Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Thoughts and meditations

The world gets old;

Only heaven is always new.


“Fear not, little flock”

 Luke 12:32-35

At that time, Jesus said unto His disciples: Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. And so on.

Homily by the Venerable Bede, Priest at Jarrow, and Doctor of the Church.
Bk. iv. Ch. 54 on Luke xii.
The elect are called a little flock, perchance because the reprobate are far more in number than they, but, more probably, because they love to be lowly, since it is God's will that however much His Church should grow in numbers, she should grow with lowliness even unto the end of the world, and should enter lowly into that kingdom which is hers by His promise. That kingdom He promiseth to her here, when He biddeth her to seek only the kingdom of God, and, to comfort her in her travail, He doth so sweetly and so graciously say that her Father will give it to her.

Sell that ye have and give alms. Fear not, He saith, lest, while ye fight for the kingdom of God, ye should lack such things as are needful for this life, nay rather, sell even that which ye have, and give alms. This doth, whosoever for the Lord's sake leaveth all that he hath, and then worketh with his hands, that so he may have to eat, and withal to give alms. In this doth the Apostle boast himself, saying I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel, as ye yourselves know for these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak. Acts xx. 33, 34, 35.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Dominica XXI: "The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants,"

 From the Holy Gospel according to Matthew

Matt 18:23-35
At that time, Jesus spoke unto His disciples this parable: The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And so on.

Homily by St. Jerome, Priest at Bethlehem.
Bk. III Comment. on Matth. XVIII
It is a way much in use with the Syrians, and especially with the inhabitants of Palestine, to illustrate their discourse with parables, that what their hearers may not be able to catch so easily when spoken plainly, they may lay hold on by dint of comparisons and examples. Thus it was that the Lord, by an allegory about a Royal master and a servant who owed him ten thousand talents, and who obtained by entreaty forgiveness of the debt, taught Peter how it was his duty to forgive his fellow-servants their comparatively trifling offences. For if that Royal master so readily forgave his servant his debt of ten thousand talents, should not his servants much more forgive lesser debts unto their fellows?

Let put this more clearly, let us take a case. If one of us were to commit adultery, or murder, or sacrilege, our sin, great like a debt of ten thousand talents, would be forgiven us in answer to prayer, if we also from our heart forgive our brethren their trespasses against us. But if we refuse to forgive a slight, and keep up unceasing enmity because of an unkind word, how just doth it appear that we should be cast into prison, and entail on ourselves, by the example of our own deeds, that our great debt should not be forgiven unto us.

“So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.” God's awful purpose can be turned and changed but if we will not forgive unto our brethren small things, God will not forgive us great things. And if we forgive them, it must be from our hearts. Any one can say: I have nothing against such-an-one he knoweth what he hath done, and God will judge him for it I do not care what he doeth I have forgiven him. But the Lord maketh His sentence clear, and destroyeth such a mockery of peace as this, where He saith: "So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."