked purpose. For they set the fear of man 
before the reverence of God. The reason of this purpose is 
given,ybr they perceived that he spoke this parable against 
them. Bede ; And so by seeking to slay Him, they proved 
the truth of what He had said in the parable. For He Him- 
self is the Heir, whose unjust death He said was to be pu- 
nished. They are the wicked husbandmen who sought to 
kill the Son of God. This also is daily committed in the 
Church when any one, only in name a brother, is ashamed 
or afraid, because of the many good men with whom he 
lives, to break into that unity of the Church's faith and 
peace which he abhors. And because the chief priests 
sought to lay hold of our Lord but could not by themselves, 
they tried to accomplish it by the hands of the governor; as 
it follows, And they watched him, ^c. Cyril ; For they 
seemed to be trifling, yet were in earnest, forgetful of God, 
who says. Who is this that hideth his counsel from, me? For Job 42, 
they come to Christ the Saviour of all, as though He were * 
a common man, as it follows^ that they might take him in 
his speech. 

Theophyl. They laid snares for our Lord, but got their 
own feet entangled in them. Listen to their cunning, And they 
asked Him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and 


teachest rightly. Bede; This smooth and artful question 
was to entice the answerer to say that he fears God rather 
than Caesar, for it follows, Neither acceptest thou the person 
of any, but teachest the way of God truly. This they say, to 
entice Him to tell them that they ought not to pay tribute, in 
order that the servants of the guard, (who according to the 
other Evangelists are said to have been present,) might 
immediately upon hearing it seize Him as the leader of a 
sedition against the Romans. And so they proceed to ask. 
Is it lawful to give tribute to Ccesar, or not? For there was 
a great division among the people, some saying that for the 
sake of security and quiet, seeing that the Romans fought 
for all, they ought to pay tribute ; while the Pharisees, on the 
contrary, declared, that the people of God who gave tithes and 
first fruits, ought not to be subject to the law of man. 
Theophyl. Therefore it was intended, in case He said they 
ought to give tribute to Caesar, that He should be accused by 
the people, as placing the nation under the yoke of slavery, but 
if He forbade them to pay the tax, that they should denourice 
Him as a stirrer up of divisions to the governor. But He 
escapes their snares, as it follows. Perceiving their crcftincss^ 
he said unto them, Why tempt ye me? Sheiv me a penny. 
Whose image and superscription has it? Ambrose; Our 
Lord here teaches us, how cautious we ought to be in our 
Mat. 10, answers to heretics or Jews; as He has said elsewhere, Be ye 
wise as serpents. 

Bede; Let those who impute the question of our Saviour 
to ignorance, learn from this place that Jesus was well 
able to know whose image was on the money; but He asks 
the question, that He might give a fitting answer to their 
words ; for it follows, They answered and said, Cassafs. We 
must not suppose Augustus is thereby meant, but Tiberius, 
for all the Roman kings were called Caesar, from the first 
Cains Caesar. But from their answer our Lord easily solves 
the question, for it follows, And he said unto them, Re7ider 
unto Ccesar the things which be Ccesai'^s, and unto God the 
tilings which be God's. Titus; As if He said, With your 
words ye tempt me, obey me in works. Ye have indeed 
Caesar's image, ye have undertaken his offices, to him there- 
fore give tribute, to God fear. For God requireth not money. 


VER. 19 — 26. ST. LUKE. 663 

but faith. Bede ; Render also to God the things which bo 
God's, that is to say, tithes, first fruits, offerings, and sacrifices. 
Theophyl. And observe that He said not, give, but return. 
For it is a debt. Thy prince protects thee from enemies, 
renders thy hfe tranquil. Surely then thou art bound to 
pay him tribute. Nay, this very piece of money which thou 
bringest thou hast from him. Return then to the king the 
king's money. God also has given thee understanding and 
reason, make then a return of these to Him, that thou mayest 
not be compared to the beasts, but in all things mayest walk 
wisely. Ambrose; Be unwilling then, if thou wouldest not 
offend Caesar, to possess worldly goods. And thou rightly 
teachest, first to render the things which be Ca3sar's. For no 
one can be the Lord's unless he has first renounced the 
world. Oh most galling chain! To promise to God, and 
pay not. Far greater is the contract of faith than that of 

Origen; Now this place contains a mystery. For there 
are two images in man, one which he received from God, 
as it is written. Let us make man in our own image: another Gen. i, 
from the enemy, which he has contracted through dis- * 
obedience and sin, allured and won by the enticing baits of 
the prince of this world. For as the penny has the image 
of the emperor of the world, so he who does the works of the 
power of darkness, bears the image of Him whose works he 
doth. He says then. Render unto Ccasar the tilings which 
be C(Bsar\s, that is, cast away the earthly image, that ye may 
be able, by putting on the heavenly image, to render unto 
God the things which be God's, namely, to love God. Which 
things Moses says God requires of us. But God makes this Deut. 
demand of us, not because He has need that we should ^*^' ^^' 
give Him any thing, but that, when we have given. He might 
grant us this very same gift for our salvation. 

Bede; Now they who ought rather to have believed such 
great wisdom, marvelled that in all their cunning they had 
found no opportunity of catching Him. x\s it follows. And 
they could not take hold of his ivords before the people: 
and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace. 
Theophyl. This was their main object, to rebuke Him 


before the people, which they were unable to do because of 
the wonderful wisdom of His answer. 

27. Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, 
which deny that there is any resurrection ; and they 
asked him, 

28. Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us. If any 
man's brother die, having a wife, and he die without 
children, that his brother should take his wife, and 
raise up seed unto his brother. 

29. There were therefore seven brethren: and the 
first took a wife, and died without children. 

30. And the second took her to wife, and he died 

31. And the third took her; and in like manner 
the seven also : and they left no children, and died. 

32. Last of all the woman died also. 

33. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of 
them is she ? for seven had her to wife. 

34. And Jesus answering said unto them, The 
children of this world marry, and are given in 
marriage : 

35. But they w^hich shall be accounted worthy to 
obtain that world, and the resurrection from the 
dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage : 

36. Neither can they die any more : for they are 
equal unto the angels ; and are the children of God, 
being the children of the resurrection. 

37. Now that the dead are raised, even Moses 
shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the 
God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God 
of Jacob. 

38. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the 
living : for all live unto him. 

VER. 27 — 40. ST. LUKE. 665 

39. Then certain of the Scribes answering said. 
Master, thou hast well said. 

40. And after that they durst not ask him any 
question at all. 

Bede; There were two heresies among the Jews, one of 
the Pharisees, who boasted in the righteousness of their tradi- 
tions, and hence they were called by the people, " separated ;" 
the other of the Sadducees, whose name signified " righteous," 
claiming to themselves that which they were not. When the 
former went away, the latter came to tempt Him. Origen; 
The heresy of the Sadducees not only denies the resurrection 
of the dead, but also believes the soul to die with the body. 
Watching then to entrap our Saviour in His words, they 
proposed a question just at the time when they observed 
Him teaching His disciples concerning the resurrection ; as 
it follows, A7id they asked him, saying, Master, Moses ivrote 
to us, If a brother, Sfc. Ambrose; According to the letter 
of the law, a woman is compelled to marry, however unwilling, 
in order that a brother may raise up seed to his brother who 
is dead. The letter therefore killeth, but the Spirit is the 
master of charity. Theophyl. Now the Sadducees resting 
upon a weak foundation, did not believe in the doctrine 
of the resuiTCCtion. For imagining the future life in the 
resuiTection to be carnal, they were justly misled, and hence 
reviling the doctrine of the resurrection as a thing impossible 
they invent the story. There were seven brothers, ^c, Bede; jgede. 
They devise this story in order to convict those of folly, "^^"P- 
who assert the resurrection of the dead. Hence they ob- 
ject a base fable, that they may deny the truth of the resur- 

Ambrose; Mystically, this woman is the synagogue, which 
had seven husbands, as it is said to the Samaritan, Thou Jq\^^ 4 
hadstjive husbands, because the Samaritan follows only the ^^• 
five books of Moses, the synagogue for the most part seven. 
And fi'om none of them has she received the seed of an 
hereditary offspring, and so can have no part with her 
husbands in the resurrection, because she perverts the 
spiritual meaning of the precept into a carnal. For not 
any carnal brother is pointed at, who should raise seed to his 


deceased brother, but that brother who from the dead people 
of the Jews should claim unto himself for wife the wisdom 
of the divine worship, and from it should raise up seed in 
the Apostles^ who being left as it were unformed in the 
womb of the synagogue, have according to the election of 
grace been thought worthy to be preserved by the admixture 
of a new seed. Bede; Or these seven brothers answer to 
the reprobate, who throughout the whole life of the world, 
which revolves in seven days, are fruitless in good works, 
and these being carried away by death one after another, 
at length the course of the evil world, as the barren woman, 
itself also passes away. Theophyl. But our Lord shews that 
in the resurrection there will be no fleshly conversation, 
thereby overthrowing their doctrine together with its slender 
foundation ; as it follows. And Jesus said unto them, The 
Aug de children of this world marry, S^c. Aug. For marriages are 
Ev!T.\i. ^*^^' the sake of children, children for succession, succession 
cap. 49. because of death. Where then there is no death, there are 
no marriages ; and hence it follows. But they which shall he 
accounted worthy, 8^c, Bede ; Which must not be taken as 
if only they who are worthy were either to rise again or 
be without marriage, but all sinners also shall rise again, and 
abide w^ithout marriage in that new world. But our Lord 
wished to mention only the elect, that He might incite the 
minds of His hearers to search into the glory of the resur- 
Aug. de Aug. As our discourse is made up and completed by 
Ev^ubi departing and succeeding syllables, so also men themselves 
sup. whose faculty discourse is, by departure and succession 
make up and complete the order of this world, which is 
built up with the mere temporal beauty of things. But 
in the liiture life, seeing that the Word which we shall enjoy 
is formed by no departure and succession of syllables, but 
all things which it has it has everlastingly and at once, 
so those who partake of it, to whom it alone will be life, 
shall neither depart by death, nor succeed by birtli, even as 
it now is with the angels ; as it follows, For they are equal to 
the angels. Cyril; For as the mvdtitude of the angels is 
indeed very great, yet they are not propagated by generation, 
but have their being from creation, so also to those who rise 

VER. 27—40. ST. LUKE. 667 

again, there is no more necessity for mamage; as it follows, 
And are the children of God. Theophyl. As if He said, 
Because it is God who worketh in the resurrection, rightly 
are they called the sons of God, who are regenerated by 
the resurrection. For there is nothing carnal seen in the 
regeneration of them that rise again, there is neither coming 
together, nor the womb, nor birth. Bede; Or they are 
equal to the angels, and the children of God, because made 
new by the glory of the resurrection, with no fear of death, 
with no spot of corruption, with no quality of an earthly 
condition, they rejoice in the perpetual beholding of God's 

Origen ; But because the Lord says in Matthew, which 
is here omitted, Ye do err, not knowing the Scripture fi, I Mat. 22, 
ask the question, where is it so written, Theij shall neither 
marry, nor he given in marriage f for as I conceive there is 
no such thing to be found either in the Old or New Testa- 
ment, but the whole of their eiTor had crept in from the 
reading of the Scriptures without understanding ; for it is said 
in Esaias, My elect shall not have children for a curse, isai. 65, 
Whence they suppose that the like will happen in the resurrec- ' 
tion. Bat Paul interpreting all these blessings as spiritual, 
knowing them not to be carnal, says to the Ephesians, YeE^h. 1, 
have blessed us in all spiritual blessings. Theophyl. Or to^* 
the reason above given the Lord added the testimony of 
Scripture, Now that the dead are raised, Moses also sJieued Exod. 
at the bush, as the Lord saith, lam the God of Abrahani,^^^- 
the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. As if he said. If 
the patriarchs have once returned to nothing so as not to live 
with God in the hope of a resurrection, He would not have 
said, / am, but, I was, for we are accustomed to speak of 
things dead and gone thus, I was the Lord or Master of 
such a thing; but now that He said, / am. He shews that He 
is the God and Lord of the living. This is what follows. 
But he is not a God of the dead, but of the liviKg: for all 
live unto him. For though they have departed from life, yet 
live they with Him in the hope of a resurrection. Bede ; Or 
He says this, that after having proved that the souls abide 
after death, (which the Sadducees denied,) He might next 
introduce the resurrection also of the bodies, which together 


with the souls have done good or evil. But that is a true 
life which the just live unto God, even though they are dead 
in the body. Now to prove the truth of the resurrection, He 
might have brought much more obvious examples from the 
Prophets, but the Sadducees received only the five books of 
Moses, rejecting the oracles of the Prophets. 
Chrys. Chrys. As the saints claim as their own the common 
Serm°4' Lord of the world, not as derogating from His dominion, but 
testifying their affection after the manner of lovers, who do 
not brook to love with many, but desire to express a certain 
peculiar and especial attachment ; so likewise does God call 
Himself especially the God of these, not thereby narrowing 
but enlarging His dominion ; for it is not so much the 
multitude of His subjects that manifests His power, as the 
virtue of His servants. Therefore He does not so dehght in 
the name of the God of heaven and earth, as in that of the 
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Now among men 
servants are thus denominated by their masters ; for we say, 
^ The steward of such a man,' but on the contrary God is 
called the God of Abraham. 

Theophyl. But when the Sadducees were silenced, the 
Scribes commend Jesus, for they were opposed to them, 
saying to Him, Masler^ thou Jiast well said. Bede; And 
since they had been defeated in argument, they ask Him no 
further questions, but seize Him, and deliver Him up to the 
Roman power. From which we may learn, that the poison 
of envy may indeed be subdued, but it is a hard thing to 
keep it at rest. 

41. And he said unto them. How say they that 
Christ is David's son ? 

42. And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, 
The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right 

43. Till I make thine enemies thy footstool. 

44. David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he 
then his son ? 

Theophyl. Although our Lord was shortly about to enter 
on His Passion, He proclaims His own Godhead, and that 

VEIL 41—44, ST. LUKE. 069 

too neither incautiously nor boastfully, but with modesty. 
For He puts a question to them, and having thrown them 
into perplexity, leaves them to reason out the conclusion; 
as it follows, And he said unto them, How say they that 
Christ is David^s son ? Ambrose ; They are not blamed here 
because they acknowledge Him to be David's Son, for the Luke 
blind man for so doing was thought worthy to be healed. J^^tt^' 
And the children saying, Hosanna to the Son of David,^^,^' 
rendered to God the glory of the highest praise; but they 
are blamed because they believe Him not to be the Son of 
God. Hence it is added, A?id David himself saith in the 
hook of Psalms, The Lord said unto my Lord. Both thePs. no, 
Father is Lord and the Son is Lord, but there are not two ^* 
Lords, but one Lord, for the Father is in the Son, and the 
Son is in the Father. He Himself sits at the right hand of 
the Father, for He is coequal with the Father, inferior to 
none ; for it follows, Sit thou at my right hand. He is not 
honoured by sitting at the right hand, nor is He degraded 
by being sent. Degrees of dignity are not sought for, where 
is the fulness of divinity. 

Aug. By the sitting we must not conceive a posture of the Aug. de 
human limbs, as if the Father sat on the left and the Son on j^^™^^" 
the right, but the right hand itself we must interpret to be Catech. 
the power which that Man received who was taken up into '"* ''* 
Himself by God, that He should come to judge, who at first 
came to be judged. Cyril; Or, that He sits on the Father's 
right hand proves His heavenly glory. For whose throne is 
equal, their Majesty is equal. But sitting when it is said of 
God signifies a universal kingdom and power. Therefore 
He sitteth at the right hand of the Father, because the Word 
proceeding from the substance of the Father, being made 
flesh, putteth not off* His divine glory. 

Theophyl. He manifests then that He is not opposed to 
the Father, but agrees with Him, since the Father resists the 
Son's enemies. Until L make thine enemies thy footstool. 
Ambrose; We must believe then that Christ is both God 
and man, and that His enemies are made subject to Him by 
the Father, not through the weakness of His power, but 
through the unity of their nature, since in the one the other 
works. For the Son also subjects enemies to the Father, in 


Johni7, that He glorifies the Father upon earth. Theophyl. There- 
fore He asks the question, and having excited their doubts, 
leaves them to deduce the consequence ; as it follows, David 
iherefore calleth him Lord, Iww is lie then his son? Chrys. 
David in truth was both the Father and the servant of 
Christ, the former indeed according to the flesh, the latter in 
the Spirit. 

Cyril ; We then likewise in answer to the new Pharisees, 
who neither confess the Son of the holy Virgin to be the 
true Son of G od, nor to be God, but divide one son into two, 
put the like objections: How then is the Son of David 
David's Lord, and that not by human lordship, but divine ? 

45. Then in the audience of all the people he said 
unto his disciples, 

46. Beware of the Scribes, which desire to walk in 
long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and 
the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief 
rooms at feasts ; 

47. Which devour widows' houses, and for a shew 
make long prayers : the same shall receive greater 

Chrys. Chrys. Now nothing is more powerful than to argue 
Horn, from the Prophets. For this is even of more weight than 
Joann. miracles themselves. For when Christ worked miracles. He 
was often gainsayed. But when He cited the Prophets, 
men were at once silent, because they had nothing to say. 
But when they were silent, He warns against them ; as it is 
said, Then in the audience of all the people he said to his 
disciples. Theophyl. For as He was sending them to teach 
the world. He rightly warns them not to imitate the pride of 
the Pharisees. Beware of the Scribes, who desire to walk in 
long robes, that is, to go forth into public, dressed in fine 
Luke] 6, clothes, which was one of the sins remarked in the rich man. 
^^* Cyril; The passions of the Scribes were the love of vain- 

glory and the love of gain. That the disciples should 
avoid these hateful crimes. He gives them this warning, and 

VER. 45 — 47. ST. LUKE. 671 

adds, And love greelingfi in Ihe markets. Theophyl. 
Which is the way of those who court and hunt after a good 
reputation, or they do it for the sake of collecting money. 

It follows, And the chief seats in synagogues. Bede; He 
does not forbid those to sit first in the synagogue, or at the 
feast, to whom this dignity belongs by right, but He tells 
them to beware of those who love this unduly; denouncing 
not the distinction, but the love of it. Though the other also 
would not be free from blame, when the same men who wish 
to take part in the disputes in the market, desire also to be 
called masters in the synagogue. For two reasons we are 
bid to beware of those who seek after vain-glory, either lest 
we be led away by their pretences, supposing those things to 
be good which they do, or be inflamed with jealousy, desiring 
in vain to be praised for the good deeds which they pretend 
to. But they seek not only for praise from men, but money; 
for it follows. Who devour widou-s'' houses, and for a shew 
make long prayers. For pretending to be righteous and of 
great merit before God, they do not fail to receive large sums 
of money from the sick and those whose consciences are 
disturbed with their sins, as though they would be their pro- 
tectors in the judgment. Chrys. Thrusting themselves also 
into the possessions of widows, they grind down their poverty, 
not content to eat as it may be afforded them, but greedily 
devouring; using prayer also to an evil end, they thus 
expose themselves to a heavier condemnation ; as it follows. 
These shall receive the greater damnation. Theophyl. 
Because they not only do what is evil, but make a pretence 
of prayer, so making virtue an excuse for their sin. They 
also impoverish widows whom they were bound to pity, by 
their presence driving them to great expenses. Bede ; Or 
because they seek from men praise and money, they are 
punished with the greater damnation. 


1 . And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting 
their gifts into the treasury. 

2. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting 
in thither two mites. 

3. And he said. Of a truth I say unto you, that 
this poor widow hath cast in more than they all : 

4. For all these have of their abundance cast in 
unto the offerings of God : but she of her penury 
hath cast in all the living that she had. 

Gloss. Gloss. Our Lord having rebuked the covetousness of the 
non occ. g^,j,^jjgg ^]^q devoured widows' houses, commends the alms- 
giving of a widow ; as it is said, A9?d he looked up, and saw 
the rich men casting itito the ireasui'y, 8^c. 

Bede ; In the Greek language, (^vKol^oli signifies to keep, 
and gaza in Persian means riches, hence gazophylacium is 
used for the name of the place in which money is kept. 
Now there was a chest with an opening at the top placed 
near the altar, on the right hand of those entering the house 
of God, into which the Priests cast all the money, which was 
given for the Lord's temple. But our Lord as He overthrows 
those who trade in His house, so also He remarks those who 
bring gifts, giving praise to the deserving, but condemning 
the bad. Hence it follows. And he saw also a certain 
poor widoiv casting in thither two mites. Cyril; She offered 
two oholi, which with the sweat of her brow she had earned 
for her daily living, or what she daily begs for at the hands 
of others she gives to God, shewing that her poverty is fruit- 
ful to her. Therefore does she surpass the others, and by a 

VER. 5 — 8. ST. LUKE. 673 

just award receives a crown from God; as it follows, Of a 
truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in 
more, 8$c. Bede ; For whatever we offer with an honest 
heart is well pleasing to God, who hath respect unto the 
heart, not the substance, nor does He weigh the amount of 
that which is given in sacrifice, but of that from which it is 
taken ; as it follows. For all these have cast in of their 
abundance, hut she all that she had. Chrys. For God Chrys. 
regarded not the scantiness of the offering, but the overflow- j^°^' 
ing of the affection. Almsgiving is not the bestowing a iew^^ H'-b. 
things out of many, but it is that of the widow emptying 28. 
herself of her whole substance. But if you cannot offer as 
much as the widow, at least give all that remains over. 

Bede ; Now mystically, the rich men who cast their gifts 
into the treasury signify the Jews puffed up with the righte- 
ousness of the law ; the poor widow, the simplicity of the 
Church which is called poor, because it has either cast away 
the spirit of pride, or its sins, as if they were worldly riches. 
But the Church is a widow, because her Husband endured 
death for her. She cast two mites into the treasury, because 
in God's sight, in whose keeping are all the offerings of our 
works, she presents her gifts, whether of love to God and 
her neighbour, or of faith and prayer. And these excel all 
the works of the proud Jews, for they of their abundance 
cast into the offerings of God, in that they presume on their 
righteousness, but the Church casts in all her living, for 
every thing that hath life she believes to be the gift of God. 
Theophyl. Or the widow may be taken to mean any soul 
bereft as it were of her first husband, the ancient law, and 
not worthy to be united to the Word of God. Who brings 
to God instead of a dowry faith and a good conscience, and 
so seems to offer more than those who are rich in words, and 
abound in the moral virtues of the Gentiles. 

5. And as some spake of the temple, how it was 
adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, 

6. As for these things which ye behold, the days 
will come, in the which there shall not be left one 

stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.^ .^^^^^ 

VOL. III. 2 X y^^"^ ^^}P}^^^Ai 

/^^' . ,Q 


7. And tliey asked him, saying, Master, but when 
shall these things be ? and what sign will there be 
when these things shall come to pass ? 

8. And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived : 
for many shall come in my name, saying, I am 
Christ ; and the time draweth near : go ye not there- 
fore after them* 

EusEB. How beautiful was every thiug relating to the 
structure of the temple, history informs us, and there are 
yet preserved remains of it, enough to instruct us in what 
was once the character of the buildings. But our Lord 
proclaimed to those that were wondering at the building of 
the temple, that there should not be left in it one stone upon 
another. For it was meet that that place, because of the 
presumption of its worshippers, should suffer every kind of 
desolation. Bede ; For it was ordained by the dispensation 
of God that the city itself and the temple should be over- 
thrown, lest perhaps some one yet a child in the faith, while 
wrapt in astonishment at the rites of the sacrifices, should be 
carried away by the mere sight of the various beauties. 
Ambrose ; It was spoken then of the temple made with 
hands, that it should be overthrown. For there is nothing- 
made with hands which age does not impair, or violence 
throw down, or fire burn. Yet there is also another temple, 
that is, the synagogue, whose ancient building falls to pieces 
as the Church rises. There is also a temple in every one, 
which falls when faith is lacking, and above all when any 
one falsely shields himself under the name of Christ, that so 
he may rebel against his inward inclinations. 

CvRiL ; Now His disciples did not at all perceive the force 
of His words, but supposed they were spoken of the end of 
the world. Therefore asked they Him, saying, Master^ hut 
when shall these tlnrujs he? and what sign^ ^c. 

Ambrose ; Matthew adds a third question, that both the 
time of the destruction of the temple, and the sign of His 
coming, and the end of the world, might be inquired into by 
the disciples. But our Lord being asked when the destruc- 
tion of the temple should be, and what the sign of His 

VER. 5—8. ST. LUKK. C75 

coming, instructs them as to the signs, but does not mind to 
inform them as to the time. It follows, Take heed that ye 
he not deceived. Athan. For since we have received, Athan. 

Orat 1 

delivered unto us by God, graces and doctrines which are^Qj^j' 
above man, (as, for example, the rule of a heavenly life, Anan. 
power against evil spirits, the adoption and the knowledge of 
the Father and the Word, the gift of the Holy Spirit,) our 
adversary the devil goeth about seeking to steal from us the 
seed of the word which has been sown. But the Lord, shutting 
up in us His teaching as His own precious gift, warns us, lest we 
be deceived. And one very great gift He gives us, the word 
of God, that not only we be not led away by what appears, 
but even if there is ought lying concealed, by the grace of 
God we may discern it. For seeing that the devil is the 
hateful inventor of evil, what he himself is he conceals j 
but craftily assumes a name desirable to all ; just as if a man 
wishing to get into his power some children not His own, 
should in the absence of the parents counterfeit their looks, 
and lead away the children who were longing for them. In 
every heresy then the devil says in disguise, " I am Christ, 
and with me there is truth." iVnd so it follows. For many 
shall come hi my name, saying, I am Christ ; and the time 
d/raweth near. Cyril ; For before His descent from heaven, 
there shall come some to whom we must not give place. 
For the Only-begotten Son of God, when He came to save 
the world, wished to be in secret, that He might bear the 
cross for us. But His second coming shall not be in secret, 
but terrible and open. For He shall descend in the glory of 
God the Father, with the Angels attending Him, to judge the 
world in righteousness. Therefore He concludes. Go ye not 
therefore after them. Tit. Bost. Or perhaps He does not 
speak of false Christs coming before the end of the world, 
but of those who existed in the Apostles' time. Bede ; For 
there were many leaders when the destruction of Jerusalem 
was at hand, \\ ho declared themselves to be Christ, and that 
the time of deliverance was drawing nigh. Many heresiarchs 
also in the Church have preached that the day of the Lord 
is at hand, whom the Apostles condemn. Many Anti-2Thess. 
christs also came in Christ's name, of whom the first was^'^' 
Simon Magus, who said, This man is the great power of God. Acts 8, 

'2x2 '»■ 


9. But when ye shall hear of wars and com- 
motions, be not terrified : for these things must 
first come to pass ; but the end is not by and by. 

10. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise 
against nation, and kingdom against kingdom : 

11. And great earthquakes shall be in divers 
places, and famines, and pestilences ; and fearful 
sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. 

Greg. Greg. God denounces the woes that shall forerun the 

35. in destruction of the world, that so they may the less disturb 

Evang. ^i^gjj ij^Qj come, as having been foreknown. For darts 

strike the less which are foreseen. And so He says, But 

when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, SfC. Wars refer 

to the enemy, commotions to citizens. To shew us then 

that we shall be troubled from within and without, He asserts 

that the one we suffer from the enemy, the other from our own 

brethren. Ambrose; But of the heavenly words none aie 

gi'eater witnesses than we, upon whom the ends of the world 

have come. What wars and what rumours of wars have we 


Greg. But that the end will not immediately follow these 
evils which come first, it is added, These things must first 
come to pass; but the end is not yet, SfC. For the last 
tribulation is preceded by many tribulations, because many 
evils must come first, that they may await that evil which has 
no end. It follows, Then said he unto them, Nation shall 
rise against nation, S^c. For it must needs be that we 
should suffer some things from heaven, some from eaith, 
some from the elements, and some from men. Here then 
are signified the confusions of men. It follows, And great 
earthquakes shall he in divers places. This relates to the 
CliO's. wrath from above. Chrys. For an earthquake is at one time a 


11. io sign of wrath, as when our Lord was crucified the earth shook; 
Acta. |3^^ ^^ another time it is a token of God's providence, as 

when the Apostles were praying, the place was moved where 
Greg, they were assembled. It follows, and pestilence. Greg. 
35. ' ■ Look at the vicissitudes of bodies. And famine. Observe 

the barrenness of the ground. And fearful sights and great 

VER. 12 — 19. ST. LUKE. C77 

signs there shall be from heaven. Behold the variableness 
of the climate, which must be ascribed to those storms which 
by no means regard the order of the seasons. For the things 
which come in fixed order are not signs. For every thing 
that we receive for the use of life we pervert to the service of 
sin, but all those things which we have bent to a wicked use, 
are turned to the instruments of our punishment. Ambrose; 
The ruin of the world then is preceded by certain of the 
world's calamities, such as famine, pestilence, and persecu- 
tion. Theophyl. Now some have wished to place the 
fulfilment of these things not only at the future consum- 
mation of all things, but at the time also of the taking of 
Jerusalem. For when the Author of peace was killed, then 
justly arose among the Jews wars and sedition. But from wars 
proceed pestilence and famine, the former indeed produced 
by the air infected with dead bodies, the latter through the 
lands remaining uncultivated. Josephus also relates the 
most intolerable distresses to have occurred from famine; 
and at the time of Claudius Caesar there was a severe famine, 
as we read in the Acts, and many terrible events happened. Acts ii^ 


forboding, as Josephus says, the destruction of Jerusalem. 

Chrys. But He says, that the end of the city shall not 
come immediately, that is, the taking of Jerusalem, but there 
shall be many battles first. Bede; The Apostles are also 
exhorted not to be alarmed by these forerunners, nor to 
desert Jerusalem and Judaea. But the kingdom against 
kingdom, and the pestilence of those whose word creepeth as 
a cancer, and the famine of hearing the word of God, and 
the shaking of the whole earth, and the separation from the 
true faith, may be explained also in the heretics, who con- 
tending one with another bring victory to the Church. 
Ambrose; There are also other wars which the Christian 
wages, the struggles of different lusts, and the conflicts of 
the will; and domestic foes are far more dangerous than 

12. But before all these, they shall lay their hands 
oil you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the 
synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before 
kings and rulers for my name's sake. 



13. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. 

14. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to medi- 
tate before what ye shall answer : 

15. For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, 
which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay 
nor resist. 

16. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, M 
and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends ; and some H 
of you shall they cause to be put to death. 

17. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's 

18. But there shall not an hair of your head 

1 9. In your patience possess ye your souls, 

Greg. Greg. Because the things which have been prophesied of 
Horn, arise not from the injustice of the inflictor of them, but from 

35. in •' . , 

Evang. the deserts of the world which suffers them, the deeds oi 
wicked men are foretold ; as it is said. But before all these 
things, they shall lay their- hands upon you: as if He says, 
First the hearts of men, afterwards the elements, shall be 
disturbed, that when the order of things is thrown into 
confusion, it may be plain from what retribution it arises. 
For although the end of the world depends upon its own 
appointed course, yet finding some more corrupt than others 
who shall rightly be ov^erwhelmed in its fall, our Lord makes 
them known. Cyril ; Or He says this, because before that 
Jerusalem should be taken by the Romans, the disciples, 
having suffered persecution from the Jews, were imprisoned 
and brought before rulers; Paul was sent to Rome to Caesar, 
and stood before Festus and Agrippa. 

It follows, And it shall turn to you/or a testimony. In the 

Greg. Greekitis6ljjaa^Tu^iov,thatis,fortheglory of martyrdom. Greg. 
Or, for a testimony, that is, against those who by persecuting 
you bring death upon themselves, or living do not imitate 
you, or themselves becoming hardened perish without excuse, 
from whom the elect take example that they may live. But 
as hearing so many terrible things the hearts of men may be 

lit sup. 

VER. 12 — 19. ST. LUKE. 670 

troubled, He therefore adds for their consolation, Settle it 
therefore in your hearts, ^c. Theophyl. For because they 
were foolish and inexperienced, the liOrd tells them this, 
that they might not be confounded when about to give 
account to the wise. And He adds the cause. For I will 
give you a mouth and tcisdom, which all your adversaries 
shall not be able to gainsay or resist. As if He said. 
Ye shall forthwith receive of me eloquence and wisdom, 
so that all your adversaries, were they gathered together in 
one, shall not be able to resist you, neither in wisdom, that 
is, the power of the understanding, nor in eloquence, that is, 
excellence of speech, for many men have often wisdom in 
their mind, but being easily provoked to their great disturb- 
ance, mar the whole when their time of speaking comes. 
lUit not such were the Apostles, for in both these gifts they 
were highly favoured. Greg. As if the Lord said to His Greg. 
disciples, " Be not afraid, go forward to the battle, it is l" ^"^' 
that fight; you utter the words, I am He that speaketh." 
Ambrose; Now in one place Christ speaks in His disciples, 
as here; in another, the Father; in another the Spirit of the Mat. i6, 
Father speaketh. These do not differ but agree together. }^^j. ^^ 
In that one speaketh, three speak, for the voice of the Trinity 20. 
is one. 

Theophyl. Having in what has gone before dispelled the 
fear of inexperience. He goes on to warn them of another very 
certain event, which might agitate their minds, lest falling 
suddenly upon them, it should dismay them ; for it follows, 
A7id ye shall be betrayed both by parents^ and brethren^ and 
kinsfolk, and some of you shall they cause to be put to death, 
Greg. We are the more galled by the persecutions we suffer Greg, 
from those of whose dispositions we made sure, because to- ^^ ''"P* 
gether with the bodily pain, we are tormented by the bitter 
pangs of lost affection. Greg. Nyss. But let us consider the 
state of things at that time. While all men were suspected, 
kinsfolk were divided against one another, each diflering 
from the other in religion; the gentile son stood up the 
betrayer of his believing parents, and of his believing son 
the unbelieving father became the determined accuser; no 
age was s}nued in the persecution of the faith; women were 
unprotected even by the natural weakness of their sex. 


Theophyl. To all this He adds the hatred which they 

Greg, shall meet with from all men. Greg. But because of the 

ut sup. i^^Y^ things foretold concerning the affliction of death, there 

immediately follows a consolation, concerning the joy of the 

resurrection, when it is said, But there shall not an hair 

of your head perish. As though He said to the martyrs. 

Why fear ye for the perishing of that which when cut, pains, 

when that can not perish in you, which when cut gives no 

pain? Bede; Or else. There shall not perish a hair of the 

head of our Lord's Apostles, because not only the noble 

deeds and words of the Saints, but even the slightest thought 

shall meet with its deserving reward. 

Greg. Greg. He who preserves patience in adversity, is thereby 

c. 16. rendered proof against all affliction, and so by conquering 

himself, he gains the government of himself; as it follows, In 

your patience shall ye possess your souls. For what is it to 

possess your souls, but to live perfectly in all things, and 

sitting as it were upon the citadel of virtue to hold in sub- 

Cxreg. jection every motion of the mind? Greg. By patience then 

35An ^^^ possess our souls, because when we are said to govern 

Ev. ourselves, we begin to possess that very thing which we are. 

But for this reason, the possession of the soul is laid in the 

virtue of patience, because patience is the root and guardian 

of all virtues. Now patience is to endure calmly the evils 

which are infflcted by others, and also to have no feeling of 

indignation against him who inflicts them. 

20. And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed 
with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is 

21. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the 
mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it 
depart out; and let not them that are in the countries 
enter thereinto. 

22. For these be the days of vengeance, that all 
things which are written may be fulfilled. 

23. But w^oe unto them that are with child, and to 
them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be 
great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. 

VEIi. 20 — 24. ST. LUKF. 681 

24. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, 
and shall be led away captive into all nations : and 
Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, 
until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. 

Bede; Hitherto our Lord had been speaking of those 
things which were to come to pass for forty years, the end 
not yet coming. He now describes the veiy end itself of the 
desolation, which was accomplished by the Roman army; as 
it is said, And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed, ^c. 
EusEB. By the desolation of Jerusalem, He means that it was 
never again to be set up, or its legal rites to be reestablished, 
so that no one should expect, after the coming siege and de- 
solation, any restoration to take place, as there was in the time 
of the Persian king, Antiochus the Great, and Pompey. Aug. Aug. ad 


These words of our Lord, Luke has here related to shew, that Ep. 199. 
the abomination of desolation which was prophesied by 
Daniel, and of which Matthew and Mark had spoken, was Mat.24. 
fulfilled at the siege of Jerusalem. Ambrose; For the Jews jg^^ 
thought that the abomination of desolation took place when the 
Romans, in mockery of a Jewish observance, cast a pig's head 
into the temple. Euseb. Now our Lord, foreseeing that there 
would be a famine in the city, waraed His disciples in the siege 
that was coming, not to betake themselves to the city as a place 
of refuge, and under God's protection, but rather to depart 
from thence, and flee to the mountains. Bede; The eccle- 
siastical history relates, that all the Christians who were in Ecc. 
Judaea, when the destruction of Jerusalem was approaching, ji^'^^jl 
being warned of the Lord, departed from that place, and c 5. 
dwelt beyond the Jordan in a city called Pella, until the 
desolation of Judaea was ended. 

Aug. And before this, Matthew and Mark said. And let Aug. 
him, thai is on the housetop not corne down into his house; " ^"''* 
and Mark added, neither enter therein to take any thing out 
of his house; in place of which Luke subjoins, A7id let them 
which are in the midst of it depart out. 

Bede ; But how, while the city was already compassed 
with an army, were they to depart out.^* except that the pre- 
ceding word '* then" is to be referred, not to the actual time 


of the siege, but the period just before, when first the armed 

soldiers began to disperse themselves through the parts of 

Galilee and Samaria. 

Aug. Aug. But where Matthew and Mark have written, Neither let 

" ' ^"^* him which is in the field return hack to take his clothes, Luke 

adds more clearly, And let not them that are in the countries 

enter thereinto, for these be the days of vengeance, that all 

the things which are icritten may he fidfilled. Bede; And 

these are the days of vengeance, that is, the days exacting 

Aug. vengeance for our Lord's blood. Aug. Then Luke follows 

sup. ^^ ^.Qi.(jg similar to those of the other two ; But woe to them 

that are with child, and them that give suck in those days ; 

and thus has made plain what might otherwise have been 

doubtful, namely, that what was said of the abomination of 

desolation belonged not to the end of the world, but the 

taking of Jerusalem. Bede; He says then. Woe to them 

that nurse, or give suck, as some interpret it, whose womb 

or arms now heavy with the burden of children, cause no 

slight obstacle to the speed of flight. Theophyl. But some 

say that the Lord hereby signified the devounng of children, 

which Josephus also relates, 

Chrys. Chrys. He next assigns the cause of what he had just now 

^^l!,„ said, For there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath 

OppUg. 7 J J 

mon.vM. upon this people. For the miseries that took hold of them 
were such as, in the words of Josephus, no calamity can hence- 
forth compare to them. Euseb. For so in truth it was, that 
when the Romans came and were taking the city, many mul- 
titudes of the Jewish people perished in the mouth of the 
sword ; as it follows, And they shall fall by the edge of the 
sword. But still more were cut off by famine. And these 
things happened at first indeed under Titus and Vespasian, 
but after them in the time of Hadrian the Roman general, 
when the land of their birth was forbidden to the Jews. 
Hence it follows. And they shall be led away captive into all 
nations. For the Jews filled the whole land, reaching even 
to the ends of the earth, and when their land was inhabited 
by strangers, they alone could not enter it; as it follows, 
And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until 
the times of the Gentiles be fidfilled. Bede; WHiich indeed 

Rom.ii,ilie Apostle makes mention of when lie says. Blindness in 

VER. 20 24. ST. LUKE. 683 

j)art is happened to Israel^ and so all Israel shall be saved. 
Which when it shall have gained the promised salvation, 
hopes not rashly to return to the land of its fathers. Am- 
brose; Now mystically, the abomination of desolation is the 
coming of Antichrist, for with ill-omened sacrilege he pollutes 
the innermost recesses of the heart, sitting as it is literally in 
the temple, that he may claim to himself the throne of divine 
power. But according to the spiritual meaning, he is well 
brought in, because he desires to impress firmly on the affec- 
tions the footste]) of his unbelief, disputing from the Scriptures 
that he is Christ. Then shall come desolation, for very many 
falling away shall depart from the true religion. Then shall 
be the day of the Lord, since as His first coming was to re- 
deem sin, so also His second shall be to subdue iniquity, lest 
more should be carried away by the error of unbelief There 
is also another Antichrist, that is, the Devil, who is trying to 
besiege Jerusalem, i. e. the peaceful soul, with the hosts of his 
law. When then the Devil is in the midst of the temple, 
there is the desolation of abomination. But when upon any 
one in trouble the spiritual presence of Christ has shone, 
the unjust one is cast out, and righteousness begins her reign. 
There is also a third Antichrist, as Arius and Sabellius and 
all who with evil purpose lead us astray. But these are they 
who are with child, to whom woe is denounced, who enlarge 
the size of their flesh, and the step of whose inmost soul 
waxes slow, as those who are worn out in virtue, pregnant 
with vice. But neither do those with child escape condemn- 
ation, who though firm in the resolution of good acts, have 
not yet yielded any fruits of the work undertaken. These are 
those which conceive from fear of God, but do not all bring 
forth. For there are some which thrust forth the word abor- 
tive before their delivery. There are others too which have 
Christ in the womb, but have not yet formed Him. There- 
fore she who brings forth righteousness, brings forth Christ. 
Let us also hasten to nourish our children, lest the day of 
judgment or death find us as it were the parents of an imper- 
fect offspring. And this you will do if you keep all the words 
of righteousness in your heart, and wait not the time of old 
age, but in your earliest years, without corruption of your 
body, quickly coTiceive wisdom, quickly nourish it. But at 


the end shall all Judaea be made subject to the nations which 

"E^ev. 1, shall believe, bv the mouth of the spiritual sword, which is 
16; 19, , 1 1 " 1 

15. the two-edged word. 

25. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in 
the moon, and in the stars ; and upon the earth dis- 
tress of nations, with perplexity ; the sea and the 
waves roaring; 

26. Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for 
looking after those things which are coming on 
the earth : for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 

27. And then shall they see the Son of man coming 
in a cloud with power and great glory. 

Bede ; The events which were to follow the fulfilment of 
the times of the Gentiles He explains in regular order, saying, 
There shall be signs in the sun, andin the moon, and in the stars- 
Ambrose; All which signs are more clearly described in Mat- 
thew, Then shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall 
not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, 
EusEB. For at that time when the end of this perishing life 
1 Cor. 7, shall be accomplished, and, as the Apostle says. The fashion 
^^' of this world passeth away, then shall succeed a new world, 
in which instead of sensible light, Christ Himself shall shine 
as a sunbeam, and as the King of the new world, and so 
mighty and glorious will be His light, that the sun which 
now dazzles so brightly, and the moon and all the stars, shall 
be hidden by the coming of a far greater light. Chrys. For 
as in this world the moon and the stars are soon dimmed by 
the rising of the sun, so at the glorious appearance of Christ 
shall the sun become dark, and the moon not shed her ray, 
and the stars shall fall from heaven, stripped of their former 
attire, that they may put on the robe of a better light. Euseb. 
What things shall befall the world after the darkening of 
the orbs of light, and whence shall arise the straitening of 
nations. He next explains as follows, And on the earth distress 
of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the 

VEK. 25 27. ST. LUKE. 685 

sea. Wherein He seems to teach, that the begmning of the 
universal change will be owing to the failing of the watery 
substance. For this being first absorbed or congealed, so 
that no longer is heard the roaring of the sea, nor do the waves 
reach the shore because of the exceeding drought, the other 
parts of the world, ceasing to obtain the usual vapour which 
came forth from the watery matter, shall undergo a revolution. 
Accordingly since the appearance of Christ must put down 
the prodigies which resist God, namely, those of Antichrist, 
the beginnings of wrath shall take their rise from droughts, 
such as that neither storm nor roaring of the sea be any more 
heard. And this event shall be succeeded by the distress of 
the men who survive; as it follows. Men's hearts being dried 
up for fear, and looking after those things which shall come 
upon the whole world. But the things that shall then come 
upon the world He proceeds to declare, adding, For the 
powers of heaven shall be shaken, 

Theophyl. Or else. When the higher world shall be 
changed, then also the lower elements shall suffer loss ; 
whence it follows. And on the earth distress of nations, ^c. 
As if He said, the sea shall roar terribly, and its shores shall 
be shaken with the tempest, so that of the people and nations 
of the earth there shall be distress, that is, a universal misery, 
so that they shall pine away fi*om fear and expectation of 
the evils which are coming upon the world. 

Aug. But you will say, your punishment compels you to Aug. 
confess that the end is now approaching, seeing the fulfil- ^^^g^* 
ment of that which was foretold. For it is certain there is no 
country, no place in our time, which is not affected or 
troubled. But if those evils which mankind now suffer are 
sure signs that our Lord is now about to come, what meaneth 
that which the Apostle says. For when they shall say peace i Thess. 
and safety. Let us see then if it be not perhaps better to ^' ^' 
understand the words of prophecy to be not so fulfilled, but 
rather that they will come to pass when the tribulation of the 
whole world shall be such that it shall belong to the Church, 
which shall be troubled by the whole world, not to those who 
shall trouble it. For they are those who shall ^2iy, Peace and 
safety. But now these evils which are counted the greatest 
and most immoderate, we see to be common to both the king- 


doms of Christ and the Devih For the good and the evil are 
alike afflicted with them, and among these great evils is the 
yet universal resort to licentious feasts. Is not this the 
being dried up from fear, or rather the being burnt up from 
lust ? 

Theophyl. But not onl}^ shall men be tossed about when 
the world shall be changed, but angels even shall stand 
amazed at the terrible revolutions of the universe. Hence it 

Greg, follows, And the powers of heaven shall he shaken. Greg. 

in°Ev. ^^^ whom does He call the powers of heaven, but the angels, 
dominions, principalities, and powers ? which at the coming of 
the strict Judge shall then appear visibly to our eyes, that they 
may strictly exact judgment of us, seeing that now our invisible 
Creator patiently bears with us. Euseb. When also the Son 
of God shall come in glory, and shall crush the proud empire 
of the son of sin, the angels of heaven attending Him, the doors 
of heaven which have been shut from the foundation of the 
world shall be opened, that tlie things that are on high 

Chrys. niay be witnessed. Chrys. Or the heavenly powers shall be 


Olyrap. shaken, although themselves know it not. For when they 
^P- 2- see the innumerable multitudes condemned, they shall not 
stand there without trembling. Bede ; Thus it is said in Job, 
Job 26, the pillars of heaven tremble and are afraid at his reproof 
What then do the boards do, when the pillars tremble } what 
does the shrub of the desert suffer, when the cedar of Para- 
dise is shaken? Euseb. Or the powers of heaven are those 
which preside over the sensible parts of the universe, which 
indeed shall then be shaken that they may attain to a better 
state. For they shall be discharged from the ministry with 
which they serve God toward the sensible bodies in their 
"Vh perishing condition. Aug. But that the Lord may not 
utsup. seem to have foretold as extraordinary those things concern- 
ing His second coming, which were wont to happen to 
this world even before His first coming, and that we may not 
be laughed at by those who have read more and greater 
events than these in the history of nations, T think what 
has been said may be better understood to apply to the 
Church. For the Church is the sun, the moon, and the stars. 
Cant. 6, tQ whom it was said. Fair as the 7?ioon, elect as the sun. 
And she will then not be seen for the unbounded rage of the 

VKR. 25 — 27- ST. LUKE. (587 

persecutors. Ambkosk; While many also lull away from 
religion, clear faith will be obscured by the ch)ud of unbelief, 
for to me that Sini of righteousness is either diminished 
or increased according to my faith; and as the moon in its 
monthly vvanings, or when it is opposite the sun by the 
interposition of the earth, suffers eclipse, so also the holy 
Church when the sins of the Hesh oppose the heavenly light, 
cannot borrow the brightness of divine light from Christ's 
rays. For in persecutions, the love of this world generally 
shuts out the light of the divine Sun; the stars also fall, that 
is, men who shine in glory fall when the bitterness of perse- 
cution waxes vsharp and prevails. And this must be until the 
multitude of the Church be gathered in, for thus are the good 
tried and the weak made manifest. Aug. But in the words, Aug. 
And upon the earth distress of nations, He would understand 
by nations, not those which shall be blessed in the seed 
of Abraham, but those which shall stand on the left hand. 

Ambrose ; So severe then will be the manifold fires of our 
souls, that with consciences depraved through the multitude 
of crimes, by reason of our fear of the coming judgment, the 
dew of the sacred fountain will be dried upon us. But as 
the Lord's coming is looked for, in order that His presence 
may dwell in the whole circle of mankind or the world, which 
now dwells in each individual who has embraced Christ with 
his whole heart, so the powers of heaven shall at our Lord's 
coming obtain an increase of grace, and shall be moved 
by the fulness of the Divine nature more closely infusing 
itself. There are also heavenly powers which proclaim the 
glory of God, which shall be stirred by a fuller infusion of 
Christ, that they may see Christ. Aug. Or the powers of Aug. 
heaven shall be stirred, because when the ungodly persecute," ^"^* 
some of the most stout-hearted believers shall be troubled. 

Theophyl. It follows. And then shall they see the Son o/'Theoph. 
man coming in the clouds. Both the believers and unbe-" "^* 
lievers shall see Him, for He Himself as well as His cross 
shall glisten brighter than the sun, and so shall be observed 
of all. Aug. But the words, coming in the clouds, may be Aug. 
taken in two ways. Either coming in His Church as it were" ^"^* 
in a cloud, as He now ceases not to come. But then it shall 
be with great power and majesty, for far greater will His 


power and might appear to His saints, to whom He will give 
great virtue, that they may not be overcome in such a fearful 
persecution. Or in His body in which He sits at His Father's 
right hand He must rightly be supposed to come, and not 
only in His body, but also in a cloud, for He will come even 
as He went away. And a cloud received him out of their 
sight. Chrys. For God ever appears in a cloud, according 

Ps. 17, to the Psalms, clouds and darkness are rouud about him. 
Therefore shall the Son of man come in the clouds as God, and 
the Lord, not secretly, but in glory worthy of God. Therefore 
He adds, with great power and majesty. Cyril ; Great must 
be understood in like manner. For His first appearance He 
made in our weakness and lowliness, the second He shall 

Greg, celebrate in all His own power. Greg. For in power and 

Ut sup. . . . , 'IT .1 

majesty will men see Hun, whom m lowly stations they re- 
fused to hear, that so much the more acutely they may feel 
His power, as they are now the le^ss willing to bow the necks 
of their hearts to His sufferings. 

28. And when these things begin to come to pass, 
then look up, and lift up your heads ; for your re- 
demption draweth nigh. 

29. And he spake to them a parable ; Behold the 
fig tree, and all the trees ; 

30. When they now shoot forth, ye see and know 
of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. 

31. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come 
to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at 

32. Verily I say unto you. This generation shall 
not pass away, till all be fulfilled. 

33. Heaven and earth shall pass away : but my 
words shall not pass away. 

Greg. Greg. Having in what has gone before spoken against 

5^°^* ^'the reprobate. He now turns His words to the consolation of 

the elect; for it is added. When these things begin to be, look 

up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth 

VER. 28 — 83. ST. LUKE. 689 

nigh; as if he says, When the buffettings of the world mul* 
tiply, Hft up your heads, that is, rejoice your hearts, for when 
the world closes whose friends ye are not, the redemption is 
near which ye seek. For in holy Scripture the head is often 
put for the mind, for as the members are ruled by the head, 
so are the thoughts regulated by the mind. To lift up our 
heads then, is to raise up our minds to the joys of the hea- 
venly country. Euseb. Or else. To those that have passed 
through the body and bodily things, shall be present spiri- 
tual and heavenly bodies : that is, they will have no more to 
pass the kingdom of the world, and then to those that are 
worthy shall be given the promises of salvation. For having 
received the promises of God which we look for, we who 
before were crooked shall be made upright, and we shall lift up 
our heads who were before bent low ; because the redemption 
which we hoped for is at hand ; that namely for which the 
whole creation waiteth. Theophyl. That is, perfect liberty 
of body and soul. For as the first coming of our Lord was 
for the restoration of our souls, so will the second be mani- 
fested unto the restoration of our bodies. 

Euseb. He speaks these things to His disciples, not as to 
those who would continue in this life to the end of the world, 
but as if uniting in one body of believers in Christ both 
themselves and us and our posterity, even to the end of the 

Greg. That the world ought to be trampled upon and Greg, 
despised. He proves by a wise comparison, adding. Behold 
the Jig tree and all the trees, when they now put forth fruit, 
ye know that summer is near. As if He says, As from the 
fniit of the tree the summer is perceived to be near, so from 
the fall of the world the kingdom of God is known to be at 
hand. Hereby is it manifested that the world's fall is our fiTiit. 
For hereunto it puts forth buds, that whomsoever it has fos- 
tered in the bud it may consume in slaughter. But well is 
the kingdom of God compared to summer; for then the 
clouds of our soitow flee away, and the days of life brighten 
up under the clear light of the Eternal Sun. Ambrose ; Mat- 
thew speaks of the fig-tree only, Luke of all the trees. But 
the fig-tree shadows forth two things, either the ripening of 
what is hard, or the luxuriance of sin; that is, either that, when 

VOL. III. 2 Y 


the fruit bursts forth in all trees and the fruitful fig-tree 
abounds, (that is, when every tongue confesses God, even the 
Jewish people confessing Him,) we ought to hope for our Lord's 
coming, in which shall be gathered in as at summer the fruits 
of the resurrection. Or, when the man of sin shall clothe 
himself in his light and fickle boasting as it were the leaves of 
the synagogue, we must then suppose the judgment to be 
drawing near. For the Lord hastens to reward faith, and to 
bring an end of sinning. 
Aug. Aug. But when He says, When ye shall see these things to 

^"^* come to pass, what can we understand but those things which 
were mentioned abov e. But among them we read, Atid then 
shall they see the Son of man coming. When therefore this 
is seen, the kingdom of God is not yet, but nigh at hand. 
Or must we say that we are not to understand all the things 
before mentioned, when He says. When ye shall see these 
things, 8^c. but only some of them ; this for example being 
excepted. And then shall they see the Son of nnan. But 
Matthew w-ould plainly have it taken with no exception, for 
he says, And so ye, ivhen ye see all these things, among 
which is the seeing the coming of the Son of man ; in order 
that it may be understood of that coming whereby He now 
comes in His members as in clouds, or in the Church as in a 
great cloud. Tit. Bost. Or else, He says, the kingdom of 
God is at hand, meaning that when these things shall be, 
not yet shall all things come to their last end, but they shall 
be already tending towards it. For the very coming of our 
Lord itself, casting out every principality and power, is the 
preparation for the kingdom of God. Euseb. For as in this 
life, when winter dies away, and spring succeeds, the sun 
sending forth its warm rays cherishes and quickens the 
seeds hid in the ground, just laying aside their first form, and 
the young plants sprout forth, having put on different shades 
of green; so also the glorious coming of the Only-begotten 
of God, illuminating the new world with His quickening rays, 
shall bring forth into light from more excellent bodies than 
before the seeds that have long been hidden in the whole 
world, i. e. those who sleep in the dust of the earth. And 
having vanquished death, He shall reign from henceforth the 
life of the new world. 

VER. 34— 3f). ST. LUKE. ()9l 

Greg. But all the thinsrs before mentioned are confirmed Greg, in 

FT 1 

with great certainty, when He adds, Vej'ily 1 say unto yon^ f^c. ,„ Ev. 
Bede ; He strongly commends that which he thus foretels. 
And, if one may so speak, his oath is this. Amen, I say unto 
you. Amen is by interpretation " true." Therefore the truth 
says, / tell you the truth, and though He spoke not thus, 
He could by no means lie. But by generation he means 
either the whole human race, or especially the Jews. Euseb. 
Or by generation He means the new generation of His holy 
Church, shewing that the generation of the faithful would 
last up to that time, when it would see all things, and em- 
brace with its eyes the fulfilment of our Saviour's words. 
Theophyl. For because He had foretold that there should 
be commotions, and wars, and changes, both of the elements 
and in other things, lest any one might suspect that Chris- 
tianity itself also would perish. He adds. Heaven and earth 
shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away: as if He 
said. Though all things should he shaken, yet shall my faith 
fail not. Whereby He implies that He sets the Church 
before the whole creation. The creation shall suffer change, 
but the Church of the faithful and the words of the Gospel 
shall abide for ever. Greg. Or else, TJte heaven and earth Greg. 
shall pass away, 8^c. As if He says. All that with us seems last- "* ^"P* 
ing, does not abide to eternity without change, and all that 
with Me seems to pass away is held fixed and immoveable, 
for My word which passeth away utters sentences which re- 
main unchangeable, and abide for ever. 

Bede; But by the heaven which shall pass away we must 
understand not the aethereal or the starry heaven, but the air 
from which the birds are named " of heaven." But if the earth 
shall pass away, how does Ecclesiastes say. The earth standeth Ecc. l. 
for ever 7 Plainly then the heaven and earth in the fashion^* 
which they now have shall pass away, but in essence subsist 

34. And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time 
your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and 
drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day 
come upon you unawares. 

1 Y 2 


35. For as a snare shall it come on all them that 
dwell on the face of the whole earth. 

36. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye 
may be accounted worthy to escape all these things 
that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son 
of man. 

Theophyl. Our Lord declared above the fearful and 

sensible signs of the evils which should overtake sinners, 

against which the only remedy is watching and prayer, as it 

is said, A7id take heed to yourselves, lest at any time, ^c. 

Basil. Basil: Every animal has within itself certain instincts which 

TT ^ ^ %/ 

in iiiud it has receiv^ed from God, for the preservation of its own 
Attende being. Wherefore Christ has also given us this warning, that 
what conies to them by nature, may be ours by the aid of 
reason and prudence : that we may flee from sin as the 
brute creatures shun deadly food, but that we seek after 
righteousness, as they wholesome herbs. Therefore saith 
He, Take heed to yourselves, that is, that you may dis- 
tinguish the noxious from the wholesome. But since there 
are two ways of taking heed to ourselves, the one with the 
bodily eyes, the other by the faculties of the soul, and the 
bodily eye does not reach to virtue ; it remains that we speak 
of the operations of the soul. Take heed, that is. Look 
around you on all sides, keeping an ever watchful eye to the 
guardianship of your soul. He says not, Take heed to your 
own or to the things around, but (o yourselves. For ye are 
mind and spirit, your body is only of sense. Around you 
are riches, arts, and all the appendages of life, you must not 
mind these, but your soul, of which you must take especial 
care. The same admonition tends both to the healing of the 
sick, and the perfecting of those that are well, namely, such 
as are the guardians of the present, the providers of the future, 
not judging the actions of others, but strictly searching their 
own, not suffering the mind to be the slave of their passions, 
but subduing the irrational part of the soul to the rational. 
But the reason why we should take heed He adds as follows, 
Lest at any time your hearts be overcharged, ^c. Tit. 
BosT. As if He says. Beware lest the eyes of your mind wax 

VER. 34—36. ST. LUKE. 693 

heavy. For the cares of this life, and surfeiting, and drunken- 
ness, scare away prudence, shatter and make shipwreck of 

Clem. Alex. Drunkenness is an excessive use of wine ; Clem- A 1. 
crapula ' is the uneasiness, and nausea attendant on drunken- Paedag. 
ness, a Greek word so called irom the motion of the head, f • ^* , 
And a little below. As then we must partake of food lest wc *«x>» 
suffer hunger, so also of drink lest we thirst, but with still 
greater care to avoid falling into excess. For the indulgence 
of wine is deceitful, and the soul when free from wine will be 
the wisest and best, but steeped in the fumes of wine is lost 
as in a cloud. Ijasil; But carefulness, or the care of this Basil. 
life, although it seems to have nothing unlawful in it, never- ^^.g^^^k 
theless if it conduce not to religion, must be avoided, int. 88. 
And the reason why He said this He shews by what comes 
next, And so that day come upon you unawares. Theophyl. 
For that day will not come when men are expecting it, but 
unlooked for and by stealth, taking as a snare those who are 
unwaiy. For as a snare shall it come upon all them that 
sit upon the face of the earth. But this we may diligently 
keep far from us. For that day will take those that sit on 
the face of the earth, as the unthinking and slothful. But 
as many as are prompt and active in the way of good, not 
sitting and loitering on the ground, but rising from it, saying 
to themselves. Rise up, begone, for here there is no rest for 
thee. To such that day is not as a perilous snare, but a day 
of rejoicing. 

EusEB. He taught them therefore to take heed unto the 
things we have just before mentioned, lest they fall into the 
indolence resulting therefrom. Hence it follows, Watch ye 
therefore^ and pray always.^ that ye may be accounted worthy 
to escape all those things that shall come to pass. Theophyl. 
Namely, hunger, pestilence, and such like, which for a time 
only threaten the elect and others, and those things also 
which are hereafter the lot of the guilty for ever. For these 
we can in no wise escape, save by watching and prayer. 

Aug. This is supposed to be that flight which Matthew Aug. de 

1-1 1 • 1 • 1 11-1 Con.Ev. 

mentions; which must not be in the winter or on the sabbath ]. u, c. 
day. To the winter belong the cares of this life, which are ^'^' 
mournful as the winter, but to the sabbath surfeiting and 


drunkenness, which drowns and buries the heart in carnal 
luxury and delight, since on that day the Jews are immersed 
in worldly pleasure, while they are lost to a spiritual sabbath. 
Theophyl. And because a Christian needs not only to flee 
evil, but to strive to obtain glory, He adds, And to stand 
before the Son of man. For this is the glory of angels, to 
stand before the Son of man, our God, and always to behold 
His face. Bede; Now supposing a physician should bid us 
beware of the juice of a certain herb, lest a sudden death 
overtake us, we should most earnestly attend to his com- 
mand; but when our Saviour warns us to shun drunkenness 
and surfeiting, and the cares of this world, men have no fear 
of being wounded and destroyed by them; for the faith 
which they put in the caution of the physician, they disdain 
to give to the words of God. 

37. And in the day time he was teaching in the 
temple ; and at night he went out, and abode in the 
mount that is called the mount of Olives. 

38. And all the people came early in the morning 
to him in the temple, for to hear him. 

Bede; What our Lord commanded in word, He confirms 
by His example. For He who bid us watch and pray before 
the coming of the Judge, and the uncertain end of each of 
us, as the time of His Passion drew near, is Himself instant 
in teaching, watching, and prayer. As it is said. And in 
the day time he was teaching in the temple^ whereby He 
conveys by His own example, that it is a thing worthy of 
God, to watch, or by word and deed to point out the way of 
truth to our neighbour. Cyril; But what were the things 
He taught, unless such as transcended the worship of the 
law.? Theophyl. Now the Evangelists are silent as to the 
greater part of Christ's teaching ; for whereas He preached 
for the space nearly of three years, all the teaching which 
they have written down would scarcely, one might say, 
suffice for the discourse of a single day. For out of a great 
many things extracting a few, they have given only a 
taste as it were of the sweetness of His teaching. But our 
Lord here instructs us, that we ought to address God at night 

VER. 37, 38. ST. LUKE. f)95 

and in silence, but in day time to be doing good to men; 
and to gather indeed at night, but in the day distribute what 
we have gathered. As it is added, A?id at night he went out 
and abode in the mount that is called Olivet. Not that He 
had need of prayer, but He did this for our example. 

Cyril; But because His speech was with power, and vvith 
authority He applied to spiritual worship the things which 
had been delivered in figures by Moses and the Prophets, 
the people heard Him gladly. As it follows. And the whole 
people made haste to come early to hear him in the temple. 
But the people who came to Him before light might with 
fitness say, O Ood my Qod, early do I wait upon thee. 

Bede; Now mystically, we also when amid our prosperity 
we behave ourselves soberly, piously, and honestly, teach by 
day time in the temple, for we hold up to the faithful the 
model of a good work ; but at night we abide on mount 
01i^'et, when in the darkness of anguish we are refreshed with 
spiritual consolation; and to us also the people come early 
in the morning, when either having shaken off the works of 
darkness, or scattered all the clouds of sorrow, they follow our 

non occ. 


1. Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, 
which is called the Passover. 

2. And the Chief Priests and Scribes sought how 
they might kill him ; for they feared the people. 

Chrys. The actions of the Jews were a shadow of our 

own. Accordingly if you ask of a Jew concernmg the 

Passover, and the feast of unleavened bread, he will tell you 

nothing momentous, mentioning the deliverance from Egypt; 

whereas should a man inquire of me he would not hear of 

Egypt or Pharaoh, but of freedom from sin and the darkness 

Gloss, Qf Satan, not by Moses, but by the Son of God; Gloss. Whose 

Passion the Evangelist being about to relate, introduces the 

figure of it, saying. Now the feast of unleavened bread drew 

nigh, which is called the Passover. Bede ; Now the Passover, 

which is called in Hebrew " Phase," is not so named from 

the Passion, but fi'om the passing over, because the destroying 

angel, seeing the blood on the doors of the Israelites, passed 

over them, and touched not their first-born. Or the Lord 

Himself, giving assistance to His people, walked over them. 

But herein is the difference between the Passover and the 

feast of unleavened bread, that by the Passover is meant 

that day alone on which the lamb was slain towards the 

evening, that is, on the fourteenth day of the first month, 

but on the fifteenth, when the Israelites went out of Egypt, 

followed the feast of unleavened bread for seven days, up to 

the twenty-first of the same month. Hence the writers of 

the Gospel substitute one indifferently for the other. As 

here it is said, The day of unleavened bread, which is called 

the Passover, But it is signified by a mystery, that Christ 

having suffered once for us, has commanded us through 


the whole time of this world which is passed in seven days, 
to live in the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 
Chrys. The Chief Priests set about their impious deed on Chrys. 
the feast, as it follows, And the Chief Priests and Scribes, ^q^^ 
SfC. Moses ordained only one Priest, at whose death an- Matt, 
other was to be appointed. But at that time, when the 
Jewish customs had begun to fall away, there were many 
made every year. These then wishing to kill Jesus, are not 
afraid of God, lest in truth the holy time should aggravate 
the pollution of their sin, but every where fear man. Hence 
it follows. For they feared the people. Bede; Not indeed 
that they apprehended sedition, but were afraid lest by the 
interference of the people He should be taken out of their 
hands. And these things Matthew reports to have taken 
place two days before the Passover, w^hen they were as- 
sembled in the judgment hall of Caiaphas. 

3. Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Is- 
cariot, being of the number of the twelve. 

4. And he went his way, and communed with the 
Chief Priests and captains, how he might betray him 
unto them. 

5. And they were glad, and covenanted to give 
him money. 

6. And he promised, and sought opportunity to 
betray him unto them in the absence of the mul- 

Theophyl. Having already said that the Chief Priests 
sought means how they might slay Jesus without incurring 
any danger, he next goes on to relate the means which 
occurred to them, as it is said. Then entered Satan into Judas. 
Tit. Bost. Satan entered into Judas not by force, but finding 
the door open. For forgetful of all that he had seen, Judas 
now turned his thoughts solely to covetousness. Chrys. Chrys. 
St. Luke gives his surname, because there was another Judas. ^°™^ 
Tit. Bost. And he adds, one of the twelve, since he made Matt. 
up the number, though he did not truly discharge the 
Apostolic office. Or the Evangelist adds this, as it were for 


contrast sake. As if he said, " He was of the first band of 
those who were especially chosen." 

Bede ; There is nothing contrary to this in what John says, 
that after the sop Satan entered into Judas ; seeing he now 
entered into him as a stranger, but then as his own, whom 
€hrys. he might lead after him to do whatsoever he willed. Chrys. 
^' Observe the exceeding iniquity of Judas, that he both sets 
out by himself, and that he does this for gain» It follows, 
And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests 
and captains. Theophyl. The magistrates here mentioned 
were those appointed to take care of the buildings of the 
temple, or it may be those whom the Romans had set over 
the people to keep them from breaking forth into tumult ; 
Chrys. for they were seditious. Chrys. By covetousness then 
ut sup. jmja^g became what he was, for it follows. And they covenanted 
to give him Tnoney. Such are the evil passions which covet- 
ousness engenders, it makes men irreligious, and compels 
them to lose all knowledge of God, though they have received 
a thousand benefits from Him, nay, even to injure Him, as 
it follows. And he contracted with them. Theophyl. That 
is, he bargained and promised. And sought opportunity to 
betray him unto them, without the crowds, that is, when he 
saw Him standing by Himself apart, in the absence of the 
multitude. Bede ; Now many shudder at the wickedness of 
Judas, yet do not guard against it. For whosoever despises 
the laws of truth and love, betrays Christ who is truth and 
love. Above all, when he sins not from infirmity or ignorance, 
but after the likeness of Judas seeks opportunity, when no 
one is present, to change truth for a lie, virtue for crime. 

7. Then came the day of unleavened bread, when 
the Passover must be killed. 

8. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and 
prepare us the Passover, that we may eat. 

9. And they said unto him. Where wilt thou that 
we prepare ? 

10. And he said unto them. Behold, when ye are 
entered into the city, there shall a man meet you. 


VER. 7—13. ST. LUKE. 699 

bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house 
where he entereth in. 

11. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the 
house. The Master saith unto thee. Where is the 
guestchamber, where I shall eat the Passover with my 
disciples ? 

12. And he shall shew you a large upper room 
furnished : there make ready. 

13. And they went, and found as he had said unto 
them : and they made ready the Passover. 

Tit. Bost. Our Lord, in order to leave us a heavenly 
Passover, ate a typical one, removing the figure, that the 
truth might take its place. Bede; By the day of unleavened 
bread of the Passover, He means the fourteenth day of the 
first month, the day on which, having put away the leaven, 
they were accustomed to hold the Passover, that is, the lamb, 
towards evening. Euseb. But should any one say, " If on 
the first day of unleavened bread the disciples of our Saviour 
prepare the Passover, on that day then should we also celebrate 
the Passover;" we answer, that this was not an admonition, 
but a history of the fact. It is what took place at the time of 
the saving Passion ; but it is one thing to relate past events, 
another to sanction and leave them an ordinance to posterity. 
Moreover, the Saviour did not keep His Passover with the 
Jews at the time that they sacrificed the lamb. For they 
did this on the Preparation, when our Lord suffered. There- 
fore they entered not into the hall of Pilate, that they might johnis, 
not be defiled, but might eat the Passover. For from the ^^' 
time that they conspired against the truth, they drove far 
from them the Word of truth. Nor on the first day of un- 
leavened bread, on which the Passover ought to be sacrificed, 
did they eat their accustomed Passover, for they were intent 
upon something else, but on the day after, which was the 
second of unleavened bread. But our Lord on the first day 
of unleavened bread, that is, on the fifth day of the week, kept 
the Passover with His disciples. 

Theophyl. Now on the same fifth day He sends two of 


His disciples to prepare the Passover, namely, Peter and John, 

the one in truth as loving, the other as loved. In all things 

shewing, that even to the end of His life He opposed not the 

law. And He sends them to a strange house ; for He and 

His disciples had no house, else would He have kept the 

Passover in one of them. So it is added, A9id they said, 

Where wilt thou that we prepared Bede; As if to say, We 

have no abode, we have no place of shelter. Let those hear 

this, who busy themselves in building houses. Let them 

know that Christ, the Lord of all places, had not where to lay 

Chrys. His head. Chrys. But as they knew not to whom they were 

81. in sent. He gave them a sign, as Samuel to Saul, as it follows, 

Matt, ji^jid ]iQ said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the 

10, 3. city, there shall a man meet you bearing a pitcher of water ; 

follow him into the house where he entereth in. 

Ambrose; First observe the greatness of His divine power. 
He is talking with His disciples, yet knows what will happen 
in another place. Next behold His condescension, in that He 
chooses not the person of the rich or powerful, but seeks after 
the poor, and prefers a mean inn to the spacious palaces of 
nobles. Now the Lord was not ignorant of the name of the man 
whose mystery He knew, and that he would meet the disciples, 
but he is mentioned without a name, that he may be counted 
as ignoble. Theophyl. He sends them for this reason to an un- 
known man : to shew them that He voluntarily underwent His 
Passion, since He who so swayed the mind of one unknown 
to Him, that He should receive them, was able to deal with 
the Jews just as He wished. But some say that He gave 
not the name of the man, lest the traitor knowing his name 
might open the house to the Pharisees, and they should have 
come and taken Him before that the supper was eaten, and 
He had delivered the spiritual mysteries to His disciples. 
But He directs them by particular signs to a certain house; 
whence it follows. And ye shall say to the goodman of the 
house, The Blaster saith. Where is the guestchamber, ^c. 
Gloss. And he will shew you an upper room, ^c. Gloss. And 
non occ. pgj,^gj^,jj-,g ^\^q^^ signs, the disciples zealously fulfilled all that 
had been commanded them; as it follows, And they went, and 
found as he had said unto them, and made ready the Passover. 
1 Cor. 5, Bede ; To explain this Passover, the Apostle says, Christ our 

VER. 7 13. ST. LUKE. 701 

Passover' is sacrificed for us. Which Passover in truth must 
needs have been slain there, as it Avas so ordained by the 
Father's counsel and determination. And thus although on 
the next day, that is, the fifteenth. He was crucified, yet, on 
this night on which the lamb was slain by the Jews, being 
seized and bound, He consecrated the beginning of His 
sacrifice, that is, of His Passion. 

Theophyl. By the day of unleavened bread, we must un- 
derstand that conversation which is wholly in the light of the 
Spirit, having lost all trace of the old corruption of Adam's 
first transgression. And living in this conversation, it becomes 
us to rejoice in the mysteries of Christ. Now these mysteries 
Peter and John prepare, that is, action and contemplation, 
fervid zeal and peaceful meekness. And these preparers a 
certain man meets, because in what we have just mentioned, 
lies the condition of man who was created after the image 
of God. And he carries a pitcher of vv^ater, which signifies 
the grace of the Holy Spirit. But the pitcher is humbleness 
of heart ; for He giveth grace to the humble, who know them- 
selves to be but earth and dust. Ambrose; Or the pitcher 
is a more perfect measure, but the water is that which was 
thought meet to be a sacrament of Christ ; to wash, not to be 

Bede ; They prepare the Passover in that house, whither 
the pitcher of water is carried, for the time is at hand in 
which to the keepers of the true Passover, the typical blood 
is taken away from the lintel, and the baptism of the lifegiving 
fountain is consecrated to take away sin. Origen ; But I think Orig. 
that the man who meets the disciples as they enter into the city,2^^g*** 
carrying a pitcher of water, was some servant of a master of 
a house, carrying water in an earthen vessel either for 
washing or for drinking. And this 1 think is Moses convey- 
ing the spiritual doctrine in fleshly histories. But they who 
follow him not, do not celebrate the Passover with Jesus. 
Let us then ascend with the Lord united to us, to the upper 
part in which is the guestchamber, which is shewn by the 
understanding, that is, the goodman of the house, to every one 
of the disciples of Christ. But this upper room of our house 
must be large enough to receive Jesus the Word of God, who 
is not comprehended but by those who are greater in com- 

ut sup. 


prehension. And this chamber must be made ready by the 
goodman of the house, (that is, the understanding,) for the 
Son of God, and it must be cleaned, wholly purged of the 
filth of malice. The master of the house also must not be 
any common person having a known name. Hence He says 
mystically in Matthew, Go ye to such a one. Ambrose ; 
Now in the upper parts he has a large room furnished, that 
you may consider how great were his merits in whom the Lord 
could sit down with His disciples, rejoicing in His exalted 
0"g- Origen ; But we should know that they who are taken up 

with banquetings and worldly cares do not ascend into that 
upper part of the house, and therefore do not keep the 
Passover with Jesus. For after the words of the disciples 
wherewith they questioned the goodman of the house, (that 
is, the understanding,) the Divine Person came into that 
house to feast there with His disciples. 

14. And when the hour was come, he sat down, 
and the twelve apostles with him. 

15. And he said unto them, With desire I have 
desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer : 

16. For I say unto you, I will not any more eat 
thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 

17. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and 
said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves : 

18. For I say unto you, I will not drink of the 
fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall 

Cyril; As soon as the disciples had prepared the Pass- 
over, they proceed to eat it; as it is said, And when the hour 
was come^ ^c. Bede ; By the hour of eating the Passover, 
He signifies the fourteenth day of the first month, far gone 
towards evening, the fifteenth moon just appearing on the 
earth. Theophyl. But how is our Lord said to sit down, 
whereas the Jews eat the Passover standing } They say, that 
when they had eaten the legal Passover, they sat down, 
according to the common custom, to eat their other food. 

VER. 14—18. ST. LUKE. 703 

It follows, A/id he said unto them. With desire have I 
desired to eat this Passover with you, S^c. Cyril ; He say& 
this, because the covetous disciple was looking out for the 
time for betraying Him ; but that lie might not betray Him 
before the feast of the Passover, our Lord had not divulged 
either the house, or the man with whom He should keep the 
Passover. That this was the cause is very evident from 
these words. Theophyl. Or He says, With desire have I 
desired; as if to say, This is My last supper with you, 
therefore it is most precious and welcome to Me ; just as 
those who are going away to a distance, utter the last words 
to their friends most affectionately. Chrys. Or He says this, 
because after that Passover the Cross was at hand. But we 
find Him frequently prophesying of His own Passion, and 
desiring it to take place. Bede ; He first then desires to 
eat the typical Passover, and so to declare the mysteries of 
His Passion to the world. Euseb. Or else ; When our Lord 
was celebrating the new Passover, He fitly said, With desire 
have I desired this Passover, that is, the new mystery of the 
New Testament which He gave to His disciples, and which 
many prophets and righteous men desired before Him. He 
then also Himself thirsting for the common salvation, de- 
livered this mystery, to suffice for the whole world. But the 
Passover was ordained by Moses to be celebrated in one 
place, that is, in Jerusalem. Therefore it was not adapted 
for the whole world, and so was not desired. Epiph. Here-^P'P^' 


by we may refute the folly of the Ebionites concernmg the, » 
eating of flesh, seeing that our Lord eats the Passover of the ^^' 
Jews. Therefore He pointedly said, " This Passover," that 
no one might transfer it to mean another. 

Bede ; Thus then was our Lord the approver of the legal 
Passover; and as He taught that it related to the figure of 
His own dispensation. He forbids it henceforth to be re- 
presented in the flesh. Therefore He adds. For I say unto 
you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it he fulfilled in 
the kingdom of God. That is, I will no more celebrate the 
Mosaic Passover, until, being spiritually understood, it is 
fulfilled in the Church. For the Church is the kingdom of 
God ; as in Luke, The kingdom of God is within you. Lukei7,. 
Again, the ancient Passover, which He desired to bring to an 


end, is also alluded to in what follows; And he took the 
cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take ye, S^c. For this gave 
He thanks, that the old things were ahout to pass away, and 
Chrys. all things to b'ecome new. Chrys. Remember then when 
de Laz. thou sittest down to meat that after the meal thou must pray ; 
therefore satisfy thy hunger, but with moderation, lest being 
overcharged thou shouldest not be able to bend thy knees 
in supplication and prayer to God. Let us not then after 
our meals turn to sleep, but to prayer. For Christ plainly 
signifies this, that the partaking of food should not be 
followed by sleep or rest, but by prayer and reading the 
holy Scripture. It follows, Fo?' I say unto you, I will not 
drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kinydo?n of God 
come. Bede ; This may be also taken literally, for from the 
hour of supper up to the time of resurrection He was about 
to drink no wine. Afterwards He partook both of meat and 
Acts 10, drink, as Peter testifies, Who did eat and drink with him 


after he rose from the dead. Theophyl. The resurrection 
is called the kingdom of God, because it has destroyed death. 
Ps.93,1. Therefore David also says, TJie Lord reign eth : He liath put 
Isa. 63, on beauty, that is, a beautiful robe, having put off the 
^' corruption of the flesh . But when the resurrection comes. 

He again drinks with His disciples ; to prove that the re- 
surrection was not a shadow only. Bede ; But it is far more 
natural, that as before of the typical lamb, so now also of the 
drink of the Passover, He should say that He would no more 
taste, until the glory of the kingdom of God being made mani- 
fest, the faith of the w^hole world should appear ; that so by 
means of the spiritual changing of the two greatest commands 
of the law, namely, the eating and drinking of the Passover, 
you might learn that all the Sacraments of the law were to 
be transferred to a spiritual observance. 

19. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and 
brake it, and gave unto them, saying. This is my 
body which is given for you : this do in remembrance 
of me. 

20. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying. 


VEK. 19, QO. ST. lukf;. 705 

This cup is the new testament in my blood, which i» 
shed for you. 

Bede ; Having finished the rites of the old Passover, He 
passes on to the new, which He desires the Church to celebrate 
in memory of His redemption, substituting for the flesh and 
blood of the lamb, the Sacrament of His own Flesh and Blood 
in the figure of the bread and wine, being made a Priest ^^ ^^^ 
for ever after the order of Melchisedech. Hence it is said 4. 
And he took bread, and gave thaiiks, as also He had given 21. ' 
thanks upon finishing the old feast, leaving us an example to 
glorify God at the beginning and end of every good work. 
It follows, And brake it. He Himself breaks the bread which 
He holds forth, to shew that the breaking of His Body, that 
is, His Passion, will not be without His will. And gave unto 
them, saying, This is my body which is given for you. Greg. Greo-. 
Nyss. For the bread before the consecration is common bread, ^J^^- ^® 


but when the mystery has consecrated it, it is, and it is called, Christ. 
the Body of Christ. Cyril; Nor doubt that this is true ; for^ jj 
He plainly says. This is my body; but rather receive the ^" Luc. 
words of thy Saviour in faith. For since He is the Truth, 
He lies not. ''They rave foolishly then who say that the mys- Ep. ad 
tical blessing loses its power of sanctifying, if any remains are CalosjT, 
left till the following day. For the most holy Body of Christ 
will not be changed, but the power of blessing and the life- 
giving grace is ever abiding in it. For the life-giving power ^^ ^^^ 
of God the Father is the only-begotten Word, which was made ^^ sup. 
flesh not ceasing to be the Word, but making the flesh life- 
giving. What ihen.^ since we have in us the life of God, the 
Word of God dwelling in us, will our body be life-giving .? 
But it is one thing for us by the habit of participation to 
have in ourselves the Son of God, another for Himself to 
have been made flesh, that is, to have made the body which 
He took from the pure Virgin His own Body. He must needs 
then be in a certain manner united to our bodies by His 
holy Body and precious Blood, which we have received for a 
life-giving blessing in the bread and wine. For lest we 

■•<■ This passage is found in a page of contains St. Cyril on Luke. See Mail 
the same MS. in the Vatican which CI. Auct. vol. x. p. 375. 

VOL. III. 2 z 


should be shocked, seemg the Flesh and Blood placed on the 
holy altars, God, in compassion to our infirmities, pours into the 
offerings the power of life, changing them into the reality of 
His own flesh, that the body of life may be found in us, as it 
were a certain life-giving seed. He adds. Do this in comme- 
Chrys. moratio7i of me. Chrys. Christ did this to bring lis to a 
^°^* closer bond of friendship, and to betoken His love toward 

46. in ... 

Joan, us, giving Himself to those who desire Him, not only to be- 
hold Him, but also to handle Him, to eat Him, to embrace 
Him with the fulness of their whole heart. Therefore as 
lions breathing fire do we depart from that table, rendered 
Basil, objects of teri'or to the devil. Basil; Learn then in what manner you ought to eat the Body of Christ, namely, in 
C.S.Reg. I'eniemb ranee of Christ's obedience even unto death, that 
int. 172. they who live may no more live in themselves, but in Him 
2 Cor. 5, ^^^ diiedi for them, and rose again. 

Theophyl. Now Luke mentions two cups; of the one we 
spoke above. Take this, and divide it among yourselves, which 
we may say is a type of the Old Testament; but the other 
after the breaking and giving of bread, He Himself imparts to 
His disciples. Hence it is added. Likewise also the cup after 
Slipper. Bede ; He gave to them, is here understood to complete the sentence. Aug. Or because Luke has twice 
lib^iii.^ mentioned the cup, first before Christ gave the bread, then 
e. 1. after He had given it, on the first occasion he has anticipated, 
as he frequently does, but on the second that which he has 
placed in its natural order, he had made no mention of before. 
But both joined together make the same sense which we find 
in the others, that is, Matthew and Mark. Theophyl. Our 
Lord calls the cup the New Testament, as it follows. This 
cup is the Nerv Testament in my blood, which shall he shed 
for you, signifying that the New Testament has its beginning 
in His blood. For in the Old Testament the blood of animals 
was present when the law was given, but now the blood of 
the Word of God signifies to us the New Testament. But 
when He says, for you. He does not mean that for the Apo- 
stles only was His Body given, and His Blood poured out, but 
for the sake of all mankind. And the old Passover was 
ordained to remove the slavery of Egypt ; but the blood of 
the lamb to protect the first-born. The new Passover wa& 

VER. 19, 20. ST. LUKE. 707 

ordained to the remission of sins; but the Blood of Christ to 
preserve those who are dedicated to God. 

Chrys. For this Blood moulds in us a royal image, itchrys. 
suffers not our nobleness of soul to waste away, moreover it jl°^* 
refreshes the soul, and inspires it with great virtue. This Joan. 
Blood puts to flight the devils, summons angels, and the 
Lord of angels. This Blood poured forth washed the world, 
and made heaven open. They that partake of it are built up 
with heavenly virtues, and arrayed in the royal robes of 
Christ; yea rather clothed upon by the King Himself. And 
since if* thou comest clean, thou comest healthfully; so if 
polluted by an evil conscience, thou comest to thy own de* 
struction, to pain and torment. For if they who defile the 
imperial purple are smitten with the same punishment as 
those who tear it asunder, it is not unreasonable that they 
who with an unclean heart receive Christ should be beaten 
with the same stripes as they were who pierced Him with 
nails. Bede; Because the bread strengthens, and the 
wine produces blood in the flesh, the former is ascribed to 
the Body of Christ, the latter to His Blood. But because 
both we ought to abide in Christ, and Christ in us, the wine 
of the Lorvd's cup is mixed with water, for John bears witness, 
TJie people are many waters. Theophyl. But first the bread Rev. i7, 
is given, next the cup. For in spiritual things labour and 
action come first, that is, the bread, not only because it is toiled 
for by the sweat of the brow, but also because while being 
eaten it is not easy to swallow. Then after labour follows 
the rejoicing of Divine grace, which is the cup. Bede ; For 
this reason then the Apostles communicated after supper, 
because it was necessary that the typical passover should be 
first completed, and then they should pass on to the Sacra- 
ment of the true Passover. But now in honour of so great 
a Sacrament, the masters of the Church think right that we 
should first be refreshed with the spiritual banquet, and 
afterwai'd with the earthly. Greek Ex. He that communi- Euty- 
cates receives the whole Body and Blood of our Lord, even patn. 
though he receive but a part of the Mysteries. For as one arch. 
seal imparts the whole of its device to different substances, 
and yet remains entire after distribution, and as one word 
penetrates to the hearing of many, so there is no doubt that 

2 z 2 


the Body and Blood of our Lord is received whole in all. 
But the breaking of the sacred bread signifies the Passion. 

21. But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth 
me is with me on the table. 

22. And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was 
determined : but woe unto that man by whom he is 

23. And they began to enquire among themselves, 
which of them it was that should do this thing. 

Aug. de Aug. When our Lord had given the cup to His disciples, 
l.Sr.c. i.He again spoke of His betrayer, saying, Biit^ behold, the 
hand of him that betrayeth jne, ^c. Theofhyl. And this 
He said not only to shew that He knew all things, but also 
to declare unto us His own especial goodness, in that He 
left nothing undone of those things which belonged to Him 
to do ; (for He gives us an example, that even unto the end 
WT should be employed in reclaiming sinners;) and moreover 
to point out the baseness of the traitor who blushed not to 
Chrys. be His guest. Chrys. Yet though partaking of the mystery, 
82. in he was not converted. Nay, his wickedness is made only 
Matt. tJie more awful, as well because under the pollution of such 
a design, he came to the mystery, as that coming he was 
not made better, either by fear, gratitude, or respect. Bede; 
And yet our Lord does not especially point him out, lest 
being so plainly detected, he might only become the more 
shameless. But He throws the charge on the whole twelve, 
that the guilty one might be turned to repentance. He also 
proclaims his punishment, that the man whom shame had 
not prevailed upon, might by the sentence denounced against 
him be brought to amendment. Hence it follows. And truly 
the Son of man goeth, SfC. Theophyl. Not as if unable to 
preserve Himself, but as determining for Himself to suffer 
death for the salvation of man. 
Chrys. Chrys. Because then Judas in the things which are written 
81. in of him acted with an evil purpose, in order that no one might 
Matt, deem him guiltless, as being the minister of the dispensa- 
tion, Christ adds, Woe unto that man by ichom he is betrayed. 

VER. 24 27. ST. LUKE. 709 

Bede; But woe also to that man, who coming unworthily to 
the Table of our Lord, after the example of Judas, betrays the 
Son, not indeed to Jevvs, but to sinners, that is, to his own 
sinfld members. Although the eleven Apostles knew that 
they were meditating nothing against their Lord, yet not- 
withstanding because they trust more to their Master than 
themselves, fearing their own infirmities, they ask concerning 
a sin of which they had no consciousness. Basil; For as in Ba«ii. 
bodily diseases there are many of which the affected are not I? ^^S- 

. *' . . , ^ -bJrev. ad 

sensible, but they rather put faith in the opinion of their int. sol 
physicians, than trust their own insensibility ; so also in the 
diseases of the soul, though a man is not conscious of sin in 
himself, yet ought he to trust to those who are able to have 
more knowledge of their own sins. 

24. And there was also a strife among them, 
which of them should be accounted the greatest. 

25. And he said unto them. The kings of the 
Gentiles exercise lordship over them ; and they that 
exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 

26. But ye shall not be so : but he that is greatest 
among you, let him be as the younger; and he that 
is chief, as he that doth serve. 

27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, 
or he that serveth ? is not he that sitteth at meat ? 
but I am among you as he that serveth. 

Theophyl. While they were enquiring among themselves 
who should betray the Lord, they would naturally go on to 
say to one another, " Thou art the traitor," and so become 
impelled to say, " I am the best, I am the greatest." Hence 
it is said. And there was also a strife among them which 
should be accounted the greatest. Greek Ex. Or the strife Apoiii- 
seems to have arisen from this, that when our Lord was de-f^!,*"^ 

' in loc. 

parting from the world, it was thought that some one nuist 
become their head, as taking our Lord's place. Bede; As 
good men seek in the Scriptures the examples of their fathers, 
that they may thereby gain profit and be humbled, so the 


bad, if by chance they have discovered any thing blameable 
in the elect, most gladly seize upon it, to shelter their own 
iniquities thereby. Many therefore most eagerly read, that a 
strife arose among the disciples of Christ. Ambrose; If the 
disciples did contend, it is not alleged as any excuse, but 
held out as a warning. Let us then beware lest any con- 
tentions among us for precedence be our ruin. Bede; Rather 
let us look not what carnal disciples did, but what their 
spiritual Master commanded; for it follows. And he said unto 
Chrys. theiu. The kings of the Gentiles, Sec Chrys. He mentions 
65. in the Gentiles, to shew thereby how^ faulty it was. For it is 
Matt, of the Gentiles to seek after precedence. Cyril; Soft words 
are also given them by their subjects, as it follows. And they 
that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 
Now they truly as alien from the sacred law are subject to 
these evils, but your preeminence is in humility, as it follows, 
Basil. But ye shall not be so. Basil; Let not him that is chief be 
fus. l\s. puffed up by his dignity, lest he fall away from the blessed- 
int. 30. ness of humility, but let him know that true humility is the 
ministering unto many. As then he who attends many 
wounded and wipes away the blood from their wounds, least 
of all men enters upon the service for his own exaltation, 
much more ought he to whom is committed the care of 
his sick brethren as the minister of all, about to render an 
account of all, to be thoughtful and anxious. And so let 
adipt. him that is greatest be as the younger. Again, it is meet 
that those who are in the chief places should be ready to offer 
also bodily service, after our Lord's example, who washed 
His disciples' feet. Hence it follows. And he that is chief, as 
he that doth serve. But we need not fear that the spirit 
of humility will be weakened in the inferior, while he is 
being served by his superior, for by imitation humility is 

Ambrose; But it must be observed, that not every kind of 
respect and deference to others betokens humility, for you 
may defer to a person for the world's sake, for fear of his 
power, or regard to your own interest. In that case you 
seek to edify yourself, not to honour another. Therefore 
there is one form of the precept given to all men, namely, 
that they boast not about precedence, but strive earnestly 

VER. 28 — 30. ST. LUKE. 711 

for humility. Beue; In this rule however, given by our 
Lord, the great have need of no little judgment, that they do 
not indeed like the kings of the Gentiles dehght to tyrannize 
over their subjects, and be puffed up with their praises, yet 
notwithstanding that they be provoked with a righteous zeal 
against the wickedness of offenders. 

But to the words of the exhortation He subjoins His own 
example, as it follows, For which is greater, he who sitteth 
at meat, or he that serveth? But I am among you, ^c. 
Chrys. As if He says. Think not that thy disciple needs 
you, but that you do not need him. For I who need no one 
whom all things in heaven and earth need, have condescended 
to the degree of a servant. Theophyl. He shews Himself to 
be their servant, when He distributes the bread and the cup, 
of which service He makes mention, reminding them that 
if they have eaten of the same bread, and dinink of the 
same cup, if Christ Himself sei'ved all, they ought all to 
think the same things. Bede; Or He speaks of that service 
wherewith, according to John, He their Lord and Master Johuis, 
washed their feet. Although by the word itself serving, ' 
all that He did in the flesh may be implied, but by serving 
He also signifies that He poureth forth His blood for us. 

28. Ye are they which have continued with me 
in my temptations. 

29. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my 
Father hath appointed unto me ; 

30. That ye may eat and drink at my table in my 
kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve 
tribes of Israel. 

Theophyl. As the Lord had denounced woe to the traitor, 
so on the other hand to the rest of the disciples He promises 
blessings, saying, Ye are they which have continued with 
me, ^c. Bede; For not the first effort of patience, but long- 
continued perseverance, is rewarded with the glory of the 
heavenly kingdom, for perseverance, (which is called constancy 
or fortitude of mind,) is, so to say, the pillar and prop of all 
virtues. The Son of God then conducts those who abide 


with Him in His temptations to the everlasting kingdom. 

"Rom. 6, For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his 
deaths we shall he also in the likeness of his resurrection. 
Hence it follows, And I give to yon a kingdom, Sfc. 

Ambrose; The kingdom of God is not of this world. But 
it is not equality with God, but likeness to Him, unto which 
man must aspire. For Christ alone is the full image of God, 
on account of the unity of His Father's glory expressed in 
Him, But the righteous man is after the image of God, if for 
the sake of imitating the likeness of the Divine conversation, 
He through the knowledge of God despises the world. There- 
fore also we eat the Body and Blood of Christ, that we may 
be partakers of eternal life. Whence it follows. That ye 
may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom. For the 
reward promised to us is not food and drink, but the com- 
munication of heavenly grace and life. Bede; Or the table 
offered to all saints richly to enjoy is the glory of a heavenly 
life, wherewith they who hunger and thirst after righteousness 

Matt. 5, shall be filled, resting in the long-desired enjoyment of 
the true God. Theophyl. He said this not as if they would 
have there bodily food, or as if His kingdom were to be a 

Mat.22, sensible one. For their life then shall be the life of angels, 

j^^Yq as He before told the Sadducees. But Paul also says that 

20, 36. the kinodom of God is not meat and drink. 


14 17. Cyril; By means of the things of our present life He 
describes spiritual things. For they exercise a high privi- 
lege with earthly kings, who sit at their table as guests. 
So then by man's estimation He shews who shall be rewarded 
by Him with the greatest honours. Bede ; This then is the 

Ps. 118, exchange to the right hand of the Most High, that those who 
now in lowliness rejoice to minister to their fellow-servants, 
shall then at our Lord's table on high be fed with the 
banquet of everlasting hfe, and they who here in temptations 
abide with the Lord being unjustly judged, shall then come 
with Him as just judges upon their tempters. Hence it 
follows. And sit on thrones judging the tuelce tribes of 
Israel. Theophyl. That is, the unbelievers condemned out 
of the twelve tribes. Ambrose ; But the twelve thrones are 
not as it were any resting-places for the bodily posture, but 
because since Christ judges after the Divine likeness by 

vl:u. 31 — 34. st. lukk; 713 

knowledge of the hearts, not by examination of the actions, 
rewarding virtue, condemning iniquity; so the Apostles are 
appointed to a spiritual judgment, for the rewarding of faith, 
the condemnation of unbelief, repelling en'or with virtue, 
inflicting vengeance on the sacrilegious. Chrys. What then Chrys. 
will Judas also sit there? Observe what the law was which 6*. in 
God gave by Jeremiah, If I have promised any good, and^'"^^^' 
thou art counted unworthy of it, I will punish you. Therefore is lo! 
speaking to His disciples He did not make a general promise, 
but added, Ye who have continued with me in my tempt- 
ations. Bede; From the high excellence of this promise 
Judas is excluded. For before the Lord said this, Judas must 
be supposed to have gone out. They also are excluded 
whoever having heard the words of the incomprehensible John 6, 
Sacrament, have gone backwards. '' 

31. And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, 
Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you 
as wheat : 

32. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail 
not : and when thou art converted, strengthen thy 

33. And he said unto him. Lord, I am ready to go 
with thee, both into prison, and to death. 

34. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall 
not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny 
that thou knowest me. 

Bede; Lest the eleven should be boastful, and impute it to 
their own strength, that they almost alone among so many thou- 
sands of the Jews were said to have continued with our Lord 
in His temptations. He shew^s them, that if they had not been 
protected by the aid of their Master succouring them, they 
would have been beaten down by the same storm as the 
rest. Hence it follows, And the Lord said unto Simon, 
Simon, behold, Satan hath desired thee, that he may sift 
thee as wheat. That is, he hath longed to tempt you and to 
shake you, as he who cleanses wheat by winnowing. Where- 
in He teaches that no man's faith is tried unless God permits 


it. Theophyl. Now this was said to Peter, because he was 
bolder than the rest, and might feel proud because of the 
things which Christ had promised. Cyril; Or to shew that 
men being as nought, (as regards human nature, and the 
proneness of our minds to fall,) it is not meet that they should 
wish to be above their brethren. Therefore passing by all 
the others. He comes to Peter, who was the chief of them, 
saying, But 1 have "prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not. 
Chrys. Chrys. Now He Said not, ' I have granted,' but / have 
82. in prayed. For He speaks humbly as approaching unto His 
Matt. Passion, and that He ma} manifest His human nature. For 
He who had spoken not in supplication, but by authority. 
Matt. Upon this rock I will build my CJiurch, and I will give thee 
' * the keys of the kingdom of he aveji, how should He have need 
of prayer that He might stay one agitated soul ? He does 
not say, " I have prayed that thou deny not," but that thou 
do not abandon thy faith. Theophyl. For albeit thou art 
for a time shaken, yet thou boldest stored up, a seed of faith ; 
though the spirit has shed its leaves in temptation, yet the 
root is firm. Satan then seeks to harm thee, because he is 
envious of my love for thee, but notwithstanding that I have 
prayed for thee, thou shalt fall. Hence it follows. And when 
thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. As if He says, 
After that thou hast wept and repented thy denial of Me, 
strengthen thy brethren, for I have deputed thee to be the 
head of the Apostles. For this befits thee who art with Me, the 
strength and rock of the Church. And this must be under- 
stood not only of the Apostles who then were, but of all the 
faithful who were about to be, even to the end of the world ; 
that none of the believers might despair, seeing that Peter 
though an Apostle denied his Lord, yet afterwards by 
iriffroi- penitence obtained the high privilege of being the Ruler of 
•""^ the world. Cyril; Marvel then at the superabundance of 
the Divine forbearance : lest He should cause a disciple 
to despair, before the crime was committed. He granted 
pardon, and again restored him to his Apostolic rank, saying, 
Strengthen thy brethren. Bede ; As if to say. As I by 
prayer protected your faith that it should not fail, so do you 
remember to sustain the weaker brethren, that they despair 
not of pardon. Ambrose ; Beware then of boasting, beware 

VER. 31 — 34. ST. LUKE. 715 

of the world ; he is commanded to strengthen his own 
brethren, who said, Master, we have left all, and followed M^itt. 
thee. '"' ^7- 

Bede ; Because the Lord said He had prayed for Peter's 
faith, Peter conscious of present affection and fervent faith, 
but unconscious of his coming fall, does not believe he could 
in any way fall from Christ. As it follows. And he said unto 
him, Lord, I am ready to go uith thee to prison and to 
death. Theophyl. He burns forth indeed with too much 
love, and promises what is impossible to him. But it be- 
hoved him as soon as he heard from the Truth that he was to 
be tempted, to be no longer confident. Now the Lord, 
seeing that Peter spoke boastfully, reveals the nature of his 
temptation, namely, that he would deny Him ; / tell thee, 
Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou 
thrice deny, 8^c. Ambrose ; Now Peter although earnest in 
spirit, yet still weak in bodily inclination, is declared about 
to deny his Lord ; for he could not equal the constancy of 
the Divine will. Our Lord's Passion has rivals, but no equal. 
Theophyl. From hence we draw a great doctrine, that 
human resolve is not sufficient without the Divine support. 
For Peter with all his zeal, nevertheless when forsaken of 
God was overthrown by the enemy. 

Basil ; We must know then, that God sometimes allows Basil. 
the rash to receive a fall, as a remedy to previous self-con- Brev!ad 
fidence. But although the rash man seems to have committed i"t. 8. 
the same offence with other men, there is no slight difference. 
For the one has sinned by reason of certain secret assaults 
and almost against his will, but the others, having no 
care either for themselves or God, knowing no distinction 
between sin and virtuous actions. For the rash needing 
some assistance, in regard to this very thing in which he has 
sinned ought to suffer reproof. But the others, having 
destroyed all the good of their soul, must be afflicted, 
warned, rebuked, or made subject to punishment, until they 
acknowledge that God is a just Judge, and tremble. 

Aug. Now what is here said concerning the foregoing Aug. 
denial of Peter is contained in all the Evangelists, but they^^^^°"; 
do not all happen to relate it upon the same occasion in the c. 2. 
discourse. Matthew and Mark subjoin it after our Lord had 


departed from the house where He had eaten the Passover, 
but Luke and John before He went out from thence. But 
we may easily understand either that the two former used 
these words, recapitulating them, or the two others antici- 
pating them : only it rather moves us, that not only the 
words but even the sentences of our Lord, in which Peter 
being troubled used that boast of dying either for or with 
our Lord, are given so differently, as rather to compel us to 
believe that he thrice uttered his boast at different parts of 
our Lord's discourse, and that he was thrice answered by 
our Lord, that before the cock crowed he should deny Him 

35. And he said unto them, When I sent you 
without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any 
thing. -^ And they said, Nothing. 

36. Then said he unto them. But now, he that 
hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip : 
and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, 
and buy one. 

37. For I say unto you, that this that is written 
must yet be accomplished in me. And he was reckoned 
among the transgressors : for the things concerning 
me have an end. 

38. And they said. Lord, behold, here are two 
swords. And he said unto them. It is enough. 

Cyril; Our Lord had foretold to Peter that he should deny 
Him; namely, at the time of His being taken. But having 
once made mention of His being taken captive, He next 
announces the struggle that would ensue against the Jews. 
Hence it is said. And he said unto them^ When I sent you 
without purse ^ S^c. For the Saviour had sent the holy 
Chrys. Aposlles to preach in the cities and towns the kingdom of 

in illud ^ , \ . 

ad Rom. heaven, bidding them to take no thought of the things of the 
/iftate^ body, but to place their whole hope of salvation in Him. Chrys. 
Priscii- Now as one who teaches to swim, at first indeed placing his 


Vf<R. 80— ;3!^. ST. iJKi:. 717 

hands under his pupils, carefully supports them, but afterward 
frequently withdrawing his hand, bids them help themselves, 
nay even lets them sink a little; so hkewise did Christ deal 
with His disciples. At the beginning truly He was present to 
them, giving them most richly abundance of all things; as it 
follows, And they said unto them, Nothing. But when it 
was necessary for them to shew their own strength, He with- 
drew from them for a little His grace, bidding them do some- 
thing of themselves; as it follows, But now he that hath a purse, 
that is, wherein to carry money, let him take it, and likewise 
his scrip, that is, to carry provisions in. And truly when they 
had neither shoes, nor girdle, nor staff, nor money, they never 
suffered the want of any thing. But when He allowed them 
purse and scrip, they seem to suffer hunger, and thirst, and 
nakedness. As if He said to them, Hitherto all things have 
been most richly supplied to you, but now I would have you 
also experience poverty, therefore 1 hold you no longer to 
the former rule, but 1 command you to get purse and scrip. 
Now God might even to the end have kept them in plenty, 
but for many reasons He was unwilling to do so. First 
that they might impute nothing to themselves, but acknow- 
ledge that every thing flowed from God; secondly, that they 
might learn moderation ; thirdly, that they might not think 
too highly of themselves. For this cause while He permitted 
them to fall into many unlooked for evils. He relaxed the 
rigour of the former law, lest it should become grievous and 

Bede; For He does not train His disciples in the same rule 
of life, in time of persecution, as in the time of peace. When 
He sent them to preach. He ordered them to take nothing in 
the way, ordaining in truth, that He who preaches the Gospel 
should live by the Gospel. But when the crisis of death was 
at hand, and the whole nation persecuted both the shepherd 
and the flock. He proposes a law adapted to the time, allowing 
them to take the necessaries of life, until the rage of the 
persecutors was abated, and the time of preaching the Gospel 
had returned. Herein He leaves us also an example, that at 
times when a just reason urges, we may intermit without blame Aug. 
somewhat of the strictness of our determination. Aug. By F°aust 
no inconsistency then of Him who commands, but by the^^l^-xxii. 


reason of the dispensation, according to the diversity of times 
are commandments, counsels, or permissions changed. 

Ambrose; But He who forbids to strike, why does He 
order them to buy a sword? unless perchance that there may 
be a defence prepared, but no necessary retaliation ; a 
seeming ability to be revenged, without the will. Henee 
it follows, And he who has not, (that is, a purse,) let him 
sell his garment, and buy a sword. Chrys. What is 
Matt. 5, this ? He who said. If any one strike you on the right cheeky 
turn unto him the other also, now arms His disciples, and 
with a sword only. For if it were fitting to be completely 
armed, not only must a man possess a sword, but shield and 
helmet. But even though a thousand had arms of this kind, 
how could the eleven be prepared for all the attacks and lying 
in wait of people, tyrants, allies, and nations, and how should 
they not quake at the mere sight of armed men, who had been 
brought up near lakes and rivers ? We must not then suppose 
that He ordered them to poissess swords, but by the swords 
He points at the secret attack of the Jews. And hence it 
follows, For I say unto you, that this that is written must 
Isa. 53, he accomplished in me: And he was numbered with the trans- 
gressors. Theophyl. While they were contending among 
themselves above concerning priority, He saith. It is not 
a time of dignities, but rather of danger and slaughter. Be- 
hold I even your Master am led to a disgraceful death, to be 
reckoned with the transgressors. For these things which are 
prophesied of Me have an end, that is, a fulfilment. Wishing 
then to hint at a violent attack. He made mention of a sword, 
not altogether revealing it, lest they should be seized with 
dismay, nor did He entirely provide that they should not be 
shaken by these sudden attacks, but that afterwards recovering, 
they might marvel how He gave Himself up to the Passion, a 
Basil, ransom for the salvation of men. Basil ; Or the Lord does not 
P,^|^; bid them carry purse and scrip and buy a sword, but predicts 
int. 31. that it should come to pass, that in truth the Apostles, forget- 
ful of the time of the Passion, of the gifts and law of their 
Lord, would dare to take up the sword. For often does the 
Scripture make use of the imperative form of speech in the 
place of prophecy. Still in many books we do not find, Let 
him take, or buy, but, he will take, he will buy. Theophyl. Or 

VER. 39 — 42. ST. LUKE. tli) 

lie hereby foretels to thoni that they would incur luinger and 
thh'st, which He implies by the scrip, and sundry kinds of 
misery, which he intends by the sword. 

Cyril; Or else ; When our Lord says, He who hath a 
purse^ let him take it, likewise a scrip, His discourse He 
addressed to His disciples, but in reality He regards every 
individual Jew; as if He says, If any Jew is rich in resources, 
let him collect them together and fly. But if any one 
oppressed with extreme poverty applies himself to religion, 
let him also sell his cloak and buy a sword. For the terrible 
attack of battle shall overtake them, so that nothing shall 
suffice to resist it. He next lays open the cause of these 
evils, namely, that He suffered the penalty due to the wicked, 
being crucified with thieves. And when it shall have come at 
last to this, the word of dispensation will receive its end. But 
to the persecutors shall happen all that has been foretold by 
the Prophets. These things then God prophesied concerning 
what should befall the country of the Jews, but the disciples 
understood not the depth of His words, thinking they had 
need of swords against the coming attack of the traitor. 
Whence it follows; But they said, Lord, behold, here are 
two sicords. Chrys. And in truth, if He wished them to use 
human aid, not a hundred swords would have sufficed ; but 
if He willed not the assistance of man, even two are super- 
fluous. Theophy'L. Our Lord then was unwillrng to blame 
them as not understanding Him, but saying. It is enough. 
He dismissed them ; as when we are addressing any one, and 
see that he does not understand what is said, we say, Well, 
let us leave him, lest we trouble him. But some say, that 
our Lord said, It is enough, ironically; as if He said, Since 
there are two swords, they will amply suffice against so large 
a multitude as is about to attack us. Bede ; Or the twa 
swords suffice for a testimony that Jesus suffered voluntarily. 
The one indeed was to teach the Apostles the presumption of 
their contending for their Lord, and His inherent virtue of 
healing; the other never taken out of its sheath, to shew that 
they were not even permitted to do all that they could for 
His defence. Ambrose ; Or, because the law does not forbid 
to return a blow, perhaps He says to Peter, as he is offering 
the two swords, It is enough, as though it were lawftil until 


tlie Gospel; in order that there may be in the law, the laiow- 
ledge of justice; in the Gospel, perfection of goodness. There 
is also a spiritual sword, that you may sell your patrimony, 
and buy the word, by which the nakedness of the soul is 
clothed. There is also a sword of suffering, so that you may 
strip your body, and with the spoils of your sacrificed flesh 
purchase for yourself the sacred crown of martyrdom. Again 
it moves, seeing that the disciples put forward two swords, 
whether perhaps one is not of the Old Testament, the other 
of the New, whereby we are armed against the wiles of the 
devil. Therefore the Lord says, // is enough, because he 
wanted nothing who is fortified by the teaching of both 

39. And he came out, and went, as he was wont, 
to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed 

40. And when he was at the place, he said unto 
them. Pray that ye enter not into temptation. 

41. And he was withdrawn from them about a 
stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 

42. Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this 
cup from me : nevertheless not my will, but thine, be 

Bede; As He was to be betrayed by His disciple, our 
Lord goes to the place of His wonted retirement, where He 
might most easily be found; as it follows. And he came 
out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives* 
Cyril; By day He was in Jerusalem, but when the dark- 
ness of night came on He held converse with His disciples 
on the mount of Olives ; as it is added, And his disciples 
followed. Bede ; Rightly does He lead the disciples, about to 
be instructed in the mysteries of His Body, to the mount of 
Olives, that He might signify that all who are baptized in 
His death should be comforted with the anointing of the 
Holy Spirit. 

Theophyl. Now after supper our Lord betakes Himself 
not to idleness or sleep, but to prayer and teaching. Hence 

VER. 39 42. ST. LUKE. 7-21 

it follows, Affd when he ivas at the place, he said nnio litem ^ 
Pray, ^c. Bede; It is indeed impossible for the soul of 
man not to be tempted. Therefore he says not, Pray that 
ye be not tempted, but, Pray that ye enter not into tempt- 
ation, that is, that the temptation do not at last overcome 

Cyril; But not to do good by words only, He went for^ 
ward a little and prayed ; as it follows, And he was with- 
drawn from them about a stone's cast. You will every where 
find Him praying apart, to teach you that with a devout 
mind and quiet heart we should speak with the most high 
God. He did not betake Himself to prayer, as if He was in 
want of another's help, who is the Almighty power of the 
Father, but that we may learn not to slumber in temptation, 
but rather to be instant in prayer. Bede; He also alone 
prays for all, who was to suffer alone for all, signifying that 
His prayer is as far distant from ours as His Passion. Aug. Aur. 
He was torn from them about a stone's cast, as though He E^vang. 
would typically remind them that to Him they should point ^'^V- 
the stone, that is, up to Him bring the intention of the law 
which was written on stone. 

Greg. Nyss. But what meaneth His bending of knees.? of 
which it is said, And he kneeled down, and prayed. It is 
the way of men to pray to their superiors with their faces on 
the ground, testifying by the action that the gi*eater of the 
two are those who are asked. Now it is plain that human 
nature contains nothing worthy of God's imitation. Accord- 
ingly the tokens of respect which we evince to one another, 
confessing ourselves to be inferior to our neighbours, we have 
transferred to the humiliation of the Incomparable Nature. 
And thus He who bore our sicknesses and interceded for us, 
bent His knee in prayer, by reason of the man which He 
assumed, giving us an example, that we ought not to exalt 
ourselves at the time of prayer, but in all things be conformed 
to humility; for God resisteth the proud, hut giveth grace to j^^^^ 

the humble. f'^- 

1 Pet. 

Chrys. Now every art is set forth by the words and works 5, 5, 
of him who teacheth it. Because then our Lord had come 
to teach no ordinary virtue, therefore He speaks and does 
the same things. And so having in words commanded to 

VOL. III. 3 A 


pray, lest they enter into temptation, He does the same like- 
wise in work, saying, Father, if thou he udllhig, remove 
this cup from me. He saith not the words, If thou wilt, as 
if ignorant whether it was pleasing to the Father. For such 
knowledge was not more difficult than the knowledge of His 
Father's substance, which He alone clearly knew, according 

John 10, to John, As the Father knowetJi me, even so have I known 
the Father. Nor says He this, as refusing His Passion. For 
He who rebuked a disciple, who wished to prevent His 

Matt. Passion, so as even after many commendations, to call him 

16, 23. , *'. 

Satan, how should He be unwilling to be crucified ? Consider 
then why it was so said. How great a thing was it to hear 
that the unspeakable God, who passes all understanding, was 
content to enter the virgin's womb, to suck her milk, and to 
undergo every thing human. Since then that was almost 
incredible which was about to happen. He sent first indeed 
Prophets to announce it, afterwards He Himself comes 
clothed in the flesh, so that you could not suppose Him to 
be a phantom. He permits His flesh to endure all natural 
infirmities, to hunger, to thirst, to sleep, to labour, to be 
aflflicted, to be tormented; on this account likewise He refuses 
not death, that He might manifest thereby His true humanity. 
Ambrose ; He says then. If thou wilt, remove this cup 
from me, as man refusing death, as God maintaining His 
own decree. Bede ; Or He begs the cup to be removed 
from Him, not indeed from fear of suffering, but from His 
compassion for the first people, lest they should have to 
drink the cup first drunk by Him. Therefore He says ex- 
pressly, not. Remove from Me the cup, but this cup, that is, 
the cup of the Jewish people, who can have no excuse for 
their ignorance in slaying Me, having the Law and the 
Prophets daily prophesying of Me. DiON. Alex. Or when He says. Let this cup pass from me, 
Martyr. ^^^ -g ^^^^ |g^ j^ ^^^ come to Me, for unless it had come it 
could not pass away. It was therefore when He perceived 
it already present that He began to be afl3icted and sorrow- 
ful, and as it was close at hand. He says, Let this cup pass ; 
for as that which has passed can neither be said not to have 
come nor yet to remain, so also the Saviour asks first that 
the temptation slightly assailing Him may pass away. And 

VER. 43 — 46. ST. LUKE. 723 

this is the not entering into temptation which He counsels to 
pray for. But the most perfect way of avoiding temptation 
is manifested, when he says, Nevertheless, not my will, but 
thine he done. For God is not a tempter to evil, but He 
wishes to grant us good things above what we either desire 
or understand. Therefore He seeks that the perfect will of 
His Father which He Himself had known, should dispose of 
the event, which is the same will as His own, as respects the 
Divine nature. But He shrinks to fulfil the human will, 
which He calls His own, and which is inferior to His Father's 
will. Athan. For here He manifests a double will. One Athan. 
indeed human, which is of the flesh, the other divine. For cam. et 
our human nature, because of the weakness of the flesh, refuses ^°^^*'^^- 
the Passion, but His divine will eagerly embraced it, for that 
it was not possible that He should be holden of death. 
Greg. Nyss. Now Apollinaris asserts that Christ had not His Greg, 
own will according to His earthly nature, but that in Christ "°" °^^' 
exists only the will of God who descends from heaven. Let 
him then say what will is it which God would have by no 
means to be fulfilled ? And the Divine nature does not remove 
His own will. Bede; When He drew near His Passion, the 
Saviour also took upon Him the words of weak man ; as when 
something threatens us which we do not wish to come to 
pass, we then through weakness seek that it may not be, to 
the end that we also may be prepared by fortitude to find 
the will of our Creator contrary to our own will. 

43. And there appeared an angel unto him from 
heaven, strengthening him. 

44. And being in an agony he prayed more ear- 
nestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of 
blood falling down to the ground. 

45. And when he rose up from prayer, and was 
come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for 

46. And said unto them. Why sleep ye ? rise and 
pray, lest ye enter into temptation. 

Theophyl. To make known unto us the power of prayer 

3 A 2 


that we may exercise it in adversity, our Lord when praying 
is comforted by an Angel. Bede ; In another place we read 
Matt. 4, iijg^^ Angels came and ministered unto Him. In testimony 
then of each nature, Angels are said both to have ministered 
to Him and comforted Him. For the Creator needed not 
the protection of His creature, but being made man as for 
our sakes He is sad, so for our sakes He is comforted. 
Theophyl. But some say that the Angel appeared, glori- 
fying Him, saying, O Lord, Thine is the power, for Thou 
art able to vanquish death, and to deliver weak mankind. 
Chrys. And because not in appearance but in reality He 
took upon Himself our flesh, in order to confirm the truth of 
the dispensation He submits to bear human suffering; for it 
follows, A?id being in an agony he prayed mo7'e earnestly* 
Ambrose ; Many are shocked at this place who turn the 
sorrows of the Saviour to an argument of inherent weakness 
from the beginning, rather than taken upon Him for the time. 
But I am so far from considering it a thing to be excused, 
that I never more admire His mercy and majesty; for He 
would have conferred less upon me had He not taken upon 
Him my feelings. For He took upon Him my soitow, that 
upon me He might bestow His joy. With confidence there- 
fore I name His sadness, because I preach His cross. He 
must needs then have undergone affliction, that He might 
conquer. For they have no praise of fortitude whose wounds 
have produced stupor rather than pain. He wished there- 
fore to instruct us how we should conquer death, and what 
is far greater, the anguish of coming death. Thou smartedst 
then, O Lord, not from thy own but my wounds ; for he was 
wonnded for our transgressions. And perhaps He is sad, 
because that after Adam's fall the passage by which we must de- 
part from this world was such that death was necessary. Nor is- 
it far from the truth that He was sad for His persecutors, who 
He knew would suffer punishment for their wicked sacrilege* 
Greg. Greg. He has expressed also the conflict of our mind 
^ j^'^^'in itself, as death approaches, for we suffer a certain thrill of 
terror and dread, when by the dissolution of the flesh we 
. draw near to the eternal judgment; and with good reason,, 
for the soul finds in a moment that which can never be 

VER. 47 — 53. ST. LUKE. 725 

Theophyl. Now that the precedmg prayer was of His 
human nature, not His divine, as the Arians say, is argued 
from what is said of His sweat, which follows. And his sweat 
was as it were great drops of blood /ailing down to the ground. 
Bede ; Let no one ascribe this sweat to natural weakness, 
nay, it is contrary to nature to sweat blood, but rather 
let him derive therefrom a declaration to us, that He was 
now obtaining the accomplishment of His prayer, namely, 
that He might purge by His blood the faith of His disciples, 
still convicted of human frailty. 

Aug. Our Lord praying with a bloody sweat represented Prosp. 
the martyrdoms which should flow from His whole body, g^^^^^- 
which is the Church. Theophyl. Or this is proverbially 68. 
said of one who has sweated intensely, that He sweated 
blood ; the Evangelist then wishing to shew that He was 
moistened with large drops of sweat, takes drops of blood 
for an example. But afterwards finding His disciples asleep 
for sorrow. He upbraids them, at the same time reminding 
them to pray; for it follows. And when he rose from prayer 
and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping, 
Chrys. For it vvas midnight, and the disciples' eyes were 
heavy from grief, and their sleep was not that of drowsiness 
but soiTow. Aug. Now Luke has not stated after which Aug. 
prayer He came to His disciples, still in nothing does he Jf ^°"* 
disagree with Matthew and Mark. iii. c. 4. 

Bede; Our Lord proves by what comes after, that He 
prayed for His disciples whom He exhorts by watching and 
prayer to be partakers of His prayer; for it follows. And 
he saith unto them, Why sleep ye? Rise and pray, lest ye enter 
into temptation. Theophyl. That is, that they should not 
be overcome by temptation, for not to be led into temptation 
is not to be overwhelmed by it. Or He simply bids us pray 
that our life may be quiet, and we be not cast into trouble of 
any kind. For it is of the devil and presumptuous, for a 
man to throw himself into temptation. Therefore James 
said not," Cast yourselves into temptation," but. When ye Jam. i, 
are fallen, count it all Joy, making a voluntary act out of an * 

47. And while he yet spake, behold a multitude^ 


and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, 
went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss 

48. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou 
the Son of man with a kiss ? 

49. When they which were about him saw what 
would follow, they said unto him. Lord, shall we 
smite with the sword ? 

50. And one of them smote the servant of the 
high priest, and cut off his right ear. 

51. And Jesus answered and said. Suffer ye thus 
far. And he touched his ear, and healed him. 

52. Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and 
captains of the temple, and the elders, which were 
come to him. Be ye come out, as against a thief, with 
swords and staves ? 

53. When I was daily with you in the temple, ye 
stretched forth no hands against me : but this is 
your hour, and the power of darkness. 

Gloss. Gloss. After first mentioning the prayer of Christ, St. 

non occ j^^^q goes on to speak of His betrayal wherein He is 
betrayed by His disciple, saying. And while he yet spake, 
behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas. Cyril ; 
He says, he that was called Judas, holding his name as it 
were in abhorrence ; but adds, 07ie of the twelve, to signify 
the enormity of the traitor. For he who had been honoured 
as an apostle became the cause of the murder of Christ. 
Chrys. For just as incurable wounds yield neither to severe 
nor soothing remedies, so the soul when once it is taken 
captive, and has sold itself to any particular sin, will reap 
no benefit from admonition. And so it was with Judas, who 
desisted not from His betrayal, though deterred by Christ 
by every manner of warning. Hence it follows, Ajid drew 
near tmto Jesus to kiss him. Cyril; Unmindful of the 
glory of Christ, he thought to be able to act secretly, daring 

VER. 47 — 53. ST. LURE. 727 

to make an especial token of love the instrument of his 


Chrys. Now we must not depart from admonishing ourchrys. 

brethren, albeit nothino: comes of our words. For even the ^°"^- ^• 
' " ^ . de Laz. 

streams though no one drink therefrom still flow on, and him 
whom thou hast not persuaded to-day, peradventure thou 
mayest to-morrow. For the fisherman after drawing empty 
nets the whole day, when it was now late takes a fish. And 
thus our Lord, though He knew that Judas was not to be 
converted, yet ceased not to do such things as had reference to 
him. It follows, But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betray est 
thou the Son of man with a kiss? Ambrose; It must be 
used I think by way of question, as if he arrests the traitor 
with a lover's affection. Chrys. And He gives him his 
proper name, which was rather like one lamenting and 
recalling him, than one provoked to anger. Ambrose ; He 
says, Betrayest thou with a kiss? that is, dost thou inflict 
a wound with the pledge of love ? with the instruments of 
peace dost thou impose death .^ a slave, dost thou betray thy 
Lord; a disciple, thy master; one chosen, Him who chose 
thee } Chrys. But He said not, " Betrayest thou thy Master, 
thy Lord, thy Benefactor," but the Son of man, that is, the 
humble and meek, who though He were not thy Master and 
Lord, forasmuch as He has borne himself so gently toward 
thee, should have never been betrayed by thee. 

Ambrose; O great manifestation of Divine power, great 
discipline of virtue! Both the design of thy traitor is 
detected, and yet forbearance is not withheld. He shews 
whom it is Judas betrays, by manifesting things hidden; He 
declares whom he delivers up, by saying, the Son of man, 
for the human flesh, not the Divine nature, is seized. 
That however which most confounds the ungrateful, is the 
thought that he had delivered up Him, who though He was the 
Son of God, yet for our sakes wished to be the Son of man; 
as if He said, *' For thee did I undertake, O ungrateful man, 
that which thou betrayest in hypocrisy. Aug. The Lord 
when He was betrayed first said this which Luke mentions, 
Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? next, what 
Matthew says. Friend, wherefore art thou come? and lastly, 
what John records, Whom seek ye? Ambrose; Our Lord 


kissed him, not that He would teach us to dissemble, but 
both that He might not seem to shrink from the traitor, and 
that He might the more move him by not denying liim the 
offices of love. 

Theophyl. The disciples are inflamed with zeal, and un- 
sheath their swords. But whence have they swords ? Because 
they had slain the lamb, and had departed from the feast. 
Now the other disciples ask whether they should strike; but 
Peter, always fervent in defence of his Master, waits not for 
permission, but straightway strikes the servant of the High 
Priest; as it follows, And one of them smote, S^c. Aug. He 
who struck, according to John, was Peter, but he whom he 
struck was called Malchus. Ambrose; For Peter being 
well versed in the law, and full of ardent affection, knowing 
that it was counted righteousness in Phineas that he had 
killed the sacrilegious persons, struck the High Priest's servant. 
Aug. de Aug. Now Luke says. But Jesus answered and said, Suffer 
lib. iii. ye thus far ; which is what Matthew records, Put thy sword 
^' ^' up into its sheath. Nor will it move you as contrary thereto, 
that Luke says here that our liord answered, Siffer ye thus 
far, as if He had so spoken after the blow to shew that what 
was done had pleased Him so far, but He did not wish it to 
proceed farther, seeing that in these words which Matthew 
has given, it may rather be implied that the whole circum- 
stance in which Peter used the sword was displeasing to our 
Lord. For the truth is, that upon their asking. Lord, shall 
we strike with the sword ? He then answered, Siffer ye thus 
far, that is, be not troubled with what is about to happen. 
They must be permitted to advance so far, that is, to take Me, 
and so to fulfil the things which were written of Me. For 
he would not say. And Jesus answering, unless He answered 
this question, not Peter's deed. But between the delay of 
their words of question to our Lord and His answer, Peter in 
the eagerness of defence struck the blow. And two things 
cannot be said, though one may be said and another may be 
(lone, at the same time. Then, as Luke says. He healed him who 
was struck, as it follows, And he touched his ear, and healed 
Jiim. Bede ; For the Lord is never forgetful of H is lovingkirid- 
ness. While they are bringing death upon the righteous. He 
heals the wounds of His persecutors. Ambrose; The Lord in 

VER. 47 — 53. ST. LUKE. 7*29 

wiping away the bloody wounds, conveyed thereby a divine 
mystery, namely, that the servant of the prince of this world, 
not by the condition of His nature but by guilt, should re- 
ceive a wound on the ear, for that he had not heard the words of 
wisdom. Or, by Peter so willingly striking the ear, he taught 
that he ought not to have a ear outwardly, who had not one 
in a mystery. But why did Peter do this ? Because he 
especially obtained the power of binding and loosing; there- 
fore by his spiritual sword he takes away the interior ear of 
him who understandeth not. But the Lord Himself restores 
the hearing, shewing that even they, if they would tmn, might 
be saved, who inflicted the wounds in our Lord's Passion ; for 
that all sin may be washed away in the mysteries of faith. 
Bede; Or that servant is the Jewish j^eople sold by the High 
Priests to an unlawful obligation, who, by the Passion of our 
Lord, lost their right ear; that is, the spiritual understanding 
of the law. And this ear indeed is cut off by Peter's sword, 
not that he takes away the sense of understanding from those 
that hear, but manifests it withdrawn by the judgment of 
God from the careless. But the same right ear in those who 
among the vsame people have believed, is restored by the Divine 
condescension to its former office. 

It follows, Then said Jesus unto them^ Are ye come out as 
against a thief with swords and staves ? ^c. Chrys. For they 
had come at night fearing an outbreak of the multitude, there- 
fore He says, " What need was there of these anus against 
one who was always with you?" as it follows, When I was 
daily with you. Cyril; Whereby He does not blame the 
chiefs of the Jews that they had not sooner prepared their mur- 
derous designs against Him, but convicts them of having 
presumptuously supposed they had attacked Him against His 
will ; as if He says, " Ye did not take Me then, because I willed 
it not, but neither could ye now, did I not of My own accord 
surrender Myself into your hands." Hence it follows. But 
this is your hour^ that is, a short time is permitted you to ex- 
ercise your vengeance against Me, but the Father's will agrees 
with Mine. He also says, that this power is given to darkness, 
i. e. the Devil and the Jews, of rising in rebellion against 
Christ. And then is added. And the power of darkness. 
Bede ; xA-s if He says. Therefore are ye assembled against Me 


in darkness, because your power, wherewith ye are thus armed 
against the hght of the world, is in darkness. But it is asked, 
how Jesus is said to be addressing the chief priests, the 
officers of the temple, and the elders, who came to Him, 
whereas they are reported not to have gone of themselves, but 
to have sent their servants while they waited in the hall of 
Caiaphas? The answer then to this contradiction is, that 
they came not by themselves, but by those whom they sent to 
take Christ in the power of their command. 

54. Then took they him, and led him, and brought 
him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed 
afFar off. 

55. And when they had kindled a fire in the midst 
of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat 
down among them. 

56. But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the 
fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said. This 
man was also with him. 

57. And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him 

58. And after a little while another saw him, and 
said. Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I 
am not. 

59. And about the space of one hour after another 
confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow 
also was with him : for he is a Galileean. 

60. And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou 
sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the 
cock crew. 

61. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. 
And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how 
he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou 
shalt deny me thrice. 

62. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. 

Ambrose; The wretched men understood not the mystery, 

VER. 54 — 62. ST. LUKE. 73l 

nor had reverence unto an outpouring of compassion so mer- 
ciful, that even His enemies He suffered not to be wounded. 
For it is said, Then took they him, SfC. When we read of 
Jesus being holden, let us guard against thinking that He is 
holden with respect to His divine nature, and unwilling 
through weakness, for He is held captive and bound accord- 
ing to the truth of His bodily nature. Bede; Now the Chief 
Priest means Caiaphas, who according to John was High 
Priest that year. Aug. But first He was led to Annas, the 
father-in-law of Caiaphas, as John says, then to Caiaphas, as 
Matthew says, but Mark and Luke do not give the name of 
the High Priest. Chrys. It is therefore said, to the house chvys, 


of the High Priest, that nothing whatever might be done gg j^ 
without the consent of the chief of the Priests. For thither Matt, 
had they all assembled waiting for Christ. Now the great 
zeal of Peter is manifested in his not flying when he saw 
all the others doing so; for it follows, But Peter followed 
afar off. Ambrose ; Rightly he followed afar off, soon 
about to deny, for he could never have denied if he 
had clung close to Christ. But herein must he be revered, 
that he forsook not our Lord, even though he was afraid. Fear 
is the effect of nature, solicitude of tender affection. Bede; 
But that when our Lord was going to His Passion, Peter fol- 
lowed afar off represents the Church about to follow indeed, 
that is, to imitate our Lord's Passion, but in a far different 
manner, for the Church suffers for herself, our Lord suffered 
for the Church. 

Ambrose; And by this time there was a fire burning in the 
house of the High Priest; as it follows. And when they had 
kindled afire, S^-c. Peter came to warm himself, because his 
Lord being taken prisoner, the heart of his soul had been chilled 
in him. Pseudo-Aug. For to Peter were delivered the keys Pseudo- 
of the kingdom of heaven, to him were entrusted an innume- ^"^* 
rable multitude of people, who were wrapped up in sin. ButSerm. 
Peter was somewhat too vehement, as the cutting of}* the ear 
of the High Priest's servant betokens, l^ he then who was so 
stern and so severe had obtained the gift of not sinning, what 
pardon would he have given to the people committed to 
him } Therefore Divine Providence suffers him first to be 
holden of sin, that by the consciousness of his own fall he 


might soften his too harsh judgment towards sinners. When 
he wished to warm himself at the fire, a maid came to him, of 
whom it follows, But a certain maid beheld him, Sec Am- 
brose; What meaneth it, that a maid is the first to betray 
Peter, whereas sm'ely men ought the more easily to have recog- 
nised him, save that that sex should be plainly implicated in 
our Lord's mui'der, in order that it might also be redeemed 
by His Passion? But Peter when discovered denies, for 
better that Peter should have denied, than our Lord's word 
should have failed. Hence it follows, And he denied, saying, 
Aug. Woman, I know him not. Aug. What ails thee, Peter, thy 

ut sup. ^ _ ' . 

voice is suddenly changed? That mouth full of faith and 
love, is turned to hatred and unbelief. Not yet awhile is the 
scourge applied, not yet the instruments of torture. Thy in- 
terrogator is no one of authority, who might cause alarm to 
the confessor. The mere voice of a woman asks the question, 
and she perhaps not about to divulge thy confession, nor 
yet a woman, but a door-keeper, a mean slave. 

Ambrose; Peter denied, because he promised rashly. He 
does not deny on the mount, nor in the temple, nor in his 
own house, but in the judgment-hall of the Jews. There he 
denies where Jesus was bound, where truth is not. And deny- 
ing Him he says, / know him not* It were presumptuous to 
say that he knew Him whom the human mind can not grasp. 
Matt. For no one knoweth the Son but the Father. Asrain, a 

li 17. O 7 

second time he denies Christ; for it follows. And after a 
little while another saw him, and said. Thou wert also one 
Aug. of them. Aug. And it is supposed that in the second denial 
de Con. j^^ ^^^ addressed by two persons, namely, by the maid whom 
iii. c. 6. Matthew and Mark mention, and by another whom Luke 
speaks of. With respect then to what Luke here relates, 
And after a little while, ^^c. Peter had already gone out of 
the gate, and the cock had crowed the first time, as Mark 
says ; and now he had returned, that, as John says, he might 
again deny standing by the fire. Of which denial it follows, 
And Peter said, Man, I am not. Ambrose ; For he pre- 
ferred to deny himself rather than Christ, or because he 
seemed to deny being of the company of Christ, he truly 
denied himself. Bede; In this denial then of Peter we affirm 
that not only is Christ denied by him who says that He is 

de Con. 
V. ut 

VER. 54 — 62. ST. LVKt:. 733 

not Christ, but by him also, who, being a Christian, says he 
is not. 

Ambrose ; He is also asked a third time ; for it follows, 
Atid about the space of one hour after ^ another confidently 
affii'med^ saying, Of a truth this fellow also was tvith him. 
Aug. What Matthew and Mark call after a little while, Aug. 
Luke explains by saying, about the space of one hour after ;^ 
but with regard to the space of time, John says nothing, sup. 
Likewise when Matthew and Mark record not in the singular 
but in the plural number those who conversed with Peter, 
while Luke and John speak of one, we may easily suppose 
either that Matthew and Mark used the plural for the singular 
by a common form of speech, or that one person in particular 
addressed Peter, as being the one who had seen him, and 
that others trusting to his credit joined in pressing him. 
But now as to the words which Matthew asserts were said to 
Peter himself. Truly tJtou art one of them, for thy speech 
beurayeth thee; as also those which to the same Peter John 
declared to have been said, Did not I see thee in the garden"^ 
whereas Mark and Luke state that they spoke to one another 
concerning Peter; we either believe that they held the right 
opinion who say that they were really addressed to Peter; 
(for what was said concerning him in his presence amounts 
to the same as if it had been said to him ;) or that they were 
said in both ways, and that some of the Evangelists related 
them one way, some the other. Bede ; But he adds. For 
he is a GalilxBan ; not that the Galilaeans spoke a different 
language from the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who indeed were 
Hebrews, but that each separate province and country having 
its own peculiarities could not avoid a vernacular tone of 
speech. It follows. And Feter said, Man, I know not what 
thou sayest. Ambrose ; That is, I know not your blas- 
phemies. But we make excuse for him. He did not excuse 
himself. For an involved answer is not sufficient for our 
confessing Jesus, but an open confession is required. And 
therefore Peter is not represented to have answered this 
deliberately, for he afterwards recollected himself, and wept. 

Bede ; Holy Scripture is often wont to mark the character 
of certain events by the nature of the times in which they 
take place. Hence Peter who sinned at midnight repented 


at cock-crow; for it follows, And immediately, while he yet 
spake, the cock crew. The error he committed in the dark- 
ness of forgetfulness, he corrected by the remembrance of 

Aug. the true light. Aug. The cock-crow we understand to have 

'^^' been after the third denial of Peter, as Mark has expressed 

it. Bede ; This cock must, I think, be understood mystically 

as some great Teacher, who rouses the listless and sleepy, 

saying. Awake, ye righteous, and sin not. 

Chrys. Chrys. Marvel now at the case of the Master, who though 


g3^^* He was a prisoner, had exercised much forethought for His 
Joan, disciple, whom by a look He brought to Himself", and pro- 
voked to tears ; for it follows. And the Lord turned, and 
Aug. looked upon Peter. Aug. How we should understand this, 
^it sup.^jj^.gg some careful consideration; for Matthew says, Peter 
was sitting without in the hall, which he would not have said 
unless the transaction relating to our Lord were passing 
within. Likewise also, where Mark said. And as Peter was 
beneath in the hall, he shews that the things he had been 
speaking of took place not only within but in the upper part. 
How then did our Lord look upon Peter? not with His 
bodily face, since Peter was without in the hall among those 
who were warming themselves, while these things were going 
on in the inner part of the house. Wherefore, that looking 
upon Peter seems to me to have been done in a divine 
Ps.13,3. manner. And as it was said, Look thou, and hear me, and, 
Ps. 6, 4. Turn and deliver my soul, so 1 think the expression here used, 
The Lord turned and looked upon Peter. Bede ; For to 
look upon him is to have compassion, seeing that not only 
while penance is being practised, but that it may be 
practised, the mercy of God is necessary. 

Ambrose ; Lastly, those whom Jesus looks upon weep for 
their sins. Hence it follows. And Peter remembered the 
word of the Lord, how he had said to him. Before the cock 
crow, thou shall deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept 
bitterly. Why did he weep } Because he sinned as man. 
I read of his tears, I do not read of his confession. Tears 
wash away an offence which it is shame to confess in words. 
The first and second time he denied and wept not, for as yet 
our Lord had not looked upon him. He denied the third 
time, Jesus looked upon him, and he wept bitterly. So then 

VER. 63 — 71. ST. LUKE. 735 

if thou wilt obtain pardon, wash away thy guilt in tears. 
Cyril; Now Peter did not dare to weep openly, lest he 
should be delected by his tears, but he went out and wept. 
He wept not because of punishment, but because he denied 
his beloved Lord, which was more galling than any punish- 

63. And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and 
smote him. 

64. And when they had blindfolded him, they 
struck him on the face, and asked him, saying. Pro- 
phesy, who is it that smote thee? 

65. And many other things blasphemously spake 
they against him. 

66. And as soon as it was day, the elders of the 
people and the chief priests and the scribes came 
together, and led him into their council, saying, 

67. Art thou the Christ ? tell us. And he said 
unto them. If I tell you, ye will not believe : 

68. And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, 
nor let me go. 

69. Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right 
hand of the power of God. 

70. Then said they all. Art thou then the Son of 
God ? And he said unto them. Ye say that I am. 

71. And they said. What need we any further 
witness ? for we ourselves have heard of his own 

Aug. The temptation of Peter which took place between Aug. 
the mockings of our Lord is not related by all the Evangelists Ev. lib. 
in the same order. For Matthew and Mark first mention "^- ^- ^* 
those, then Peter's temptation; but Luke has first described 
the temptations of Peter, then the mockings of our Lord, 
saying, Aiid the 7nen that held Jesus mocked him, ^c. 
Chrys. Jesus, the Lord of heaven and earth, sustains and 
suffers the mockings of the ungodly, giving us an example _ 

•^V' ..^.EU'S 


patience. Theophyl. Likewise the Lord of prophets is 
derided as a false prophet. It follows, Ajid they blindfolded 
him. This they did as a dishonour to Him who wished to 
be accounted by the people as a prophet. But He who was 
struck with the blows of the Jews, is struck also now by the 
blasphemies of false Christians. And they blindfolded Him, 
not that He should not see their wickedness, but that they 
might hide His face from them. But heretics, and Jews, and 
wicked Catholics, provoke Him with their vile actions, as 
it were mocking Him, saying. Who smote thee ? while they 
flatter themselves that their evil thoughts and works of dark- 
Aug. ness are not known by Him. Aug. Now our Lord is sup- 
Ev. ut posed to have suffered these things until morning in the 
'^"P- house of the High Priest, to which He was first led. Hence 
it follows. And as soon as it was day, the elders of the 
people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, 
and led him. into their council, saying, Jrt thou the Christ ? 
^c, Bede ; They wished not for truth, but were contriving 
calumny. Because they expected that Christ would come 
only as man, of the root of David, they sought this of Him, 
that if He should say, " I am the Christ," they might falsely 
accuse Him of claiming to Himself the kingly power. 

Theophyl. He knew the secrets of their hearts, that they 
who had not believed His works would much less believe 
His words. Hence it follows. And he said unto them. If I 
tell you, ye will not believe, ^c. Bede ; For He had often 
Johnio, declared Himself to be the Christ; as when he said, land my 
^^' Father are one, and other such like things. And if I also 
ask you, ye will not answer me. For He had asked them 
how they said Christ was the Son of David, whereas David 
in the Spirit called Him his Lord. But they wished 
neither to believe His words nor to answer His questions. 
However, because they sought to accuse falsely the seed of 
David, they hear something still farther ; as it follows, Here- 
after shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the 
power of God. Theophyl. As if he said. There is no time 
left to you any longer for discourses and teaching, but 
hereafter shall be the time of judgment, when ye shall see 
Me, the Son of man, sitting on the right hand of the power 
of God. Cyril ; Whenever sitting and a throne are spoken 

VER. 63 — 71. ST. LUKE. 737 

of God, His kingly and supreme majesty is signified. For 
we do not imagine any judgment-seat to be placed, on which 
we believe the Lord of all takes His seat; nor again, that 
in any wise right hand or left hand appertain to the Divine 
nature ; for figure, and place, and sitting, are the properties 
of bodies. But how shall the Son be seen to be of equal 
honour and to sit together on the same throne, if He is not 
the Son according to nature, having in Himself the natural 
property of the Father? Theophyl. When then they heard 
this, they ought to have been afraid, but after these words 
they are the more frantic; as it follows. All said, SfC. Bede; 
They understood that He called Himself the Son of God in 
these words, The Son of man shall sit on the right hand 
of the power of Qod, Ambrose ; The Lord had rather 
prove Himself a King than call Himself one, that they might 
have no excuse for condemning Him, when they confess the 
truth of that which they lay against Him. It follows, A7id 
he said, Ye say that I am. Cyril; When Christ spoke 
this, the company of the Pharisees were very wroth, uttering 
shameful words ; as it follows. Then said they. What need we 
any further witness ? SfC. Theophyl. Whereby it is mani- 
fest, that the disobedient reap no advantage, when the more 
secret mysteries are revealed to them, but rather incur the 
heavier punishment. Wherefore such things ought to be 
concealed from them. 

VOL, III. 3 B 


1. And the whole multitude of them arose, and led 
him unto Pilate. 

2. And they began to accuse him, saying. We 
found this fellow perverting the nation, and for- 
bidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he 
himself is Christ a King. 

3. And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the 
King of the Jews ? And he answered him and said. 
Thou sayest it. 

4. Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to 
the people, I find no fault in this man. 

5. And they were the more fierce, saying, He 
stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, 
beginning from Galilee to this place. 

Aug. de Aug. Luke, after he had finished relatinff the denial of 

lib. iii. Peter, recapitulated all that took place concerning our Lord 

c- ^- during the morning, mentioning some particulars which the 

others omitted; and so he has composed his naiTative, giving 

a similar account with the rest, when he says. Arid the whole 

multitude of them arose, and led him to Pilate, ^c. Bede ; 

That the word of Jesus might he fulfilled which He prophesied 

of His own death, He shall be delivered to the Gentiles, 

that is, to the Romans. For Pilate was a Roman, and the 

4"?'.. Romans had sent him as governor to Judaea. Aug. He next 

c. 8. relates what happens before Pilate, as follows, And they began 

to accuse him, saying. We found this fellow perverting our 

nation, S^c. Matthew and Mark do not give this, though 

affirming that they accused Him, but Luke has laid open 

the very charges which they falsely brought against Him. 

VER. 1 — 5. ST. LUKE. 739 

Theophyl. Most plainly are they opposed to the truth. 
For our Lord was so far from forbidding to give tribute, that 
He commanded it to be given. How then did He pervert the 
people ? Was it that He might take possession of the kingdom ? 
But this is incredible to all, for when the whole multitude 
wished to choose Him for their king, He was aware of it, and 
fled. Bede; Now two charges having been brought against 
our Lord, namely, that He forbade to pay tribute to Caesar, 
and called Himself Christ the King, it may be that Pilate 
had chanced to hear that which our Lord spake, Render unto 
CcBsar the things which he Ccesafs; and therefore setting aside 
this accusation as a palpable lie of the Jews, he thought fit to 
ask concerning that alone of w hich he knew nothing, the saying 
about the kingdom; for it follows, Pilate asked him, saying. 
Art thou the King of the Jews, Sj-c. Theophyl. It seems to 
me that he asked this question of Christ by way of deriding 
the wantonness or hypocrisy of the alleged charge. As if 
he said. Thou a poor humble naked man, with none to help 
Thee, art accused of seeking a kingdom, for which Thou 
wouldest need many to help Thee, and much money. B ede ; 
He answers the governor in the same words which He used 
to the Chief Priests, that Pilate might be condemned by 
his own voice; for it follows. And he ansvjering said, Tlwii 

Theophyl. Now they finding nothing else to support their 
calumny, have resort to the aid of clamour, for it follows. And 
they were the more fierce, saying. He stirreth iqo the people, 
teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to 
this place. As if they said. He perverts the people, not in 
one part only, but beginning from Galilee He arrives at this 
place, having passed through Judaea. I think then that 
they purposely made mention of Galilee, as desirous to 
alarm Pilate, for the Galilaeans were of a different sect and 
given to sedition, as, for example, Judas of Galilee who is 
mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. Bede; But with 
these words they accuse not Him, but themselves. For to 
have taught the people, and by teaching to have roused 
them from their former idleness, and doing this to have 
passed through the whole land of promise, was an evidence 
not of sin, but of virtue. Ambrose; Our Lord is accused 

3 b2 


and is silent, for He needs no defence. Let them cast about 
for defence who fear to be conquered. He does not then 
confirm the accusation by His silence, but He despises it 
bj not refnting it. Why then should He fear who does not 
court safety ? The Safety of all men forfeits His own^that He 
may gain that of all. 

6. When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether 
the man were a Galilaean. 

7. And as soon as he knew that he belonged 
unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who 
himself also was at Jerusalem at that time. 

8. And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding 
glad : for he was desirous to see him of a long season, 
because he had heard many things of him ; and he 
hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. 

9. Then he questioned with him in many words ; 
but he answered him nothing. 

10. And the chief priests and scribes stood and 
vehemently accused him. 

11. And Herod with his men of war set him at 
nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a 
gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. 

12. And the same day Pilate and Herod were 
made friends together : for before they were at enmity 
between themselves. 

Bede; Pilate having determined not to question our Lord 
concerning the above-mentioned accusation, is the rather 
glad now that an opportunity offers to escape from passing 
judgment upon Him. Hence it is said, When Pilate heard 
of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Oalilcean, 
And lest he should be compelled to pass sentence against 
one whom he knew to be innocent, and delivered for envy, 
sends Him to be heard by Herod, preferring that he who 
was the Tclrarch of our Lord's country might be the person 
either to acquit or punish Him; for it follows. And as soon 
as he knew that he belonged to Herod's jurisdiction. 

VER. 6 — 1*2. ST. LUKE. 741 

Theophyl. Wherein he follows the Roman law, which 
provided that every man should be judged by the governor 
of his own jurisdiction. 

Greg. Now Herod wished to make proof of Christ's Greg. 
fame, desiring to witness His miracles; for it follows, ^g^j* 
And when Herod saw Jesus, he was glad, ^c. Theophyl. 
Not as though he was about to gain any benefit from the 
sight, but seized with curiosity he thought he shonld see that 
extraordinary man, of whose wisdom and wonderful works he 
had heard so much. He also wished to hear from His 
mouth what He could say. Accordingly he asks Him ques- 
tions, making a sport of Him, and ridiculing Him. But 
Jesus, who performed all things prudently, and who, as David 
testifies, ordereth His words with discretion, thought itP*^. ii2, 
right in such a case to be silent. For a word uttered to 
one whom it profiteth nothing becomes the cause of his con- 
demnation. Therefore it follows, But he answered him nothing. 
Ambrose ; He was silent and did nothing, for Herod's unbelief 
deserved not to see Him, and the Lord shunned display. And 
perhaps typically in Herod are represented all the ungodly, 
who if they have not believed the Law and the Prophets, 
cannot see Christ's wonderfiil works in the Gospel. 

Greg. From these words we ought to derive a lesson, that Greg. 
whenever our hearers wish as if by praising us to gain^ i6^^ 
knowledge fi*om us, but not to change their own wicked 
course, we must be altogether silent, lest if from love of 
ostentation we speak God's word, both they who were guilty 
cease not to be so, and we who were not become so. And 
there are many things which betray the motive of a hearer, 
but one in particular, when they always praise what they 
hear, yet never follow what they praise. Greg. The Re- Greg. 
deemer therefore though questioned held His peace, though c, 31*. * 
expected disdained to work miracles. And keeping Himself 
secretly within Himself, left those who were satisfied to seek for 
ou'iward things, to remain thankless without, preferring to be 
openly set at nought by the proud, than be praised by the 
hollow voices of unbelievers. Hence it follows. And the chief 
priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And 
Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked 
him, and arrayed him in a ivhite robe. Ambrose: It is not 


without reason that He is arrayed by Herod in a white robe, 
as bear in <5 a sign of His immaculate Passion, that the Lamb 
of God without spot would take upon Himself the sins of the 
world. Theophyl. Nevertheless, observe how the Devil is 
thwarted by the thing which He does. He heaps up scorn 
and reproaches against Christ, whereby it is made manifest 
that the Lord is not seditious. Otherwise He would not 
have been derided, when so great a danger was afloat, and 
that too from a people who were held in suspicion, and so 
given to change. But the sending of Christ by Pilate to 
Herod, becomes the commencement of a mutual friendship, 
Pilate not receiving those who were subject to Herod's au- 
thority, as it is added. And they were made friends, ^c. 
Observe the Devil every where uniting together things 
separate, that he may compass the death of Christ. Let us 
blush then, if for the sake of our salvation we keep not even our 
friends in union with us. 

Ambrose; Under the type also of Herod and Pilate, who 
from enemies were made friends by Jesus Christ, is preserv^ed 
the figure of the people of Israel and the Gentile nation; 
that through our Lord's Passion should come to pass the 
future concord of both, yet so that the people of the Gentiles 
should receive the word of God first, and then transmit it by 
the devotion of their faith to the Jewish people; that they 
too may with the glory of their majesty clothe the body of 
Christ, which before they had despised. Bede ; Or this 
alliance between Herod and Pilate signifies that the Gentiles 
and Jews, though differing in race, religion, and character, 
agree together in persecuting Christians. 

13. And Pilcite, when he had called together 
the cliief priests and the rulers and the people, 

14. Said unto them. Ye have brought this man 
unto me, as one that perverteth the people; and, 
behold, I, having examined him before you, have 
found no fault in this man touching those things 
whereof ye accuse him : 

15. No, nor yet Herod : for I sent you to liim ; 
and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. 

VER. 13 25. ST. LUKE. 743 

16. T will therefore chastise him, and release him. 

1 7. (For of necessity he must release one unto them 
at the feast.) 

18. And they cried out all at once, saying. Away 
with this man, and release unto us Barabbas : 

19. (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, 
and for murder, was cast into prison.) 

20. Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake 
again to them. 

21. But they cried, saying. Crucify him, crucify 

22. And he said unto them the third time, Why, 
what evil hath he done ? I have found no cause of 
death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let 
him go. 

23. And they were instant with loud voices, requir- 
ing that he might be crucified. And the voices of 
them and of the chief priests prevailed. 

24. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as 
they required. 

25. And he released unto them him that for sedi- 
tion and murder was cast into prison, whom they had 
desired ; but he delivered Jesus to their will. 

Aug. Luke returns to those things which were going on 
before the governor, from which he had digressed in order 
to relate what took place with Herod ; saying as follows, 
And Pilate, ivhe)i he had called, S^c. from which we infer, that 
he has omitted the part wherein Pilate questioned our Lord 
what He had to answer to His accusers. 

Ambrose; Here Pilate, who as a judge acquits Christ, is 
made the minister of His crucifixion. He is sent to Herod, 
sent back to Pilate, as it follows, Nor yet Herod, for I sent 
you to him, and behold nothing worthy of death is done unto 
him. They both refuse to pronounce Him guilty, yet for 
fear's sake, Pilate gratifies the cruel desires of the Jews. Theo- 


PHYL. Wherefore by the testimony of two men, Jesus is 
declared innocent, but the Jews His accusers brought forward 
no witness whom they could believe. See then how truth 
triumphs. Jesus is silent, and His enemies witness for Him ; 
the Jews make loud cries, and not one of them corroborates 
their clamour. Bede; Perish then those writings, which, 
composed so long a time after Christ, convict not the accused 
of magical arts against Pilate, but the writers themselves of 
treachery and lying against Christ. 

Theophyl. Pilate therefore lenient and easy, yet wanting 
in firmness for the truth, because afraid of being accused, 
adds, / will therefore chastise him and release him. Bede ; 
As if he said, I will subject Him to all the scourgings and 
mockings you desire, but do not thirst after the innocent 
blood. It follows. For of necessity he must release one unto 
the7n, ^c. an obligation not imposed by a decree of the 
imperial law, but binding by the annual custom of the nation, 
whom in such things he was glad to please. Theophyl. For 
the Romans permitted the Jews to live according to their own 
laws and customs. And it was a natural custom of the Jews 
to seek pardon of the prince for those who were condemned, 
as they asked Jonathan of Saul. And hence it is now added, 
1 Sam. yf{\\^ respect to their petition. And they cried all at once. 
Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas, S^c. Am- 
brose; Not unreasonably do they seek the pardon of a 
murderer, who were themselves demanding the death of the 
innocent. Such are the laws of iniquity, that what innocence 
hates, guilt loves. And here the interpretation of the name 
affords a figurative resemblance, for Barabbas is in Latin, the 
son of a father. Those then to whom it is said. Ye are of 
your father the Devil, are represented as about to prefer to 
the true Son of God the son of their father, that is, Anti- 
christ. Bede ; Even to this day their request still clings to the 
Jews, For since when they had the choice given to them, they 
chose a robber for Jesus, a murderer for a Saviour ; rightly 
lost they both life and salvation, and became subject to such 
robberies and seditions among themselves as to forfeit both 
their country and kingdom. Theophyl. Thus it came to 
pass, the once holy nation rages to slay, the Gentile Pilate 
forbids slaughter; as it follows, Pilate therefore spoke 

VER. 26—32. ST. LUKE. ^^45 

again unto them, hut they cried out, Crucify, '^c. Bede; 
With the worst kind of death, that is, crucifixion, they long 
to murder the innocent. For they who hung on the cross, 
with their hands and feet fixed by nails to the wood, suffered 
a prolonged death, that their agony might not quickly cease; 
but the death of the cross was chosen by our Lord, as 
that which having overcome the Devil, He was about to 
place as a trophy on the brows of the faithful. Theophyl. 
Three times did Pilate acquit Christ, for it follows, And 
he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath 
he done? I will chastise him, and let him go, Bede; 
This chastisement wherewith Pilate sought to satisfy the 
people, lest their rage should go even so far as to crucify 
Jesus, John's words bear testimony that he not only threatened 
but performed together with mockings and scourgings. But 
when they saw all their charges which they brought against 
the Lord baffled by Pilate's diligent questioning, they resort 
at last to prayers only ; entreating that He might be crucified. 
Theophyl. They cry out the third time against Christ, 
that by this third voice, they may approve the murder to be 
their own, which by their entreaties they extorted ; for it 
follows. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they 
required. And he released him that for sedition and murder 
was cast into prison, but delivered Jesus to their will. Chrys. 
For they thought they could add this, namely, that Jesus was 
worse than a robber, and so wicked, that neither for mercy's 
sake, or by the privilege of the feast, ought He to be let free. 

26. And as they led him away, they laid hold upon 
one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, 
and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it 
after Jesus. 

27. And there followed him a great company of 
people, and of women, which also bewailed and 
lamented him. 

28. But Jesus turning unto them said. Daughters 
of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for your- 
selves, and for your children. 


29. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which 
they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs 
that never bare, and the paps which never gave 

30. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, 
Fall on us ; and to the hills. Cover us. 

31. For if they do these things in a green tree, 
what shall be done in the dry ? 

32. And there were also two other, malefactors, led 
with him to be put to death. 

Gloss. Gloss. Having related the condemnation of Christ, Luke 

" naturally goes on to speak of His crucifixion ; as it is said, 

A7id as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, 

Aug. de SfC. Aug. But John relates that Jesus bore His own cross, 

,Y°°;.. ^ • from which is understood that He was Himself carrvino- His 

lib. 111. -^ c* 

c. 10. cross, when He went forth to that place which is called 
Calvary; but as they journeyed Simon was forced into the 
service on the road, and the cross was given him to carry as 
far as that place. Theophyl. For no one else accepted to 
bear the cross, because the wood was counted an abomina- 
tion. Accordingly upon Simon the Cyrenian they imposed 
as it were to his dishonour the bearing of the cross, which 
others refused. Here is fulfilled that prophecy of Isaiah, 

isa.9,6. Whose government shall be upon his shoidder. For the 
government of Christ is His cross; for which the Apostle 

Phil. 2, says, God hath exalted him. And as for a mark of dignity, 
some wear a belt, others a head dress, so our Lord the cross. 
And if thou seekest, thou wilt find that Christ does not reign 
in us save by hardships, whence it comes that the luxurious 
are the enemies of the cross of Christ. Ambrose; Christ 
therefore bearing His cross, already as a conqueror carried 
His trophies. The cross is laid upon His shoulders, 
because, whether Simon or Himself bore it, both Christ bore 
it in the man, and the man in Christ. Nor do the accounts 
of the Evangelists differ, since the mystery reconciles them. 
And it is the rightful order of our advance that Christ should 
first Himself erect tlie troj)hy of His cross, then hand it down 
to be raised by His martvrs. He is not a .few who bears the 

«' ml 

,VER. 26 — 32. ST. LUKE. 747 

cross, but an alien and a foreigner, nor does he precede but 
follow, accordinii^ as it is written, Lot him take up his cross. Matt. 

16 24 

and follow me, Luke 9 

Bede ; Simon is by interpretation " obedient," Cyrene " an 2^* 
heir." By this man therefore the people of the Gentiles are 
denoted, who formerly foreigners and aliens to the covenant, 
have now by obedience been made heirs of God. But Simon 
coming out of a village, bears the cross after Jesus, because 
fors£|,king the pagan rites, he obediently embraces the footsteps 
of our Lord's Passion. For a village is in Greek called Trayoj , 
from whence Pagans derive their name. Theophyl. Or he 
takes up the cross of Christ, who comes from the village; that 
is, he leaves this world and its labours, going forward to 
Jerusalem, that is, heavenly liberty. Hereby also we receive 
no slight instruction. For to be a master after the example 
of Christ, a man must himself first take up his cross, and in 
the fear of God crucify his own flesh, that he may so lay it 
upon those that are subject and obedient to him. 

But there followed Christ a great company of people^ and 
of women. Bede; A large multitude indeed followed the 
cross of Christ, but with very different feelings. For the 
people who had demanded His death were rejoicing that 
they should see Him dying, the women weeping that He 
was about to die. But He was followed by the weeping 
only of women, not because that vast crowd of men was not 
also sorrowful at His Passion, but because the less esteemed 
female sex could more freely give utterance to what they 
thought. Cyril ; Women also are ever prone to tears, and 
have hearts easily disposed to pity. 

Theophy^l. He bids those who weep for Him cast their 
eyes forward to the evils that were coming, and weep for 
themselves. Cyril; Signifying that in the time to come 
women would be bereft of their children. For when war 
breaks out upon the land of the Jews, all shall perish, both 
small and great. Hence it follows, For^ behold.^ the days are 
coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barrenly 
^c. Theophyl. Seeing indeed that women shall cruelly 
roast their children, and the belly which had produced shall 
miserably again receive that which it bore. Bede; By these 
days He signifies the lime of the siege and captivity which 


was coming upon them from the Romans, of which He had 
said before, Woe to them that are with child, and give suck 
in those days. It is natural, when captivity by an enemy is 
threatening, to seek for refuge in fastnesses or hidden places, 
where men may lie concealed. And so it follows, Then 
shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to 
the hills. Cover us. For Josephus relates, that when the Romans 
pressed hard upon them, the Jews sought hastily the caverns 
of the mountains, and the luiking places in the hills. It 
may be also that the words. Blessed are the barren, are to 
be understood of those of both sexes, who have made them- 
selves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake, and that it 
is said to the mountains and hills, Fall upon us, and Cover 
us, because all who are mindful of their own weakness, when 
the crisis of their temptations breaks upon them, have sought 
to be protected by the example, precepts, and prayers, of 
certain high and saintly men. 

It follows, But if they do these things in a green tree, 
Greg, what shall be done in the dry ? Greg. He has called Him- 

Mor 12. 

c. 4.' ' self the green wood and us the dry, for He has in Himself 
the life and strength of the Divine nature; but we who are 
mere men are called the dry wood. Theophyl. As though 
He said to the Jews, If then the Romans have so raged 
against Me, a fruit-bearing and ever flourishing tree, what 
will they not attempt against you the people, who are a 
dry tree, destitute of every lifegiving virtue, and bearing 
no fruit ? Bede ; Or as if He spake to all : If I who have 
done no sin being called the tree of life, do not depart 
from the world without suffering the fire of my Passion, what 
torment think ye awaits those who are barren of all fruits ? 

Theophyl. But the Devil, desiring to engender an evil 
opinion of our Lord, caused robbers also to be crucified 
with Him ; whence it follows, And there were two other 
malefactors led with him to be put to death, 

33. And when they were come to the place, which 
is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the 
malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on 
the left. 

VER. 33. ST. LUKE. 749 

Athan. When mankind became corrupted, then Christ Athan. 
manifested His own body, that where corruption has been Pagg.' 
seen, there might spring up incorruption. Wherefore He is^^"^- 
crucified in the place of Calvary ; which place the Jewish 
doctors say was the burial-place of Adam. Bede; Or else, 
without the gate were the places where the heads of con- 
demned criminals were cut off, and they received the name 
of Calvary, that is, beheaded. Thus for the salvation of all 
men the innocent is crucified among the guilty, that where sin 
abounded, there grace might much more abound. 

Cyril ; The only-begotten Son of God did not Himself 
in His own nature in which He is God suffer the things 
which belong to the body, but rather in His earthly nature. 
For of one and the same Son both may be affirmed, namely, 
that He doth not suffer in His divine nature, and that He 
suffered in His human. Euseb. But if, on the contrary, 
after His intercourse with men. He suddenly disappeared, 
flying away to avoid death. He might be likened by man to 
a phantom. And just as if any one wished to exhibit some 
incombustible vessel, which triumphed over the nature of 
fire, he would put it into the flame, and then directly draw it 
out fi*om the flame unharmed; so the Word of God, wishing to 
shew that the instrument which He used for the salvation of 
men was superior to death, exposed His mortal body to death 
to manifest His nature, then after a little rescued it from death 
by the force of His divine power. This is indeed the first 
cause of Christ's death. But the second is the manifestation 
of the divine power of Christ inhabiting a body. For seeing 
that men of old deified those who were destined to a like 
end with themselves, and whom they called Heroes and 
Gods, He taught that He alone of the dead must be acknow- 
ledged the true God, who having vanquished death is 
adorned with the rewards of victory, having trodden death 
under His feet. The third reason is, that a victim must be 
slain for the whole race of mankind, which being offered, the 
whole power of the evil spirits was destroyed, and every error 
put to silence. There is also another cause of the healthgiving 
death, that the disciples with secret faith might behold the 
resurrection after death. Whereunto they were taught to lift 


up their own hopes, that despising death they might embark 
cheerfully in the conflict with error. 
Athan. A THAN. Now our Saviour came to accomplish not His 
Verb.^ own death, but that of man, for He experienced not death 
l>ei. who is Life. Therefore not by His own death did He put 
off the body, but He endured that which was inflicted by 
men. But althou"h His body had been aflflicted, and was 
loosed in the sight of all men, yet was it not fitting that He 
who should heal the sicknesses of others should have His 
own body visited with sickness. But yet if without any 
disease He had put off His body apart in some remote place, 
He would not be believed when speaking of His resurrection. 
For death must precede resurrection ; why then should He 
openly proclaim His resurrection, but die in secret? Sm'ely 
if these things had happened secretly, what calumnies would 
unbelieving men have invented.^ How would the victory of 
Christ over death appear, unless undergoing it in the sight of 
all men He had proved it to be swallowed up by the incor- 
ruption of His body? But you will say. At least He ought to 
have devised for Himself a glorious death, to have avoided 
the death of the cross. But if He had done this, He would 
have made Himself suspected of not having power over 
every kind of death As then the champion by laying prostrate 
whomsoever the enemy has opposed to him is shewn to be 
superior to all, so the Life of all men took upon Him that 
death which His enemies inflicted, because it was the most 
dreadful and shameful, the abominable death upon the cross, 
that having destroyed it, the dominion of death mightbe entirely 
overthrown. Wherefore His head is not cut off as John's was ; 
He was not sawn asunder as Isaiah, that He might preserve 
His body entire, and indivisible to death, and not become an 
excuse to those who would divide the Church. For He 
wished to bear the curse of sin which we had incurred, by 
taking upon Him the accursed death of the cross, as it is said. 
Cursed is lie iliaf Jiangelh upon a tree. He dies also on the 
cross with outstretched hands, that with one indeed He may 
draw to Him the ancient people, with the other the Gentiles, 
joining both to Himself Dyiug also on the cross He purges 
tlie air of evil spirits, and prepares for us an ascent into hea- 

VER. 33. ST. LUKE. 751 

veil. TiiEOPHYL. Because also by a tree dcatli had entered, 
it must needs be that by a tree it should be abolished, 
and that the Lord passing unconquered through the pains of 
a tree should subdue the pleasures which flow from a tree. 

Greg. Nyss. But the figure of the cross from one centre of Greg. 
contact branching out into four separate terminations, signifies o^aTi 
the power and providence of Him who hung upon it extend- de Res. 
ing every where. Aug. For not without reason did He choose Au^!de 
this kind of death, in order that He mieht be the master of S''*^^°^'* 

. Test. 

breadth and length, and heighth and depth. For breadth lies Ep. 140. 
in that cross piece of wood which is fastened from above. 
This belongs to good works, because on it the hands are out- 
stretched. Length lies in that which is seen reaching from 
the former piece to the ground, for there in a certain manner we 
stand, that is, abide firm or persev^ere. And this is applied to 
long-suffering. Heighth is in that piece of wood which is 
left reaching upwards from that which is fixed across, that 
is, to the head of the Crucified ; for the expectation of 
those who hope for better things is upward. Again, that part 
of the wood which is fixed hidden in the ground, signifies 
the depth of unrestrained grace. Chrys. Two thieves also Chrys. 
they crucified on the two sides, that He might be a partaker of §7°^* 
their reproach; as it follows, And the thievefi one on his right ^^^t. 
hand, the other on his lejt. But it did not so turn out. For 
of them nothing is said, but His cross is every where ho- 
noured. Kings, laying aside their crowns, assume the cross 
on their purple, on their diadems, on their arms. On the con- 
secrated table, throughout the whole earth, the cross glitters. 
Such things are not of men. For even in their lifetime those 
who have acted nobly are mocked by their own actions, and 
when they perish their actions perish also. But in Christ it 
is quite different. For before the cross all things were 
gloomy, after it all things are joyful and glorious, that you 
may know that not a mere man was crucified. Bede; But 
the two robbers crucified with Christ signify those who 
under the faith of Christ undergo either the pains of mar- 
tyrdom, or the rules of a still stricter continence. But they 
do this for eternal glory, who imitate the actions of the thief 
on the right hand ; while they who do it to gain the praise 
of men, imitate the thief on the left hand. 


34. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them ; for 
they know not what they do. And they parted his 
raiment, and cast lots. 

35. And the people stood beholding. And the 
rulers also with them derided him, saying. He saved 
others ; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the 
chosen of God. 

36. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to 
him, and offering him vinegar, 

37. And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, 
save thyself. 

Matt. 6, Chrys. Because the Lord had said, Pray for them that 
^^* persecute you, this Ukewise He did, when He ascended the 
cross, as it follows. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them, 
not that He was not able Himself to pardon them, but that 
He might teach us to pray for our persecutors, not only in 
word, but in deed also. But He says, Forgive them, if they 
should repent. For He is gracious to the penitent, if they 
are willing after so great wickedness to wash away their 
guilt by faith. Bede ; Nor must we imagine here that He 
prayed in vain, but that in those who believed after His 
passion He obtained the fruit of His prayers? It must be 
remarked, however, that He prayed not for those who chose 
rather to crucify, rather than to confess Him whom they knew 
to be the Son of God, but for such as were ignorant what they 
did, having a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge, 
as He adds. For they know not what they do. Greek Ex. 
But for those who after the crucifixion remain ia unbelief, 
no one can suppose that they are excused by ignorance, 
because of the notable miracles that vvith a loud voice 
proclaimed Him to be the Son of God. 

Ambrose ; It is important then to consider, in what condition 
He ascends the cross; for I see Him naked. Let him then 
who prepares to overcome the world, so ascend that he seek 
not the appliances of the world. Now Adam was overcome who 
sought for a covering. He overcame who laid aside His cover- 
ing. He ascends such as nature formed us, God being our 
Creator. Such as the first man had dwelt in paradise, such did 

VER. 34 — 37^ ST. LUKE. 753 

the second man enter paradise. But about to ascend the 
cross rightly, did He lay aside His royal garments, that you 
may know tliat He suffered not as God, but as man, though 
Christ is both. Athan. He also who for our sakes tookAthan. 
upon Him all our conditions, put on our garments, the signs p^^'^ '" 
of Adam's death, that He might put them off, and in their Dom. 
stead clothe us with life and incorruption. 

It follows. And they parted his raiment among them, and 
cast lots. Theophyl, For perhaps many of them were in 
want. Or perhaps rather they did this as a reproach, and 
from a kind of wantonness. For what treasure did they find in 
His garments? Bede; But in the lot the grace of God seems 
to be commended; for when the lot is cast, we yield not to 
the merits of any person, but to the secret judgment of God. 
Aug. This matter indeed was briefly related by the three Aug. de 
first Evangelists, but John more distinctly explains how itiib^iji^ 
was done. c- 12. 

Theophyl. They did it then mockingly. For when the 
rulers scoffed, what can we say of the crowd } for it follows, 
And the people stood, who in truth had entreated that He 
should be crucified, waiting, namely, for the end. A?id the 
rulers also with them derided. Aug. Having mentioned the Aug. 
rulers, and said nothing of the priests, St. Luke compre- ^ ^ ^^^' 
hended under a general name all the chief men, so that 
hereby may be understood both the scribes and the elders. 
Bede; And these also unwillingly confess that He saved 
others, for it follows, Saying, He saved others, let him save 
himself, ^c. Athan. Now our Lord being truly the Saviour, Athan. 
wished not by saving Himself, but by saving His creatures, ^ ^ ^^^' 
to be acknowledged the Saviour. For neither is a physician 
by healing himself known to be a physician, unless he also 
gives proof of his skill towards the sick. So the Lord being 
the Saviour had no need of salvation, nor by descending from 
the cross did He wish to be acknowledged the Saviour, but 
by dying. For truly a much greater salvation does the 
death of the Saviour bring to men, than the descent from the 
cross. Greek Ex. Now the Devil, seeing that there was no 
protection for him, was at a loss, and as having no other 
resource, tried at last to offer Him vinegar to drink. But 
he knew not that he was doing this against himself; for the 

VOL. III. 3 c 


bitterness of wrath caused by the transgression of the law, 
in which he kept all men bound, he now surrendered to the 
Saviour, who took it and consumed it, in order that in the 
place of vinegar. He might give us wine to drink, which 
Prov. 9, wisdom had mingled. Theophyl. But the soldiers offered 
Christ vinegar, as it were ministering unto a king, for it 
follows, saying, If thou art the king of the Jews, save 
thyself. Bede; And it is worthy of remark, that the Jews 
blaspheme and mock the name of Christ, which was delivered 
to them by the authority of Scripture; whereas the soldiers, 
as being ignorant of the Scriptures, insult not Christ the 
chosen of God, but the King of the Jews. 

38. And a superscription also was written over 
him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, 

39. And one of the malefactors which were hanged 
railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself 
and us. 

40. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, 
Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same 
condemnation ? 

41. And we indeed justly; for we receive the due 
reward of our deeds : but this man hath done nothing 

42. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me 
when thou comest into thy kingdom. 

43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto 
thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. 

Theophyl. Observe a second time the device of the devil 
turned against himself. For in letters of three different 
characters he published the accusation of Jesus, that in truth it 
might not escape one of the passers by, that He was crucified 
because He made Himself King. For it is said. In Greek, 
Latin, and Hebrew, by which it was signified, that the most 
powerful of the nations, (as the Romans,) the wisest, (as the 
Greeks,)those who most worshipped God,(as the Jewish nation,) 

VER. 38—43. ST. LUKE. 755 

must be made subject to the dominion of Christ. Ambrose; 
And rightly is the tith3 placed above the cross, because 
Christ's kingdom is not of the human body, but of the power 
of God. I read the title of the King of the Jews, when 
I read, 3Iy kingdom is not of this world. I read theJohnis, 
cause of Christ written above His head, when I read, And -^^^^ j 
the Word was Ood. Yoy the head of Christ is Ood, Cyril; i. 
Now one of the thieves uttered the same revilings as the Jews, n^ 3,* 
but the other tried to check his words, while he confessed his 
own guilt, adding. We indeed Justly, for we receive the due 
reward of our deeds. Chrys. Here the condemned performs 
the office of judge, and he begins to decide concerning truth 
who before Pilate confessed his crime only after many 
tortures. For the judgment of man from whom secret things 
are hid is of one kind; the judgment of God who searches 
the heart of another. And in the former case punishment 
follows after confession, but here confession is made unto 
salvation. But he also pronounces Christ innocent, adding, 
But this man hath done nothing wrong : as if to say, Behold 
a new injury, that innocence should be condemned with 
crime. We kill the living. He raised the dead. We have 
stolen from others. He bids us give up even what is our own. 
The blessed thief thus taught those that stood by, uttering 
the words by which he rebuked the other. But when he 
saw that the ears of those who stood by were stopped up, 
he turns to Him who knoweth the hearts; for it follows, 
And he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest 
into thy kingdom. Thou beholdest the Crucified, and thou 
acknowledgest Him to be thy Lord. Thou seest the form of 
a condemned criminal, and thou proclaimest the dignity of a 
king. Stained with a thousand crimes, thou askest the Fountain 
of righteousness to remember thy wickedness, saying. But I 
discover thy hidden kingdom; and thou turnest away my 
public iniquities, and acceptest the faith of a secret intention. 
Wickedness usurped the disciple of truth, truth did not change 
the disciple of wickedness. 

Greg. On the cross nails had fastened his hands and Greg. 
feet, and nothing remained free from torture, but his heart and c. 40. 
tongue. By the inspiration of God, the thief offered to Him 
the whole which he found free, that as it is written, With'Rom. 

3 c 2 '"' '"■ 


1 Cor. the heart he miqht believe unto riqhteoiisness. with the mouth 

13 13 . 

' ' he might confess unto salvation. But the three virtues which 
the Apostle speaks of, the thief suddenly filled with grace both 
received and preserved on the cross. He had faith, for 
example, who believed that God would reign whom he saw 
dying equally with himself. He had hope who asked for 
an entrance into His kingdom. He preserved charity also 
zealously in his death, who for his iniquity reproved his 
brother and fellow-thief, dying for a like crime to his own. 

Ambrose ; A most remarkable example is here given of seek- 
ing after conversion, seeing that pardon is so speedily granted 
to the thief. The Lord quickly pardons, because the thief is 
quickly converted. And grace is more abundant than prayer; 
for the Lord ever gives more than He is asked for. The 
thief asked that He should remember him, but our Lord 
answers. Verily I soy unto thee^ This day shalt thou he with 
me in Paradise. To be with Christ is life, and where Christ 
is, there is His kingdom. Theophyl. And as every king 
who returns victorious carries in triumph the best of his 
spoils, so the Lord having despoiled the devil of a portion 
of his plunder, carries it with Him into Paradise. 

Chrys. Here then might one see the Saviour between the 
thieves weighing in the scales of justice faith, and unbelief. 
The devil cast iidam out of Paradise. Christ brought the 
thief into Paradise before the whole world, before the Apostles. 
By a mere word and by faith alone he entered into Paradise, 
that no one after his sins might despair of entrance. Mark 
the rapid change, from the cross to heaven, from condemna- 
tion to Paradise, that you may know that the Lord did it all, 
not with regard to the thiefs good intention, but His own 

But if the reward of the good has already taken place, 
surely a resurrection will be superfluous. For if He intro- 
duced the thief into Paradise while his body remained in 
corruption without, it is clear there is no resurrection of the 
bodv. Such are the words of some. But shall the flesh which 
has partaken of the toil be deprived of the reward ? Hear Paul 

1 Cor. speaking. Then unfst this corruptible put on incorriiption. 

15, 53. j^^^ ^£ ^j^g Lord promised the kingdom of heaven, but intro- 
duced the thief into Paradise, He does not yet recompense 

VER. 38 — 43. ST. LUKE. 757 

him the reward. But they say, Under the name of Paradise 
He signified the kingdom of heaven, using a well-known 
name in addressing a thief who knew nothing of difficult 
teaching. Now some do not read it, 77^/5 day shall thou be 
with me in Paradise, but thus, / say unto thee on this day, 
and then follows, thou shalt be with me in Paradise. But we 
will add a still more obvious solution. For physicians when 
they see a man in a desperate state, say. He is already dead. 
So also the thief, since he no longer fears his falling back to 
perdition, is said to have entered Paradise. Theophyl. This 
however is more true than all, that although they have not 
obtained all the promises, I mean, the thief and the other saints 
in order that without us they might not be made perfect, they Heb.ii, 
are notwithstanding in the kingdom of heaven and Paradise. 

Greg. Nyss. Here again, we must examine how the thief 
should be thought worthy of Paradise, seeing that a flaming- 
sword prevents the entrance of the saints. But observe that 
the word of God describes it as turning about, so as it 
should obstruct the unworthy, but open a free entrance to 
life to the worthy. Greg. Or that flaming sword is said Greg. 
to be ^^«^^^;^^, because that He knew the time would come^°^-^^* 
when it must be removed ; when He in truth should come, 
who by the mystery of His incarnation was to open to us the 
w^ay of Paradise. Ambrose ; But it must also be explained 
how the others, that is, Matthew and Mark, introduced two 
thieves reviling, while Luke, one reviling, the other resisting 
him. Perhaps this other at first reviled, but was suddenly 
converted. It may also have been spoken of one, but in 
the plural number; as in the Hebrews, They wandered ^Vzjjeb.ii 
goat-skins, and they were sawn asunder; whereas Elijah '^^• 
alone is related to have had a goat-skin, and Isaiah to have 
been sawn asunder. But mystically, the two thieves represent 
the two sinful people who were to be crucified by baptism with 
Christ, whose disagreement likewise represents the difference 
of believers. Bede ; For as many of us as were baptized in Rom. 6, 
Christ Jesus, were baptized in His death; but we are washed^' 
by baptism, seeing we were sinners. But some, in that they 
praise God suffering in the flesh, are crowned; others, in that 
they refuvse to have the faith or works of baptism, are deprived 
of the gift which they have received. 


44. And it was about the sixth hour, and there 
was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth 

45. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the 
temple was rent in the midst. 

46. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, 
he said. Father, into thy hands I commend my 
spirit : and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. 

Cyril; As soon as the Lord of all had been given up to 
Amos be crucified, the whole framework of the world bewailed its 
^' ^' rightful Master, and the light was darkened at mid-day, which 
was a manifest token that the souls of those who crucified jjira would suffer darkness. Aug. What is here said of the 
lib. iii. darkness, the other two Evangelists, Matthew and Mark, 
^' ^^' confirm, but St. Luke adds the cause whence the darkness arose, savins, And the sun was darkened. Aug. This 

Civ.Dei, ,,.-,, . . . ,.1.1 1 -1 

l.iii.c.15. darkenmg ot the sun it is quite plain did not happen in the 

regular and fixed course of the heavenly bodies, because it 

was then the Passover, which is always celebrated at the 

full moon. But a regular eclipse of the sun does not 

Dion, lake place except at new moon. Dionys. When we were 

Areop. -^Q^-j^ g^^ Heliopolis together, we both saw at the same time 

Polyc. in a marvellous manner the moon meeting the sun, (for 

it was not then the time of new moon,) and then again, 

from the ninth hour until evening supernaturally brought 

ad dia- back to the edge of the sun's diameter. Besides, we observed 

soiis. ^l^^^ ^l^^^ obscuration began from the east, and having reached 

as far as the sun's western border at length returned, and 

that the loss and restoration of light took place not from 

the same side, but from opposite sides of the diameter. Such 

were the miraculous events of that time, and possible to 

Christ alone who is the cause of all things. Greek Ex. This 

miracle then took place that it might be made known, that He 

who had undergone death was the Ruler of the whole creation. 

Ambrose; The sun also is eclipsed to the sacrilegious, that 

it may overshadow the scene of their awful wickedness; 

darkness was spread over the eyes of the unbelieving, that 

the light of faith might rise again. Bede; But Luke, wish- 

VER. 44 4G. ST. LUKE. 759 

ing to join miracle to miracle, adds, A/td the veil of the 
temple was rent in twain. This took place when our 
Lord expired, as Matthew and Mark bear witness, but Luke 
related it by anticipation. 

Theophyl. By this then our Lord shewed that the Holy 
of Holies should be no longer inaccessible, but being given 
over into the hands of the Romans, should be defiled, and 
its entrance laid open. Ambrose ; The veil also is rent, by 
which is declared the division of the tw^o people, and the 
profanation of the synagogue. The old veil is rent that the 
Church may hang up the new veils of faith. The covering of 
the synagogue is drawn up, that we may behold with the 
eyes of the mind the inward mysteries of religion now 
revealed to us. Theophyl. Whereby it is signified that the 
veil which kept us asunder from the holy things which are 
in heaven, is broken through, namely, enmity and sin. 
Ambkose; It took place also at that time when ever}^ mystery 
of Christ's assumed mortality was fulfilled, and His immortality 
alone remained ; as it follows, And when Jesus had cried 
ivith a loud voice^ he said. 

Bede ; By invoking the Father He declares Himself to be 
the Son of God, but by commending His Spirit, He signifies 
not the weakness of His strength, but His confidence in the 
same power with the Father. Ambrose ; The flesh dies that 
the Spirit may rise again. The Spirit is commended to the 
Father, that heavenly things also may be loosed from the 
chain of iniquity, and peace be made in heaven, which earthly 
things should follow. 

Chrys. Now this voice teaches us, that the souls of the 
saints are not henceforth shut up in hell as before, but are 
with Grod, Christ being made the beginning of this change. 
Athan. For He commends to His Father through Himself Athan. 
all mankind quickened in Him; for we are His members ; ^f^"^^^* 

T ' ' et cont. 

as the Apostle says. Ye are all one in Christ. Greg. Nyss. Ar. 
But it becomes us to enquire how our Lord distributes ^i, ' ' 
Himself into three parts at once ; into the bowels of the Gfreg. 

. . . ' Orat. i. 

earth, as He told the Pharisees; into the Paradise of God, as de Res. 
He told the thief; into the hands of the Father, as it is said 
here. To those however who rightly consider, it is scarcely 
worthy of question, for He who by His divine power is in every 


place, is present in any particular place. Ambrose ; His 

spirit then is commended to God, but though He is above 

He yet gives light to the parts below the earth, that all things 

may be redeemed. For Christ is all things, and in Christ 

Greg, are all things. Greg. Nyss. There is another explanation, 

that at the time of His Passion, His Divinity being once united 

to His humanity, left neither part of His humanity, but of its 

own accord separated the soul from the body, yet shewed 

itself abiding in each. For through the body in which He 

suffered death He vanquished the power of death, but 

through the soul He prepared for the thief an entrance into 

Is. 49, Paradise. Now Isaiah says of the heavenly Jerusalem, 

LXX. which is no other than Paradise, Upon my hands I have 

painted thy walls; whence it is clear, that he who is 

Damasc.i^ Paradise dwelleth in the hands of the Father. Damasc. 

^°™-^e Qx to speak more expressly, In respect of His body. He was 

San. in the grave, in respect of His soul, He was in hell, and 

with the thief in Paradise; but as God, on the throne with 

His Father and the Holy Spirit. Theophyl. But crying 

with a loud voice He gives up the ghost, because He had in 

Himself the power of laying down His life and taking it up 

again. Ambrose ; He gave up His Spirit, because He did 

not lose it as one unwilling ; for what a man sends forth is 

voluntary, what he loses, compulsory. 

47. Now when the centurion saw what was done, 
he glorified God, saying. Certainly this was a righte- 
ous man. 

48. And all the people that came together to that 
sight, beholding the things which were done, smote 
their breasts, and returned. 

49. And all his acquaintance, and the women that 
followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding 
these things. 

Aug. iv. Aug. When after uttering that voice He immediately gave 

de Trin. ^p the ghost, tliosB who were present greatly marvelled. 

For those who hung upon the cross were generally tortured 

by a prolonged death. Hence it is said, Noiv ithen the 

VES. 47 — 49. ST. LUKK. 761 

centurion saw,S^c. Aug. There is no contradiction in that Aug. 
Matthew says, that the centurion seeing the earthquake mar- jf^ j°^] 
veiled, whereas Luke says that he marvelled, that Jesus while "ic- 20. 
uttering the loud voice expired, shewing what power He had 
when He was dying. But in that Matthew not only says, 
at the sight of the earthquake^ but added, and at the things 
that were done, he has made it clear that there was ample 
room for Luke to say, that the centurion marvelled at the 
death of the Lord. But because Luke also himself said. 
Now ivhen the centurion saw what was done^ he has in- 
cluded in that general expression all the marvellous things 
which took place at that hour, as if relating one marvellous 
event of which all those miracles were the parts and mem- 
bers. Again, because one Evangelist stated that the centu- 
rion said, Tridy this man was the Son of God, but Luke 
gives the words, was a just man, they might be supposed to 
differ. But either we ought to understand that both these 
were said by the centurion, and that one Evangelist related one, 
another another. Or perhaps, that Luke expresses the opinion 
of the centurion, in what respect he c-dled Him the Son of 
God. For perhaps the centurion did not know Him to be 
the Only-begotten, equal to the Father, but called Him the 
Son of God, because he believed Him to be just, as many 
just persons are called the sons of God. But again, because Gen. 6, 
Matthew added, those who were with the centurion, while 
Luke omits this, there is no contradiction, since one says 
what another is silent about. And Matthew said. They were 
greatly afraid; but Luke does not say that he feared, but 
that he glorified God. Who then does not see that by 
fearing he glorified God } 

Theophyl. The words of our Lord seem now to be ful- 
filled, wherein He said, When I shall be lifted up I will 
draw all men unto me. For when lifted upon the cross He 
drew to Him the thief and the centurion, besides some of the 
Jews also, of whom it follows. And all the people that came 
together smote their breasts. Bede ; By their smiting their 
breasts as if betokening a penitential sorrow, two things may 
be understood; either that they bewailed Him unjustly slain 
whose life they loved, or that remembering that they had 
demanded His death, they trembled to see Him in death 


still farther glorified. But we may observe, that the Gentiles 
fearing God glorify Him with works of public confession ; 
the Jews only striking their breasts returned silent home. 

Ambrose ; O the breasts of the Jews, harder than the rocks ! 
The judge acquits, the officer believes, the traitor by his 
death condemns his own crime, the elements flee away, the 
earth quakes, the graves are opened; the hardness of the Jews 
still remains immoveable, though the whole world is shaken. 
Bede ; Rightly then by the centurion is the faith of the 
Church signified, which in the silence of the synagogue bears 
witness to the Son of God. And now is fulfilled that com- 
Ps. 88, plaint which the Lord makes to His Father, neighbour and 
friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance 
because of misery. Hence it follows. And all his acquaint- 
ance stood afar off. Theophyl. But the race of women 
formerly cursed remains and sees all these things ; for it 
follows. And the women which followed him from Galilee, 
seeing these things. And thus they are the first to be renewed 
by justification, or by the blessing which flows fi*om His 
passion, as also from His resurrection. 

50. And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, 
a counsellor ; and he was a good man, and a just : 

51. (The same had not consented to the counsel 
and deed of them ;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of 
the Jews : who also himself waited for the kingdom 
of God. 

52. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the 
body of Jesus. 

53. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, 
and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, 
wherein never man before was laid. 

54. And that day was the preparation, and the 
sabbath drew on. 

55. And the women also, which came with him 
from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, 
and how his body was laid. 

5Q. And they returned, and prepared spices and 

VER. 50 — 56. ST. LUKK. 763 

ointments ; and rested the sabbath day according to 
the commandment. 

Greek Ex. Joseph had been at one time a secret disciple Pliotius. 
of Christ, but at length bursting through the bonds of fear, 
and become very zealous, he took down the body of our Lord, 
basely hanging on the cross; thus gaining a precious jewel by 
the meekness of His words. Hence it follows, And, behold, 
there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor. Bede ; A coun- 
sellor, or decurio, is so called because he is of the order of 
the curia or council, and administers the office of the 
curia. He is also wont to be called curialis, from his 
management of civil duties. Joseph then is said to have 
been of high rank in the world, but of still higher estimation 
before God ; as it follows, A good man, and a just, of Ari- 
mathoia, a city of the Jews, 8^c. Arimathaea is the same as 
Ramatha, the city of Helcanah and Samuel. 

Aug. Now John says, that Joseph was a disciple of Jesus. Aug. 
Hence it is also here added, Who also himself wailed for ^A^Ev. Hb. 
kingdom of God. But it naturally causes surprise how hei"'<'-22. 
who for fear was a secret disciple should have dared to beg 
our Lord's body, which none of those who openly followed 
Him dared to do ; for it is said. This man went unto Pilate, 
and begged the body of Jesus. We must understand then, 
that he did this from confidence in his rank, by which he 
might be privileged to enter familiarly into Pilate's presence. 
But in performing that last funeral rite, he seems to have 
cared less for the Jews, although it was his custom in hearing 
our Lord to avoid their hostility. 

Bede ; So then being fitted by the righteousness of his 
works for the burial of our Lord's body, he was worthy by 
the dignity of his secular power to obtain it. Hence it 
follows. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen* By 
the simple burial of our Lord, the pride of the rich is con- 
demned, who not even in their graves can be without their 
wealth. Athan. They also act absurdly who embalm theAthau. 
bodies of their dead, and do not bury them, even supposing ^^^^^Vq. 
them to be holy. For what can be more holy or greater than 
our Lord's body? And yet this was placed in a tomb until it 
rose again the third day. For it follows, And he laid it in 


a lieun sepulchre. Bede; That is, hewn out of a rock, lest if 
it had been built of many stones, and the foundations of the 
tomb being dug up after the resurrection, the body should be 
said to have been stolen away. It is laid also in a new tomb, 
tcherein never man before was laid^ lest when the rest of the 
bodies remained after the resurrection, it might be suspected 
that some other had risen again. But because man was 
created on the sixth day, rightly being crucified on the sixth 
day our Lord fulfilled the secret of man's restitution. It 
follows, And it itas the day of the Tragota-xsvY), which means 
the preparation, the name by which they called the sixth 
day, because on that day they prepared the things which 
were necessary for the Sabbath. But because on the seventh 
day the Creator rested from His work, the Lord on the 
Sabbath rested in the grave. Hence it follows. And the 
Sabbalh was dawning. Now we said above, that all His 
acquaintance stood afar off, and the women which followed 
Him. These then of His acquaintance, after His body was 
taken down, returned to their homes, but the women who 
more tenderly loved Him, following His funeral, desired to 
see the place where He was laid. For it follows. And the 
women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed 
after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid, 
that in truth they might make the offerings of their devotion 
at the proper time. 

Theophyl. For they had not yet sufficient faith, but pre- 
pared as if for a mere man spices and ointments, after the 
manner of the Jews, who performed such duties to their dead. 
Hence it follows. And they returned, and prepared' spices. 
For our Lord being buried, they were occupied as long as it 
was lawful to work, (that is, until sun-set,) in preparing 
ointments. But it was commanded to keep silence on the 
Sabbath, that is, rest from evening to evening. For it 
follows. And rested the sabbath day according to the com- 

Ambrose ; Now mystically, the just man buries the body of 
Christ. For the burial of Christ is such as to have no guile 
or wickedness in it. But rightly did Matthew call the man 
rich, for by carrying Him that was rich he knew not the 
})()\orty of faith. The just man covers the body ol Christ 

VEU. 50 — 56. ST. LUKK. 705 

with linen. Do thou also clothe the body of Christ with 
His own glory, that thou mayest be thyself just. And if thou 
believest it to be dead, still cover it with the fulness of His 
own divinity. But the Church also is clothed with the grace 
of innocence. 

Hede; He also wraps Jesus in clean linen, who has 
received Him with a pure mind. Ambrose ; Nor without 
meaning has one Evangelist spoken of a new tomb, another 
of the tomb of Joseph. For the grave is prepared by those 
who are under the law of death ; the Conqueror of death has 
no grave of His own. For what fellowship hath God with 
the grave. He alone is enclosed in this tomb, because the 
death of Christ, although it was common according to the 
nature of the body, yet was it peculiar in respect of power. 
But Christ is rightly buried in the tomb of the just, that He 
may rest in the habitation of justice. For this monument 
the just man hews out with the piercing word in the hearts 
of Gentile hardness, that the power of Christ might extend 
over the nations. And very rightly is there a stone rolled 
against the tomb ; for whoever has in himself truly buried 
Christ, must diligently guard, lest he lose Him, or lest there 
be an entrance for unbelief. 

Bede ; Now that the Lord is crucified on the sixth day 
and rests on the seventh, signifies that in the sixth age of 
the world we must of necessity suffer for Christ, and as it 
were be crucified to the world. But in the seventh age, that ^^^- ^> 
is, after death, our bodies indeed rest in the tombs, but our 
souls with the Lord. But even at the present time also holy 
women, (that is, humble souls,) fervent in love, diligently 
wait upon the Passion of Christ, and if perchance they may 
be able to imitate Him, with anxious carefulness ponder 
each step in order, by which this Passion is fulfilled. And 
having read, heard, and called to mind all these, they next 
apply themselves to make ready the works of virtue, by which 
Christ may be pleased, in order that having finished the 
preparation of this present life, in a blessed rest they may 
at the time of the resiuTection meet Christ with the frankin- 
cence of spiritual actions. 


1. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in 
the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing 
the spices which they had prepared, and certain others 
with them. 

2. And they found the stone rolled away from the 

3. And they entered in, and found not the body of 
the Lord Jesus. 

4. And it came to pass, as they were much per- 
plexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in 
shining garments : 

5. And as they were afraid, and bowed down their 
faces to the earth, they said unto them. Why seek ye 
the living among the dead ? 

6. He is not here, but is risen : remember how he 
spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 

7. Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into 
the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the 
third day rise again. 

8. And they remembered his words, 

9. And returned from the sepulchre, and told all 
these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. 

10. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and 
Mary the mother of James, and other women that 
were with them, which told these things unto the 

11. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, 
and they believed them not. 


12. Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre ; 
and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid 
by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at 
that which was come to pass. 

Bede ; Devout women not only on the day of preparation, 
but also when the sabbath was passed, that is, at sun-set, as 
soon as the liberty of working returned, bought spices that 
they might come and anoint the body of Jesus, as Mark testi-Mark 
fies. Still as long as night time restrained them, they came ' 
not to the sepulchre. And therefore it is said. On the first 
day of the week, very early in the morning, ^c. One of theunaSab- 
Sabbath, or the first of the Sabbath, is the first day fi-om the 
Sabbath; which Christians are wont to call " the Lord's day," 
because of our Lord's resurrection. But by the women coming 
to the sepulchre very early in the morning, is manifested their 
great zeal and fervent love of seeking and finding the Lord. 
Ambrose; Now this place has caused great perplexity to 
many, because while St. Luke says. Very early in the morning, 
Matthew says that it was in the evening of the sabbath that 
the women came to the sepulchre. But you may suppose 
that the Evangelists spoke of different occasions, so as to 
understand both different parties of women, and different 
appearances. Because however it was written, that in theMzxt, 
evening of the sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the ' ' 
first day of the week, our Lord rose, we must so take it, 
as that neither on the morning of the Lord's day, which is 
the first after the sabbath, nor on the sabbath, the resurrec- 
tion should be thought to have taken place. For how are 
the three days fulfilled? Not then as the day grew towards 
evening, but in the evening of the night He rose. Lastly, 
in the Greek it is " late;" but late signifies both the hour oXi^x 
the end of the day, and the slowness of any thing; as we say, 
"' I have been lately told." Late then is also the dead of the 
night. And thus also the women had the opportunity of 
coming to the sepulchre when the guards were asleep. And 
that you may know it was in the night time, some of the women 
are ignorant of it. They know who watch night and day, they 
know not who have gone back. According to John, one Mary 


Magdalene knows not, for the same person coukl not first 
know and then afterwards be ignorant. Therefore if there 
are several Maries, perhaps also there are several Mary 
Magdalenes, since the former is the name of a person, the 
Aug. de second is derived from a place. Aug. Or Matthew by the 
lib. iii. fii'st part of the night, which is the evening, wished to represent 
^- 2^* the night itself, at the end of which night they came to the 
sepulchre, and for this reason, because they had been now 
preparing since the evening, and it was lawful to bring spices 
because the sabbath was over. Euseb. The Instrument of 
the Word lay dead, but a great stone enclosed the sepulchre, 
as if death had led Him captive. But three days had not 
yet elapsed, when life again puts itself forth after a sufficient 
proof of death, as it follows. And they found the stone rolled 
away. Theophyl. An angel had rolled it away, as Matthew 
Cbrys. declares. Chrys. But the stone was rolled away after the 
90. in resurrection, on account of the women, that they might 
Matt, believe that the Lord had risen again, seeing indeed the 
grave without the body. Hence it follows. And they entered 
in^ and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. Cyril ; When 
then they found not the body of Christ which was risen, they 
were distracted by various thoughts, and for their love of 
Christ and the tender care they had shewn Him, were thought 
worthy of the vision of angels. For it follows, And it came 
to pass as they were inuch perplexed thereabout^ behold^ 
two men stood by them in shining garments. Euseb. The 
messengers of the health-bearing resurrection and their 
shining garments stand for tokens of pleasantness and re- 
joicing. For Moses preparing plagues against the Egyptians, 
perceived an angel in the flame of fire. But not such were 
those who appeared to the women at the sepulchre, but 
calm and joyful as became them to be seen in the kingdom 
and joy of the Lord. And as at the Passion the sun was 
darkened, holding forth signs of sorrow and woe to the 
crucifiers of our Lord, so the angels, heralds of life and 
resurrection, marked by their white garments the character 
of the health-bearing feast day. 

Ambrose; But how is it that Mark has mentioned one 
young man sitting in white garments, and Matthew one, but 
John and Luke relate that there were seen two angels sitting 

VER. 1 12. ST. LUKE. 769 

in white garments. Aug. We may understand that one 
Angel was seen by the women, as both Mark and Matthew ^ gup. ' 
say, so as supposing them to have entered into the sepulchre, 
that is, into a certain space which was fenced ofl' by a kind of 
wall in front of the stone sepulchre ; and that there they saw 
an Angel sitting on the right hand, which Mark says, but 
that afterwards when they looked into the place where our 
Lord was lying, they saw within two other Angels standing, 
(as Luke says,) who spoke to encourage their minds, and build 
up their faith. Hence it follows. And as they were afraid. 
Bede ; The holy women, when the Angels stood beside them, 
are reported not to have fallen to the ground, but to have 
bowed their faces to the earth ; nor do we read that any of the 
saints, at the time of our Lord's resurrection, worshipped with 
prostration to the ground either our Lord Himself, or the 
Angels who appeared to them. Hence has arisen the eccle- 
siastical custom, either in memory of our Lord's resurrection, 
or in the hope of our own, of praying on every Lord's day, 
and through the whole season of Pentecost, not with bended 
knees, but with our faces bowed to the earth. But not in 
the sepulchre, which is the place of the dead, was He to be 
sought, who rose from the dead to life. And therefore 
it is added, They said to Uiein, that is, the Angels to 
the women, WJiy seek ye the living among the dead ? He 
is not here, hut is 7'isen. On the third day then, as He 
Himself foretold to the women, together with the rest of 
His disciples, He celebrated the triumph of His resurrec- 
tion. Hence it follows, Remember how he spake unto you 
when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be 
delivered into the hands af sinful men, and be crucified, and 
on the third day rise again, <^'c. For on the day of the prepara- 
tion at the ninth hour giving up the ghost, buried in the 
evening, early on the morning of the first day of the week He 
rose again. Athan. He might indeed at once have raised Athan. 
His body from the dead. But some one would have said inc.Fil. 
that He was never dead, or that death plainly had never ex- ^®*- " 
isted in Him. And perhaps if the resurrection of our Lord 
had been delayed beyond the third day, the glory of incorrup- 
tion had been concealed, hi order therefore to shew His body 
to be dead. He suffered the interval of one day, and on the 

VOL. III. 3 D 


third day manifested His body to be without corruption. 
Bede ; One day and two nights also He lay in the sepulchre, 
because He joined the light of His single death to the dark- 
ness of our double death. 

Cyril; Now the women, when they had received the 
sayings of the Angels, hastened to tell them to the disciples; 
as it follows, And they remembered his words, and returned 
from the sepulchre, and told all these things to the eleven, 
and to all the rest. For woman who was once the minister 
of death, is now the first to receive and tell the awful mystery 
of the resurrection. The female race has obtained therefore 
both deliverance from reproach, and the withdrawal of the 
] Tim. curse. Ambrose; It is not allowed to women to teach in the 
I'cor. church, but they shall ask their husbands at home. To those 
14, 35. tiien who are at home is the woman sent. But who these 
women were he explains, adding, It was Mary Magdalene, 
Bede; (who was also the sister of Lazarus,) and Joanna, (the 
wife of Chuza, Herod's steward,) and Mary the mother of 
James, (that is, the mother of James the less, and Joseph.) 
And it is added generally of the others, and other women 
that were with them, which told these things to the Apostles. 
Bede. Bede; For that the woman might not endure the everlast- 
ing reproach of guilt from men, she who had transfused 
sin into the man, now also transfuses grace. Theofhyl. 
Now the miracle of the resurrection is naturally incre- 
dible to mankind. Hence it follows, And their words seemed 
Bede. to them as idle tales. Bede; Which was not so much their 
'^^^' weakness, as so to speak our strength. For the resun*ec- 
tion itself was demonstrated to those who doubted by many 
proofs, which while we read and acknowledge we are through 
their doubts confirmed in the truth. 

Theophyl. Peter, as soon as he heard this, delays not, but 
runs to the sepulchre ; for fire when applied to matter knows 
no delay ; as it follows. Then arose Peter, and ran to the 

EusEB. For he alone believed the women saying that they 
had seen Angels; and as he was of more ardent feelings than 
the rest, he anxiously put himself foremost, looking every 
where for the Lord; as it follows. And stooping down, he 
beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves. Theophyl. But 

VER. 1 — 12. ST. LUKE. 77l 

now when he was at the tomb, he first of all obtained that he 
should marvel at those things which had before been derided 
by himself or the others ; as it is said, A?id departed, iconder- 
ing in himself at that which was come to pass; that is, won- 
dering in himself at the way in which it had happened, how the 
linen clothes had been left behind, since the body was anointed 
with myrrh ; or what opportunity the thief had obtained, 
that putting away the clothes wrapped up by themselves, he 
should take away the body with the soldiers standing round. 
Aug. Luke is supposed to have mentioned this concerning 
Peter, recapitulating. For Peter ran to the sepulchre at the 
same time that John also went, as soon as it had been told to 
them alone by the women, (especially Mary Magdalene,) that 
the body was taken away. But the vision of Angels took 
place afterwards. Luke therefore mentioned Peter only, 
because to him Mary first told it. It may also strike one, 
that Luke says that Peter, not entering but stooping down, 
saw the linen clothes by themselves, and departed wondering, 
whereas John says, that he himself saw the linen clothes in 
the same position, and that he entered after Peter. We must 
understand then that Peter first saw them stooping down, 
which Luke mentions, John omits, but that he afterw^ards 
entered before John came in. 

Bede; According to the mystical meaning, by the women 
coming early in the morning to the sepulchre, we have an 
example given us, that having cast away the darkness of our 
vices, we should come to the Body of the Lord. For that 
sepulchre also bore the figure of the Altar of the Lord, wherein 
the mysteries of Christ's Body, not in silk or purple cloth, but 
in pure white linen, like that in which Joseph wrapped it, 
ought to be consecrated, that as He offered up to death for 
us the true substance of His earthly nature, so we also in 
commemoration of Him should place on the Altar the flax, 
pure from the plant of the earth, and white, and in many ways 
refined by a kind of crushing to death. But the spices which 
the women bring, signify the odour of virtue, and the sweet- 
ness of prayers by which we ought to approach the Altar. 
The rolling back of the stone alludes to the unclosing of the 
Sacraments which were concealed by the veil of the letter of 
the law which was written on stone, the covering of which 

3 D 2 

6, 16. 


being taken away, the dead body of the Lord is not found, 
but the living body is preached; for although we have known 
2 Cor. Christ according to the flesh, yet now henceforth know we 
Him no more. But as when the Body of our Lord lay in the 
sepulchre, Angels are said to have stood by, so also at the 
time of consecration are they to be believed to stand by the 
mysteries of Christ. Let us then after the example of the 
devout women, whenever we approach the heavenly mysteries, 
because of the presence of the Angels, or from reverence to 
the Sacred Offering, with all humility, bow our faces to the 
earth, recollecting that we are but dust and ashes. 

13. And, behold, two of them went that same day 
to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusa- 
lem about threescore furlongs. 

14. And they talked together of all these things 
which had happened. 

15. And it came to pass, that, while they communed 
together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and 
went with them. 

16. But their eyes were holden that they should 
not know him. 

17. And he said unto them. What manner of com- 
munications are these that ye have one to another, as 
ye walk, and are sad? 

18. And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, 
answering said unto him. Art thou only a stranger in 
Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are 
come to pass there in these days? 

19. And he said unto them. What things? And 
they said unto him. Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, 
which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before 
God and all the people : 

20. And how the chief priests and our rulers 
delivered him to be condemned to death, and have 
crucified him. 

21. But we trusted that it had been he which should 

VER. 13—24. ST. LUKE. 773 

have redeemed Israel : and beside all this, to day is 
the third day since these things were done. 

22. Yea, and certain women also of our company 
made us astonished, which were early at the sepul- 
chre ; 

23. And when they found not his body, they came, 
saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, 
which said that he was alive. 

24. And certain of them which were with us went 
to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women 
had said: but him they saw not. 

Gloss. After the manifestation of Christ's resuiTection non occ. 
made by the Angels to the women, the same resurrection is 
further manifested by an appearance of Christ Himself to His 
disciples; as it is said, And behold two of them. Theophyl. 
Some say that Luke was one of these two, and for this reason 
concealed his name. Ambrose ; Or to two of the disciples 
by themselves our Lord shewed Himself in the evening, 
namely, Ammaon and Cleophas. Aug. The fortress men- ^"g- ^e 
tioned here we may not unreasonably take to have been also lib. in. 
called according to Mark, a village. He next describes the^* ^^' 
fortress, saying, tchich was from Jerusalem about the space 
of sixty stades, called Emniaus. Bede; It is the same as 
Nicopolis, a remarkable town in Palestine, which after the 
taking of Judaea under the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Anto- 
nius, changed together with its condition its name also. But 
the stadium which, as the Greeks say, was invented by Her- 
cules to measure the distances of roads, is the eighth part of a 
mile ; therefore sixty stades are equal to seven miles and fifty 
paces. And this was the length of journey which they were 
walking, who were certain about our Lord's death and burial, 
but doubtful concerning His resurrection. For the resurrec- 
tion which took place after the seventh day of the week, no 
one doubts is implied in the number eight. The disciples 
therefore as they walk and converse about the Lord had com- 
pleted the sixth mile of theii\journey,for they were grievingthat 
He who had lived without blame, had come at length even to 


death, which He underwent on the sixth day. They had com- 
pleted also the seventh mile, for they doubted not that He 
rested in the grave. But of the eighth mile they had only 
accomplished half; for the glory of His aheady triumphant 
resurrection, they did not believe perfectly. 

Theophyl. But the disciples above mentioned talked to 
one another of the things which had happened, not as be- 
lieving them, but as bewildered at events so extraordinary. 
Bede; And as they spoke of Him, the Lord comes near and 
joins them, that He may both influence their minds with faith 

Mat.i8,in His resurrection, and fulfil that which He had promised, 
Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there 
am I in the midst of them ; as it follows. And it came to 
pass ivhile they communed together and reasoned^ Jesus him- 
self drew 7iear and went with them, Theophyl. For having 
now obtained a spiritual body, distance of place is no obstacle 
to His being present to whom He wished, nor did He any 
further govern His body by natural laws, but spiritually and 
supernaturally. Hence as Mark says. He appeared to them 
in a different form, in which they were not permitted to know 
Him; for it follows. Arid their eyes were holden that they 
should not know him; in order truly that they may reveal 
their entirely doubtful conceptions, and uncovering their 
wound may receive a cure ; and that they might know that 
although the same body which suffered, rose again, yet it was 
no longer such as to be visible to all, but only to those by 
whom He willed it to be seen ; and that they should not 
wonder why henceforth He walks not among the people, 
seeing that His conversation was not fit for mankind, but 
rather divine ; which is also the character of the resurrection 
to come, in which we shall walk as the Angels and the sons 
/_ of God. 

Greg. Greg. Rightly also He refrained fi^om manifesting to them a 
form which they might recognise, doing that outwardly in the 
eyes of the body, which was done by themselves inwardly in the 
eyes of the mind. For they in themselves inwardly both loved 
and doubted. Therefore to them as they talked of Him He 
exhibited His presence, but as they doubted of Him He con- 
cealed the appearance which they knew. He indeed con- 
versed with them, for it follows, And he said to them, What 

23. iu 

VER. 13 — 24. ST. LUKE. 775 

manner of communications, S^c. Greek Ex. They were inAnonm, 
truth discoursing among themselves, no longer expecting to Qj. ^ * 
see Christ alive, but sorrowing as concerning their Saviour 
slain. Hence it follows, And one of them whose name was 
CleopJias, answering him said. Art thou only a stranger? 
Theophyl. As if he said, " Art thou a mere stranger, and 
one dwelling beyond the confines of Jerusalem, and therefore 
unacquainted with what has happened in the midst of it, that 
thou knowest not these things ? Bede ; Or he says this, 
because they thought Him a stranger, whose countenance 
they did not recognise. But in reality He was a stranger to 
them, from the infirmity of whose natures, now that He 
had obtained the glory of the resurrection. He was far re- 
moved, and to whose faith, as yet ignorant of His resurrec- 
tion, He remained foreign. But again the Lord asks; for it ^ 
follows, And he said unto them. What things? And their 
answer is given, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a 
Prophet. They confess Him to be a Prophet, but say nothing 
of the Son of God ; either not yet perfectly believing, or 
fearful of falling into the hands of the persecuting Jew^s ; 
either knowing not who He was, or concealing the truth 
which they believed. They add in praise of Him, mighty in > 
deed and word. Theophyl. First comes deed, then word ; 
for no word of teaching is approved unless first he who teaches 
shews himself to be a doer thereof. For acting goes before 
sight ; for unless by thy works thou hast cleansed the glass 
of the understanding, the desired brightness does not appear. 
But still further it is added, Before God and all the people. 
For first of all we must please God, and then have regard as 
far as we can to honesty before men, that placing the honour 
of God first, we may live without offence to mankind. ^ 

Greek Ex. They next assign the cause of their sadness, the ut sup, 
betrayal and passion of Christ; and add in the voice of 
despair. But we hoped it had been he who should have 
redeemed Israel. We hoped, (he says,) not we hope ; as if 
the death of the Lord were like to the deaths of other men. 
Theophyl. For they expected that Christ would redeem 
Israel from the evils that were rising up among them and the 
Roman slavery. They trusted also that He was an earthly 
king, whom they thought would be able to escape the 


sentence of death passed upon Him. Bede ; Reason had 
they then for sorrow, because in some sort they blamed 
themselves for having hoped redemption in Him whom now 
the}' saw dead, and believed not that He would rise again, 
and most of all they bewailed Him put to death without a 
cause, whom they knew to be innocent. Theophyl. And 
yet those men seem not to have been altogether without faith, 
by what follows, And besides all this, to day is the third 
day since these things were done. Whereby they seem to 
have a recollection of what the Lord had told them that He 
would rise again on the third day. Greek Ex. The dis- 
ciples also mention the report of the resurrection which was 
brought by the women ; adding. Yea, and certain women 
also of our company made us astonished, Sfc. They say this 
indeed as if they did not believe it; wherefore they speak of 
themselves as frightened or astonished. For they did con- 
sider as established what was told them, or that there had 
been an angelic revelation, but derived from it reason for 
astonishment and alarm. The testimony of Peter also they 
did not regard as certain, since he did not say that he had 
seen our Lord, but conjectured His resurrection from the fact 
that His body was not lying in the sepulchre. Hence it 
follows, And certain of them that were with us went, 8^*c. 
-^"S* Aug. But since Luke has said that Peter ran to the sepulchre, 

ut sup. ^ ^ ' 

and has himself related the words of Cleophas, that some of 
them went to the sepulchre, he is understood to confirm the 
testimony of John, that two went to the sepulchre. He first 
mentioned Peter only, because to him first Mary had related 
the news. 

25. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of 
heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken : 

26. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, 
and to enter into his glory? 

27. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, 
lie expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the 
things concerning himself. 

28. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither 

VER. 25 35. ST LUKE. 777 

they went : and he made as though he would have 
gone further. 

29. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with 
us : for it is toward evening, and the day is far 
spent. And he went in to tarry with them. 

30. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with 
them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and 
gave to them. 

31. And their eyes were opened, and they knew 
him ; and he vanished out of their sight. 

32. And they said one to another. Did not our 
heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the 
way, and wliile he opened to us the Scriptures ? 

33. And they rose up the same hour, and returned 
to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, 
and them that were with them, 

34. Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath 
appeared to Simon. 

35. And they told what things were done in the 
way, and how he was known of them in breaking of 

Theophyl. Because the above-mentioned disciples were 
troubled with too much doubt, the Lord reproves them, say- 
ing, O fools, (for they almost used the same words as those 
who stood by the cross, He saved others, himself he cannot 
yjave.) And He proceeds, and slow of heart to believe all 
that the prophets have spoken. For it is possible to believe 
some of these things and not all ; as if a man should believe 
what the Prophets say of the cross of Christ, as in the 
Psalms, They pierced my hands and 7ny feet ; but should not Ps. 22, 
believe what they say of the resurrection, as, Thou shall not pj ,g 
suffer thy Holy One to see corruption. But it becomes us lo. 
in all things to give faith to the Prophets, as well in the 
glorious things which they predicted of Christ, as the 
inglorious, since through the suflering of evil things 

<<y^^^ -:^ .0 


^ V couue-S" ^ c^ 


entrance into glory. Hence it follows, Ought not Christ to 
^ have suffered these things, and so to enter into his glory? 
that is, as respects His humanity. 
Isid.lib. IsiD. Pel. But although it behoved Christ to suffer, yet they 
98. ^* ^^^^^ crucified Him are guilty of inflicting the punishment. 
For they were not concerned to accomplish what God pur- 
posed. Therefore their execution of it was impious, but 
God's purpose most wise, who converted their iniquity into a 
blessing upon mankind, using as it were the viper's flesh for 
the working of a health-giving antidote. Chrys. And there- 
fore our Lord goes on to shew that all these things did not 
happen in a common way, but from the predestined purpose 
of God. Hence it follows. And heginning at Moses and all 
the Prophets, he expounded to them in all the Scriptures 
the things concerning himself. As if He said, Since ye are 
slow I will render you quick, by explaining to you the 
-.^mysteries of the Scriptures. For the sacrifice of Abraham, 
when releasing Isaac he sacrificed the ram, prefigured Christ's 
sacrifice. But in the other writings of the Prophets also 
there are scattered about mysteries of Christ's cross and the 
resurrection. Bede ; But if Moses and the Prophets spoke 
of Christ, and prophesied that through His Passion He 
would enter into glory, how does that man boast that he is a 
Christian, who neither searches how these Scriptures relate 
to Christ, nor desires to attain by suffering to that glory 
which he hopes to have with Christ. 

Greek Ex. But since the Evangelist said before. Their eyes 
were holden that they should not know him, until the words 
of the Lord should move their minds to faith. He fitly affords 
in addition to their hearing a favourable object to their sight. 
As it follows. And they drew nigh to the fortress whither 
they were going, and he feigned as if he was going further. 
A"g- Aug. Now this relates not to falsehood. For not every 
Ev. lib. thing we feign is a falsehood, but only when we feign that 
which means nothing. But when our feigning has reference 
to a certain meaning it is not a falsehood, but a kind of 
figure of the tmth. Otherwise all the things figuratively 
spoken by wise and holy men, or even by our Lord Himself, 
must be accounted falsehoods. For to the experienced 
understanding truth consists not in certain words, but 

ii. c. 51, 

VER. 25 — 35. ST. LUKE. 779 

as words so also deeds are feigned vyithout falsehood to 
signify a particular thing. ^< *^^/U/^ A<^^ 

Greg. Because then He was still a stranger to faith in their Greg. 


hearts, He feigned as if he would go further. By the word 22 in 
" iingere" we mean to put together or form, and hence formers E^* 
or preparers of mud we call " iiguli." He who was the Truth 
itself did nothing then by deceit, but exhibited Himself in 
the body such as He came before them in their minds. But 
because they could not be strangers to charity, with whom 
charity was walking, they invite Him as if a stranger to 
partake of their hospitality. Hence it follows, And they 
compelled him. From which example it is gathered that 
strangers are not only to be invited to hospitality, but even 
to be taken by force. Gloss. They not only compel Him 
by their actions, but induce Him by their words; for it 
follows, saying, Abide with us, for it is towards evening, 
and the day is far gone, (that is, towards its close.) 

Greg. Now behold Christ since He is received through Greg. 
His members, so He seeks His receivers through Himself;" ^"^* 
for it follows, And he went in with them. They lay out a 
table, they bring food. And God whom they had not known 
in the expounding of Scriptures, they knew in the breaking 
of bread ; for it follows, A7id it came to pass, as he sat at 
meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and 
gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew 
him. Chrys. This was said not of their bodily eyes, but of 
their mental sight. Aug. For they walked not with their Aug. 
eyes shut, but there was something within them which did ^^ j^{J* 
not permit them to know that which they saw, which a mist, iii-c.25. 
darkness, or some kind of moisture, frequently occasions. Not 
that the Lord was not able to transform His flesh that it 
should be really a different form from that which they were 
accustomed to behold; since in truth also before His passion, 
He was transfigured in the mount, so that His face was 
bright as the sun. But it was not so now. For we do not 
unfitly take this obstacle in the sight to have been caused by 
Satan, that Jesus might not be known. But still it was so 
permitted by Christ up to the sacrament of the bread, that by 
partaking of the unity of His body, the obstacle of the enemy 
might be understood to be removed, so that Christ might be 


known. Theophyl. But He also implies another thing, 
that the eyes of those who receive the sacred bread are 
opened that they should know Christ. For the Lord's flesh 
has in it a great and ineffable power. 

Aug. Aug. Or because the Lord feigned as if He would go 

farther, when He was accompanying the disciples, expounding 
to them the sacred Scriptures, who knew not whether it was 
He, what does He mean to imply but that through the duty 
of hospitality men may an'ive at a knowledge of Him; that 
when He has departed from mankind far above the heavens, 
He is still with those who perform this duty to His servants. 
He therefore holds to Christ, that He should not go farfromhim, 
whoever being taught in the word communicates in all good 

Gal. 6, things to him who teaches. For they were taught in the 
word when He expounded to them the Scriptures. And 
because they followed hospitality. Him whom they knew not 
in the expounding of the Scriptures, they know in the breaking 

Rom. 2, of bread. For not the hearers of the law^ are just before God, 
but the doers of the law shall be justified. 

Greg. Greg. Whoever then wishes to understand what he has 
^"P* heard, let him hasten to fulfil in work what he can now 
understand. Behold the Lord was not known when He was 
speaking, and He vouchsafed to be known when He is 
eating. It follows. And he vanished out of their sight. 
Theophyl. For He had not such a body as that He was 
able to abide longer with them, that thereby likewise He 
might increase their affections. And they said one to another^ 
Did not our hearts hum within us while he talked with 
us by the ivay, and while he opened to us the scriptures? 
Origen; By which is implied, that the words uttered by the 
Saviour inflamed the hearts of the hearers to the love of 

<^>*eg. God. Greg. By the word which is heard the spirit is kindled, 

]0. in the chill of dulness departs, the mind becomes awakened 

'^^^ with heavenly desire. It rejoices to hear heav^enly precepts, 
and every command in which it is instructed, is as it were 
adding a faggot to the fire. Theophyl. Their hearts then 
were turned either by the fire of our Lord's words, to which 
they listened as the truth, or because as He expounded the 
Scriptures, their hearts were greatly struck within them, that 
He who was speaking was the Lord. Therefore were they 

VEIL 36—40. ST. LUKE. 781 

so rejoiced, that without delay they returned to Jerusalem. 

And hence what follows, And they rose up the same hour^ 

and returned to Jerusalem. They rose up indeed the same 

hour, but they arrived after many hours, as they had to travel 

sixty stadcs. 

Aug. Tt had been already reported that Jesus had risen Aug. 

by the women, and by Simon Peter, to whom He had ^f ^°": 
"^ . . Lv. 1.111. 

appeared. For these two disciples found them talking of c 25. 
these things when they came to Jerusalem ; as it follows. 
And they found the eleven gathered together, and them that 
were with them, saying. The Lord is risen indeed, and hath 
appeared to Simon. Bede; It seems that our Lord ap- 
peared to Peter first of all those whom the four Evangelists 
and the Apostle mention. Chrys. For He did not shew 
Himself to all at the same time, in order that He might sow 
the seeds of faith. For he who had first seen and was sure, 
told it to the rest. Afterwards the word going forth pre- 
pared the mind of the hearer for the sight, and therefore He 
appeared first to him who was of all the most wortliy and 
faithful. For He had need of the most faithful soul to first 
receive this sight, that it might be least disturbed by the 
unexpected appearance. And therefore He is first seen by 
Peter, that he who first confessed Christ should first deserve 
to see His resurrection, and also because he had denied Him 
He wished to see him first, to console him, lest he should 
despair. But after Peter, He appeared to the rest, at one 
time fewer in number, at another more, which the two 
disciples attest ; for it follows. And they told what things 
were done by the way, and how he was knovm of them in 
breaking of bread. Aug. But with respect to what Mark Aug. 
says, that they told the rest, and they did not believe them, ^^ ^"P* 
whereas Luke says, that they had already begun to say. The 
Lord is risen indeed, what must we understand, except that 
there were some even then who refused to believe this ? 

36. And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood 
in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be 
unto you. 

37. But they were terrified and affrighted, and 
supposed they had seen a spirit. 


38. And he said unto them. Why are ye troubled ? 
and why do thoughts arise in your hearts ? 

39. Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I 
myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not 
flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 

40. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed 
them his hands and feet. 

Chrys. The report of Christ's resurrection being pub- 
hshed every where by the Apostles, and while the anxiety 
of the disciples was easily awakened to see Christ, He 
that was so much desired comes, and is revealed to them that 
were seeking and expecting Him. Nor in a doubtful manner, 
but with the clearest evidence, He presents Himself, as it is 
said, And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the 
midst of them. 
Aug. Aug. This manifestation of our Lord after His resun-ection, 

E^v i^iii John also relates. But when John says that the Apostle 
e. 25. Thomas was not with the rest, while according to Luke, the 
two disciples on their return to Jerusalem found the eleven 
gathered together, we must understand undoubtedly that 
Thomas departed from them, before our Lord appeared to 
them as they spoke these things. For Luke gives occasion 
in his narrative, that it may be understood that Thomas first 
went out from them when the rest were saying these things, 
and that our Lord entered afterwards. Unless some one 
should say that the eleven were not those who were then 
called Apostles, but that these were eleven disciples out of 
the large number of disciples. But since Luke has added, 
And those that were with them, he has surely made it suf- 
ficiently evident that those called the eleven were the same 
as those who were called Apostles, with whom the rest were. 
But let us see what mystery it was for the sake of which, 
according to Matthew and Mark, our Lord when He rose 
again gave the following command, / will go be/ore you into 
Galilee, there shall ye see me. Which although it was 
accomplished, yet it was not till after many other things 
had happened, whereas it was so commanded, that it might 
be expected that it would have taken place alone, or at 

VEK. 36 — 40. ST. LUKE. 783 

least before other things. Ambrose; Therefore 1 think it 
most natural that our Lord indeed instructed His disciples, 
that they should see Him in Galilee, but that He first presents 
Himself as they remained still in the assembly through fear. 
Greek Ex. Nor was it a violation of His promise, but rather 
a mercifully hastened fulfilment on account of the cowardice 
of the discij^les. Ambrose ; But afterwards when their hearts 
were strengthened, the eleven set out for Galilee. Or there is 
no difi^culty in supposing that they should be reported to have 
been fewer in the assembly, and a larger number on the 
mountain. Euseb. For the two Evangelists, that is, Luke 
and John, write that He appeared to the eleven alone in 
Jerusalem, but those two disciples told not only the eleven, 
but all the disciples and brethren, that both the angel and the 
Saviour had commanded them to hasten to Galilee; of whom 
also Paul made mention, saying. Afterwards he appeared to ^ Cor. 
more than Jive hundred brethren at once. But the truer ' 
explanation is, that at first indeed while they remained in 
secret at Jerusalem, He appeared once or twice for their 
comfort, but that in Galilee not in the assembly, or once or 
twice, but with great power. He made a manifestation of Acts i^ 
Himself, shewing Himself living to them after His Passion 
with many signs, as Luke testifies in the Acts. Aug. But Aug. 
that which was said by the Angel, that is the Lord, must be^*^"^' 
taken prophetically, for by the word Galilee according to its 
meaning of transmigration, it is to be understood that they 
were about to pass over from the people of Israel to the 
Gentiles, to whom the Apostles preaching would not entrust 
the Gospel, unless the Lord Himself should prepare His way 
in the hearts of men. And this is what is meant by, He shall 
go before you into QalileOy there shall ye see him. But 
according to the interpretation of Galilee, by which it means 
" manifestation," we must understand that He will be re- 
vealed no more in the form of a servant, but in that form 
in which He is equal to the Father, which He has promised 
to His elect. That manifestation will be as it were the true 
Galilee, when we shall see Him as He is. This will also be 
that far more blessed transmigration from the world to eternity, 
from whence though coming to us He did not depart, and to 
which going before us He has not deserted us. 


Theophyl. The Lord then standing in the midst of the 
disciples, first with His accustomed salutation of " peace," 
allays their restlessness, shewing that He is the same Master 
who delighted in the word wherewith He also fortified them, 
when He sent them to preach. Hence it follows, And he 
^reg. said to Ihem, Peace be unto you; I am he, fear not. Greg. 
Naz. Let us then reverence the ^ift of peace, which Christ 
when He departed hence left to us. Peace both in name 
and reality is sweet, which also we have hea.rd to be of 
Phil. 4, God, as it is said, The peace of God; and that God is of 
Eph. 2 ^*' ^^ ^^ ^* our peace. Peace is a blessing commended by 
14' all, but observed by few. What then is the cause.? Perhaps 
the desire of dominion or riches, or the envy or hatred of 
our neighbour, or some one of those vices into which we see 
men fall who know not God. For peace is peculiarly of 
God, who binds all things together in one, to whom nothing 
so much belongs as the unity of nature, and a peaceful 
condition. It is borrowed indeed by angels and divine powers, 
which are peacefully disposed towards God and one another. 
It is diffused through the whole creation, whose glory is 
tranquillity. But in us it abides in our souls indeed by the 
following and imparting of the virtues, in our bodies by the 
harmony of our members and organs, of which the one is 
called beauty, the other health. 

Bede; The disciples had known Christ to be really man, 
having been so long a time with Him ; but after that He was 
dead, they do not believe that the real flesh could rise again 
from the grave on the third day. They think then that they 
see the spirit which He gave up at His passion. Therefore 
it follows. But they were terrified and affrighted, and sup- 
posed that they had seen a spirit. This mistake of the 
Apostles was the heresy of the Manicha3ans. Ambrose; 
But persuaded by the example of their virtues, we can not 
believe that Peter and John could have doubted. Why then 
does Luke relate them to have been affrighted. First of all 
because the declaration of the greater part includes the 
opinion of the few. Secondly, because although Peter be- 
lieved in the resurrection, yet he might be amazed when the 
doors being closed Jesus suddenly presents Himself with 
His body. Theophyl. Because by the word of peace the 

VER. 36 — 40. ^ ST. LUKE. 785 

agitation in the minds of the Apostles was not allayed, He 
shews by another token that He is the Son of God, in that 
He knew the secrets of their hearts ; for it follows, And he 
said to the?7i, Why are ye troubled, and why do thoughts 
arise in your hearts? Bede; What thoughts indeed but 
such as were false and dangerous. For Christ had lost the 
fruit of His passion, had He not been the Truth of the resur- 
rection; just as if a good husbandman should say. What I 
have planted there, 1 shall find, that is, the faith which 
descends into the heart, because it is from above. But those 
thoughts did not descend from above, but ascended from 
below into the heart like worthless plants. Cyril; Here 
then was a most evident sign that He whom they now see 
was none other but the same whom they had seen dead on 
the cross, and lain in the sepulchre, who knew every thing 
that was in man. 

Ambrose; Let us then consider how it happens that the 
Apostles according to John believed and rejoiced, according 
to Luke are reproved as unbelieving. John indeed seems to 
me, as being an Apostle, to have treated of greater and 
higher things; Luke of those which relate and are close akin 
to human. The one follows an historic course, the other is 
content with an abridgment, because it could not be doubted 
of him, who gives his testimony concerning those things at 
which he was himself present. And therefore we deem 
both true. For although at first Luke says that they did 
not believe, yet he explains that they afterwards did believe. 
Cyril; Now our Lord testifying that death was overcome, 
and human nature had now in Christ put on incorruption, 
first shews them His hands and His feet, and the print of the 
nails; as it follows. Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I 
myself. Theophyl. But He adds also another proof, namely, 
the handling of His hands and feet, when He says, Handle 
me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see 
me have. As if to say. Ye think me a spirit, that is to say, 
a ghost, as many of the dead are wont to be seen about their 
graves. But know ye that a spirit hath neither flesh nor 
bones, but I have flesh and bones. 

Ambrose; Our Lord said this in order to afford us an 
image of our resurrection. For that which is handled is the 

vol. III. 3 E 


body. But in our bodies we shall rise again. But the former 
is more subtle, the latter more carnal, as being still mixed 
up with the qualities of earthly corruption. Not then by 
His incorporeal nature, but by the quality of His bodily 

Greg, resurrection, Christ passed through the shut doors. Greg. 

c. 55. For in that glory of the resurrection our body will not be 
incapable of handling, and more subtle than the winds and 
the air, (as Eutychius said,) but while it is subtle indeed 
through the effect of spiritual power, it will be also capable 
of handling through the power of nature. It follows. And 
ivJiejf he had tints spoken, he shewed them his hands and his 
feet, on which indeed were clearly marked the prints of the 
nails. But according to John, He also shewed them His 
side which had been pierced with the spear, that by mani- 
festing the scar of His wounds He might heal the wound of 
their doubtfulness. But from this place the Gentiles are 
fond of raising up a calumny, as if He was not able to cure 
the wound inflicted on Him. To whom we must answer, 
that it is not probable that He who is proved to have done 
the greater should be unable to do the less. But for the 
sake of His sure purpose. He who destroyed death would not 
blot out the signs of death. First indeed, that He might 
thereby build up His disciples in the faith of His resm-rec- 
tion. Secondly, that supplicating the Father for us, He 
might always shew forth what kind of death He endured for 
many. Thirdly, that He might point out to those redeemed 
by His death, by setting before them the signs of that death, 
how mercifully they have been succoured. Lastly, that He 
might declare in the judgment how justly the wicked are 

41. And while they yet believed not for joy, and 
wondered, he said unto them. Have ye here any 
meat ? 

42. And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, 
and of an honeycomb. 

43. And he took it, and did eat before them. 

44. And he said unto them, These are the words 
which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you. 

VER. 41 — 44. ST. LUKE. 787 

that all things must be fulfilled, which were written 
in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the 
Psalms, concerning me. 

Cyril ; The Lord had shewn His disciples His hands and 
His feet, that He might certify to them that the same body 
which had suffered rose again. But to confirm them still 
more, He asked for something to eat. Greg. Nyss. By the Greg. 

. Orat 1 

command of the lavY indeed the Passover was eaten with ^e Res. 
bitter herbs, because the bitterness of bondage still remained, 
but after the resurrection the food is sweetened with a honey- 
comb ; as it follows, And they gave him a piece of a 
broiled Jish J and a honeycomb. Bede ; To convey therefore 
the truth of His resurrection. He condescends not only to be 
touched by His disciples, but to eat with them, that they 
might not suspect that His appearance was not actual, but 
only imaginary. Hence it follows. And when he had eaten 
before them^he took the remnant, and gave to them. He ate 
indeed by His powder, not from necessity. The thirsty earth 
absorbs water in one way, the burning sun in another way, 
the one from want, the other from power. Greek Ex. But 
some one will say. If we allow that our Lord ate after His 
resuiTection, let us also grant that all men will after the 
resurrection take the nourishment of food. But these things 
which for a certain purpose are done by our Saviour, are not 
the rule and measure of nature, since in other things He has 
purposed differently. For He will raise our bodies, not 
defective but perfect and incorrupt, who yet left on His own 
body the prints which the nails had made, and the wound in 
His side, in order to shew that the nature of His body re- 
mained the same after the resurrection, and that He was not 
changed into another substance. Bede ; He ate therefore 
after the resurrection, not as needing food, nor as signifying 
that the resurrection which we are expecting will need food; 
but that He might thereby build up the nature of a rising 
body. But mystically, the broiled fish of which Christ ate 
signifies the sufferings of Christ. For He having con- 
descended to he in the waters of the human race, was willing 
to be taken by the hook of our death, and was as it were 


burnt up by anguish at the time of His Passion. But the 
honeycomb was present to us at the resurrection. By the 
honeycomb He wished to represent to us the two natures of 
His person. For the honeycomb is of wax, but the honey in 
the wax is the Divine nature in the human. Theophyl. 
The things eaten seem also to contain another mystery. For 
in that He ate part of a broiled fish, He signifies that having 
burnt by the fire of His own divinity our nature swimming 
in the sea of this life, and dried up the moisture which it 
had contracted from the waves. He made it divine food ; and 
that which was before abominable He prepared to be a sweet 
offering to God, which the honeycomb signifies. Or by the 
broiled fish He signifies the active life, drying up the 
moisture with the coals of labour, but by the honeycomb, 
the contemplative life on account of the sweetness of the 
oracles of God. 

Bede ; But after that He was seen, touched, and had eaten, 
lest He should seem to have mocked the human senses in 
any one respect. He had recourse to the Scriptures. And 
he said unto them, These are the words whicJi I spake rinto 
you, when I was yet with you, that is, when I was yet in the 
mortal flesh, in which ye also are. He indeed was tlien 
raised again in the same flesh, but was not in the same mortality 
with them. And He adds, That all things must he fulfilled 
which were written in the Law of Moses, and in the Pro- 
Aug.dephets, and in the Psalms, concerning me. Aug. Let those 
lib.\ ^then who dream that Christ could have done such things by 
e«ii. magical arts, and by the same art have consecrated His 
name to the nations to be converted to Him, consider 
whether He could by magical arts fill the Prophets with the 
Divine Spirit before He was born. For neither supposing 
that He caused Himself to be worshipped when dead, was 
He a magician before He was born, to whom one nation was 
assigned to prophesy His coming. 

45. Then opened he their understanding, that they 
might understand the Scriptures, 

46. And said unto them. Thus it is written, and 
thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the 
dead the third day : 

VKU. 'J5--40. ST. LUKE. 780 

47. And that repentance and remission of sins 
should be preached in his name among all nations, 
beginning at Jerusalem. 

48. And ye are witnesses of these things. 

49. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father 
upon you : but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, 
until ye be endued with power from on high. 

Bede ; After having presented Himself to be seen with 
the eye, and handled with hands, and having brought to their 
minds the Scriptures of the law, He next opened their under- 
standing that they should understand what was read. The- 
OPHYL. Otherwise, how would their agitated and perplexed 
minds have learnt the mystery of Christ. But He taught 
them by His words ; for it follows, Aiid said unto them, 
Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, that 
is, by the wood of the Cross. Bede; But Christ would have 
lost the fruit of His Passion had He not been the Truth of 
the resurrection, therefore it is said, And to rise from the 
dead. He then after having commended to them the truth 
of the body, commends the unity of the Church, adding. 
And that repentance and remission of sins should he "preached 
in his name among all nations, Euseb. For it was said, 
Ask of me, and I tvill give thee the heathen for thine in-pg^2,8, 
heritance. But it was necessary that those who were con- 
verted from the Gentiles should be purged from a certain 
stain and defilement through His virtue, being as it were 
corrupted by the evil of the vvor.ship of devils, and as lately 
converted from an abominable and unchaste life. And 
therefore He says that it behoves that first repentance should 
be preached, but next, remission of sins, to all nations. For 
to those who first shewed repentance for their sins, by His 
saving grace He granted pardon of their transgression, for 
whom also He endured death. 

Theophyl. But herein that He says. Repentance and 
remission of sins, He also makes mention of baptism, in 
which by the putting off of our past sins there follows pardon 
of iniquity. But how must we understand baptism to be 
performed in the name of Christ alone, whereas in another 


place He commands it to be in the name of the Father, and 
the Son, and the Holy Ghost. First indeed we say that it | 

is not meant that baptism is administered in Christ's name 
alone, but that a person is baptized with the baptism of 
Christ, that is, spiritually, not Judaically, nor with the 
baptism, wherewith John baptized unto repentance only, 
but unto the participation of the blessed Spirit ; as Christ 
also when baptized in Jordan manifested the Holy Spirit in 
the form of a dove. Moreover you must understand baptism 
in Christ's name to be in His death. For as He after death 
rose again on the third day, so we also are three times dipped 
in the water, and fitly brought out again, receiving thereby 
an earnest of the immortality of the Spirit. This name of 
Christ also contains in itself both the Father as the Anointer, 
and the Spirit as the Anointing, and the Son as the Anointed, 
that is, in His human nature. But it was fitting that the 
race of man should no longer be divided into Jews and 
Gentiles, and therefore that He might unite all in one, He 
commanded that their preaching should begin at Jerusalem, 
Rom. 3, but be finished with the Gentiles. Hence it follows, Be- 
^* ijinning at Jerusalem. Bede ; Not only because to them 

4. were entrusted the oracles of God, and theirs is the adoption 

and the glory, but also that the Gentiles entangled in various 
errors might by this sign of Divine mercy be chiefly invited 
to come to hope, seeing that to them even who crucified the 
Son of God pardon is granted. 
Chrys. Chrys. Further, lest any should say that abandoning 
in Act. their acquaintances they went to shew themselves, (or as it 
were to vaunt themselves with a kind of pomp,) to strangers, 
therefore first among the very murderers themselves are the 
signs of the resurrection displayed, in that very city wherein 
the frantic outrage burst forth. For where the crucifiers 
themselves are seen to believe, there the resurrection is most 
of all demonstrated. 

EusEB. But if those things which Christ foretold are 
already receiving their accomplishment, and His word is 
perceived by a seeing faith to be living and effectual through- 
out the whole world; it is time for men not to be unbelieving 
towards Him who uttered that word. For it is necessary 
that He should live a divine life, whose living works are 

VER. 45 — 49. ST. LUKE. 791 

shewn to be agreeable to His words ; and these indeed have 
been fulfilled by the ministry of the Apostles. Hence He 
adds, But ye are witnesses of these tilings, S^c. that is, of My 
death and resurrection. Theophyl. Afterwards, lest they 
should be troubled at the thought. How shall we private in- 
dividuals give our testimony to the Jews and Gentiles who 
have killed Thee? He subjoins, Aiid, behold, I send the promise 
of my Father upon you, ^c. which indeed He had promised 
by the mouth of the prophet Joel, / ivill pour my Spirit J^^'^ 2, 
upon alljiesh, 

Chrys. But as a general does not permit his soldiers who Chrys. 

, , , '11 Horn. i. 

are about to meet a large number, to go out until they are in Act. 
armed, so also the Lord does not permit His disciples to go 
forth to the conflict before the descent of the Spirit. And 
hence He adds, But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until 
ye he endued with power from on high. Theophyl. That 
is, not with human but heavenly power. He said not, until 
ye receive, but be endued with, shewing the entire protection 
of the spiritual armour. Bede; But concerning the power, 
that is, the Holy Spirit, the Angel also says to Mary, And 
the power of til e Highest shall overshadow thee. And the Luke i 7 
Lord Himself says elsewhere. For 1 know that mrtue is L^ke 8 
gone out of me. ^^• 

Chrys. But why did not the Spirit come while Christ was Chiy*. 
present, or immediately on His departure ? Because it was " ^"^* 
fitting that they should become desirous of grace, and then at 
length receive it. For we are then most awakened towards 
God, when difficulties press upon us. It was necessary in 
the mean time that our nature should appear in Heaven, and 
the covenants be completed, and that then the Spirit should 
come, and pure joys be experienced. Mark also what a 
necessity He imposed upon them of being at Jerusalem, in 
that He promised that the Spirit should there be given them. 
For lest they should again flee away after His resurrection, 
by this expectation, as it were a chain. He kept them all there 
together. But He says, until ye he endued from on high. 
He did not express the time when, in order that they may be 
constantly watchful. But why then marvel that He does not 
reveal to us our last day, when He would not even make 
known this day which was close at hand. 


Greg. Greg. They then are to be warned, whom age or imperfec- 

de Past. 
3. c. 25. 

de Past. ^-^^ hinders from the office of preaching, and yet rashness 

impels, lest while they hastily arrogate to themselves so 
responsible an office, they should cut themselves off from the 
way of future amendment. For the Truth Itself which could 
suddenly strengthen those whom it wished, in order to give 
an example to those that follow, that imperfect men should 
not presume to preach, after having fully instructed the dis- 
ciples concerning the virtue of preaching, commanded them 
to abide in the city, until they were endued with power from 
on high. For we abide in a city, when we keep ourselves 
close within the gates of om' minds, lest by speaking we 
wander beyond them; that when we are perfectly endued 
with divine power, we may then as it were go out beyond 
ourselves to instruct others. 

Ambrose; But let us consider how according to John 
they received the Holy Spirit, while here they are ordered to 
stay in the city until they should be endued with power from 
on high. Either He breathed the Holy Spirit into the eleven, 
as being more perfect, and promised to give it to the rest after- 
wards; or to the same persons He breathed in the one place. 
He promised in the other. Nor does there seem to be any 
contradiction, since there are diversities of graces. Therefore 
one operation He breathed into them there, another He 
promised here. For there the grace of remitting sins was 
given, which seems to be more confined, and therefore is 
breathed into them by Christ, that you may believe the Holy 
Spirit to be of Christ, to be from God. For God alone for- 
giveth sins. But Luke describes the pouring forth of the gi'ace 
of speaking with tongues. Chrys. Or He said. Receive ye 
the Holy Spirit, that He might make them fit to receive it, or indicated as present that which w^as to come. Aug. Or the 
c.^26 Lord after His resurrection gave the Holy Spirit twice, once 
on earth, because of the love of our neighbour, and again from 
heaven, because of the love of God. 

50. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, 
and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 

VER. 50 — 53. ST. LUKE. 793 

51. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he 
was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. 

52. And they worshipped him, and returned to 
Jerusalem with great joy: 

53. And were continually in the temple, praising 
and blessing God. Amen. 

Bede; Having omitted all those things which may have 
taken place during forty-three days between our Lord and 
His disciples, St. Luke silently joins to the first day of the 
resurrection, the last day when He ascended into heaven, 
saying, And he led them out as far as to Bethany. First, 
indeed, because of the name of the place, which signifies " the 
house of obedience." For He who descended because of ihe 
disobedience of the wicked, ascended because of the obedience 
of the converted. Next, because of the situation of the same 
village, which is said to be placed on the side of the mount 
of Olives; because He has placed the foundations, as it were, 
of the house of the obedient Church, of faith, hope, and 
love, in the side of that highest mountain, namely, Christ. 
But He blessed them to whom He had delivered the precepts 
of His teaching; hence it follows. And he lifted up his hands, 
and blessed them. Theophyl. Perhaps pouring into them 
a power of preservation, until the coming of the Spirit; and 
perhaps instructing them, that as often as we go away, we 
should commend to Godby our blessing those who are placed 
under us. Oeigen; But that He blessed them with uplifted 
hands, signifies that it becomes him who blesses any one to 
be furnished with various works and labours in behalf of 
others. For in this way are the hands raised up on high. 

Chrys. But observe, that the Lord submits to our sight 
the promised rewards. He had promised the resurrection of 
the body ; He rose from the dead, and conferred with His disci- 
ples for forty days. It is also promised that we shall be caught 
up in the clouds through the air ; this also He made manifest 
by His works. For it follows. And it came to pass, ivhile he 
blessed them, he was parted, S^e. Theophyl. And Elias 
indeed was seen, as it were, to be taken up into heaven, but 
the Saviour, the forerunner of all, Himself ascended into 

VOL. III. 3 F 


heaven to appear in the Divine sight in His sacred body ; and 
ah'eady is our nature honoured in Christ by a certain Angelic 

Chrys. But you will say, How does this concern me ? 
Because thou also shalt be taken up in like manner into the 
clouds. For thy body is of like nature to His body, there- 
fore shall thy body be so light, that it can pass through the 
air. For as is the head, so also is the body ; as the begin- 
ning, so also the end. See then how thou art honoured by 
this beginning. Man was the lowest part of the rational 
creation, but the feet have been made the head, being lifted 
up aloft into the royal throne in their head. 

Bede; ^Mien the Lord ascended into heaven, the disciples 
adoring Him where His feet lately stood, immediately return 
to Jerusalem, where they were commanded to wait for the 
promise of the Father; for it follows, A?id they worshipped 
him, and returned, ^c. Great indeed was their joy, for they 
rejoice that their God and Lord after the triumph of His 
resurrection had also passed into the heavens. Greek Ex. 
And they were watching, praying, and fasting, because indeed 
they were not living in their own homes, but were abiding in 
the temple, expecting the grace from on high; among other 
things also learning ft'om the very place piety and honesty. 
Hence it is said, And were continually in the temple. Theo- 
PHYL. The Spirit had not yet come, and yet their conversation 
is spiritual. Before they were shut up; now they stand in the 
midst of the chief priests; distracted by no worldly object, but 
despising all things, they praise God continually; as it follows, 
Ezek. \, Praising and blessing God. Bede ; And observ^e that among 
Rev. 4 the four beasts in heaven, Luke is said to be represented by 
y the calf, for by the sacrifice of a calf, they were ordered to be 

29, 1. initiated who were chosen to the priesthood ; and Luke has 
undertaken to explain more fully than the rest the priesthood 
of Christ; and his Gospel, which he commenced with the 
ministry of the temple in the priesthood of Zachaiias, he has 
finished with the devotion in the temple. And he has placed 
the Apostles there, about to be the ministers of a new priest- 
hood, not in the blood of sacrifices, but in the praises of God 
and in blessing, that in the place of prayer and amidst the 
praises of their devotion, they might wait with prepared heai'ts 

VER. 50 — 53. ST. LUKE. 795 

for the promise of the Spirit. Theophyl. Whom imitating, 
may we ever dwell in a holy life, praising and blessing God; 
to Whom be glory and blessing and power, for ever and ever. 



Page 392. 1. \^. for he read He 

394. 1. 1. for dealt read dealing 

1. 4. after those insert children 

395. 1. 13. for tries by temptation him who has nothing to set before him, 

who read proves by temptation who has — Him, and who 
411. 1. 16. /or Here read Hie 
437. 1. 31. for the body read our Lord's body 
477. 1. 23. for he read He 
491. 1. 22. for he read He 

498. 1. 27. for out of all wisdom read full of &c. 
504. 1. 16. after this read seeking 

627. 1. 32. for to One He ordains read to one He assigns 
531. 1. 13. for nor had read nor had had 

551. 1. 1. for attendant read abundant 

552. 1. 7. for He does not make wisdom read He makes wisdom not 
649. 1. 6. for understood read so interpreted 

710. 1. 38. /or edify read advance 
723. 1. ult. after be read ; 

BS 2555 .A2 T513 186^* V.3. 

pt.2 IMS 
Thomas Aquinas. Saint 
Catena aurea 


-^f'^ P^HK