« PredošláPokračovať »
“ Tell us, therefore, what dost thou think ; Is it lawful to give tribute to Cæsar, or not?" It is not just that we who serve the sovereign king should give tribute to an earthly one; for if it be unworthy of a man to serve two kings, to do allegiance to one, and serve another ; since, by serving one, he dishonours the other, how much more unworthy is it for the worshippers of God to bow to the yoke of service of an earthly sovereign.“ But Jesus, knowing their wickedness, said :" (JESUS replied, not according to their smooth words, but according to their cruel and rough conscience ; because God, for the most part, speaketh to the soul, not to the body; to the will, not to words) :• Why do ye tempt me, ye hypocrites ? Show me the coin of the tribute. And they offered him a penny.” He said to them, ye hypocrites; because what they knew in their hearts, they heard from him in their ears ; as, considering him the Searcher of hearts, they dare not perform what they thought to do. For see how these Pharisees flattered, that they might betray him; but Jesus put them to confusion, that he might save them; for the wrath of God is better than the favour of men.
“ And Jesus saith to them, whose image and inscription is this? They say to him, Cæsar's. Then he saith to them : Render, therefore, to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's; and to God the things that are God's.” The image of God is not stamped on gold, but is figured upon man.
The money of Cæsar is gold; the coin of God is man. In the current coin, Cæsar is seen ; in man, God is recognized. Wherefore, give thy riches to Cæsar; but keep for God the innocence of thy conscience entire, where God is seen. The hand of the craftsman engraveth the likeness of Cæsar, and marketh it in letters that may be worn out; but the divine hand of God hath writ his image on man, and hath made it plain by ten characters,—his five carnal, namely, and his five spiritual senses,—by both of which we are made capable of apprehending and comprehending what may be profitable to us in
respect of God.
In Festo SS. Cornelii et Cypriani, 1842.
a wall. The Hebrew original may, by varying the points, signify either, but the sense of both is the same, one being the literal, the other the moral interpretation, for both are applicable to the city of Sichem, to which the prophecy refers.
HOMILY OF ST. AMBROSE ON THE GOSPEL FOR THE TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY AFTER
Gospel.–St. Matth. ix. 18-26.--" At that time, as Jesus was speaking to the multitudes, behold a certain ruler came up and adored him, saying: Lord, my daughter is even now dead; but come, lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. And Jesus rising up, followed him, with his disciples. And behold a woman, who was troubled with an issue of bloud twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment. For she said within herself, if I shall touch only his garment, I shall be healed. But Jesus turning, and seeing her, said ; Be of good heart, thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. And when Jesus was come into the house of the ruler, and saw the minstrels, and the multitude making a tumult, he said : Give place; for the girl is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. And when the multitude was put out, he went in, and took her by the hand; and the maid arose, and the fame hereof went abroad into all that country. Christ had left the synagogue behind, in the country of the Gerasines, and Him, whom his own had not, we, who are strangers, have received ; yea, even Him whom we looked for. Nor was he long of coming to us, who looked for Him ; neither will he disdain to return to them, so as they seek after Him.
Now, the ruler of the synagogue, who had an only daughter, may be looked on as one praying for help to the synagogue, that was perishing, and sorely pressed by death ; seeing that it was forsaken by Christ, And who is the ruler of the synagogue but the law ? A synagogue which our Lord did not utterly forsake, but reserved for the medicine of salvation. And so, also, the Word of God, while it bastens to this daughter of the ruler, to bring salvation to the children of Israel, is likened to the holy Church gathered from the Gentiles, that bringeth health prepared for those who seek it in the faith.
In the moral sense, we have said enough ; let us now briefly look at it in a mystic point of view, for has it not happened that the Word of God which had come to the Jews, was besought by the Gentiles, and, through grace, believed by those who had not believed in the law.
For like as she who had spent all her substance on physicians, so, also, the whole assembly of the Gentiles had lost all the gifts of nature ; and she who had spent her living, with a more ready, holy, modest, re
ligious faith, and much shame,—came to acknowledge her infirmity, not to despair of pardon. Modestly she touched the bem of his garment, with faith she drew near, devoutly she believed, and wisely she knew that she might be cured. So, in like manner, the holy people of the Gentiles, who believed in God, were ashamed of sin, so as to forsake it; clung to faith, so as to believe ; showed devotion, so as to ask it; and clothed themselves in wisdom, so as to perceive that they were made whole; and took confidence, so as to confess that they had received it, and it had been given to them at the expense of another.
“She came behind.” Why does she touch Christ behind ? Is it not because it is written,—“ After the Lord thy God thou shalt walk'? And what means it that this maiden of twelve years of age should die, and she, who for twelve years had been bound by the infirmity of an issue of blood, should be restored to health ? but that when the synagogue was growing old, the Church was in labour. Her falling away was that one's strength. “By their offence salvation hath come to the Gentiles." (Rom. viii. 12.) The consummation of that, was the beginning of this; not the beginning of her being, but of salvation -
Seeing, that in part, blindness hath fallen on Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles had come in.” (Rom. xvi. 6.) Thus, while soine believed, this did not believe, but lay sick in the hopeless disease of multiplied sufferings, in mind and body. She (that is, the Gentile people), heard that the people of the Jews lay sick, and straightway she began to hope for a remedy and salvation ; she knew that the time was come in which her physician had descended from heaven, and she rose up to meet the WORD. She saw that he was pressed by crowds, but they who press Him believe not; they who touch him, believe. By faith Christ is touched; by faith Christ is seen ;- not corporally, or understood by the eyes; for neither does he see, who seeing, sees not; nor does he hear, who hearing, understands not ; nor does he touch, who touches him not through faith. Lastly, to express the faith of her who touched him, he
says “Some one has touched me, for I know that virtue hath gone out of me.” Which is a token that the divine wisdom is not confined or straitened within the compass of our body; is not understood or restrained by the corporeal straitness ; but that the eternal virtue over flows the bounds of our poor meanness. It is not by the help of man that the Gentiles were delivered; but the gathering together of the nations is the gift of God; which gathering together, through their weak faith, yet bringeth down the eternal mercy. For if we consider
how much our faith is, and understand how great is the Son of God, we seem, in comparison, but to touch the hem of his garinent; that we cannot rise higher to lay hold of his vestment. If then we would be healed, let us by faith touch the hem of the garment of Christ.
Nor must we fail to notice, that when she touched his garment, his head was turned away; for God needeth not eyes to see, nor doth he perceive corporally, but hath all knowledge within himself. Blessed then is he who toucheth but the hem of the garment of the WORD; for who can wholly comprehend Him.
But to return to her who lay sick, lest by our delay while Christ is long of coming, she may be thought to be dead. “ Then came the servants of the ruler, saying: Do not trouble him, thy daughter is dead." And first let us consider, that he was about to raise up her who was dead, before he had cured the woman that was ill,– while this one is asking—that is cured. Thus, during the passion of our Lord, his resurrection is continually celebrated. So it was shown to Mary, that she who was barren should bring forth; and the Virgin that should conceive, believed. And when Elizabeth heard that she should bring forth, she doubted not of her generation.
“ Then came the servants, saying : Do not trouble him." As yet they were incredulous of the resurrection, which Jesus had foretold in the Law, and fulfilled in the Gospel. Therefore, when he came to the house, he took in but few witnesses of her rising again; for as yet the resurrection was not believed by many. Wherefore, when our Lord said: “ The girl is not dead, but sleepeth, they mocked him.” Whosoever believeth not, mocketh. Therefore, they weep for their dead, who think they are dead; but where there is faith in the resurrection, there is not the likeness of death, but of repose. Hence St. Matthew says, that minstrels were in the house of the ruler, and multitude making a tumult ; either because thus of old they were wont by such usages to excite their grief, or rather to signify, that the synagogue could not take spiritual consolation, but that which came from the music of the law and of the letter.
Holding her by the hand, Jesus cured the maiden ; and he commanded them to give her to eat.” This is a proof of life, and that it was no phantom, but truth. Blessed is he whom Wisdom holdeth by the hand. Would that He may direct all my deeds,—would that justice may hold me by the hand; that the WORD OF GOD may hold me; may bring me into his hidden parts; that He may turn away from me the spirit of error, and bring me to the spirit of salvation ;
that he command me to be given to eat; for the Word of God is the BREAD OF HEAVEN. Hence it is that he hath filled His most holy altars with the nourishment of His divine BODY and BLOOD, saying, “ Come ye, eat my bread, and drink ye the wine that I have mingled for you.” (Prov. ix. 6.)
But, again, what is the cause of this diversity, that in another place, we have seen him raising up, in public, the widow's son to life; and in this instance, the witnesses are but few. Partly, I think, that we may mercy
of our Lord to the poor widow whose only son it was that lay dead, and whose sorrow brooked no delay, so that he did at once what he had purposed. But there is also this further proof of wisdom apparent here, namely, that as in the case of the widow's son, the Church also believeth quickly; in the instance now treated of,—of the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue, that the Jews were slow of belief, and that but few are saved out of so many.
Feast of St. Louis, King, 1842.
HOMILY OF ORIGEN, ON THE GOSPEL FOR THE FOURTH
SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY (THIS YEAR TRANSFERRED TO THE TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST).
Gospel-St. Matth. viii. 23-27.--"At that time, when Jesus entered into a boat, bis disciples followed him; and behold, a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the ship was covered with waves; but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awakened him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish! And Jesus saith to them: Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then, rising up, he commanded the winds and the sea, and there came a great calm. But the men wondered, saying, What manner of man is this, for the winds and the sea obey him.” “ When Jesus entered into the boat, his disciples followed him;"not wavering but firm and steadfast in the faith; meek and pious, despising the world, not with a double, but a simple heart. These, then, followed him; not following his footsteps only, but rather accompanying him in his holiness, and pursuing after his justice. “And behold, a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the ship was covered with waves." Now, when he had shown
great miracles on the land, he passed over to the sea ; that he might there also perform