Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Mat.6.v.24 Sunday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
GOSPEL Matt. 6:24-33
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. "Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment? Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they? And which of you by taking thought, can add to his stature one cubit? "And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. And if the grass of the field, which is to day, and to morrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith? "Be not solicitous therefore, saying: What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you."
Of Servants, some be so born, as the children of slaves and bondmen; others do make themselves servants, by composition & their own consent.
Almighty God by reason of our creation of nothing, and conservation, and much more of our redemption, and vocation to the Catholic faith, whereby we are made capable of our redemption, is our absolute Lord, and Master, unto whom we are born, servants and bondman: and all the Service we can do unto God, or can imagine to do, and when we have imagined what we are able, though it be, that every one of us in particular should do him as much service, as all the world doth, and take the Angels into the rekoning; it were not sufficient by many degrees.
So that we see we have but one Master to serve, and that is more, then we are able to do.
Wherefore this merciful Master of ours hath invented a way how we may serve him sufficiently to perform our obligation, leaving us free to do many things unto him, our friends, or ourselves.
The invention is this: whereas all the Service we can do, as aforesaid, is due unto him, and when we have done all we can, we may truly say, We are unprofitable servants, not doing the thousand part which he deserveth, nor with that love and perfection we ought; he hath charged us but with ten commandments, which if we keep, he requiter no more, as necessary to salvation: of which Christ said unto a certain man in the Gospel, and unto us in his person, Do this, that is to say keep the commandments, as he said he did, and this shalt live.
So that God hath left us many things free, whereunto we are not bound, as religious poverty, obedience, virginity, continency, the use of Gods creatures not only for necessity, but for our honest pleasure and contentment, in so much that these commandments are rather a discharge and release of commandments, then laying of commandments upon us, that is to say , a discharge of many other commandments which God might justly have charged us withal, as well as with those ten, that we should have had liberty to do nothing but what was merely necessary to our Salvation, nor have had any free and voluntary actions to have presented to God, out of our voluntary love and devotion, as we have now, but all of strict commandment and obligation, as a man might keep a slave or bondman only to maintain him in strength and ability of body to do him service, and no more.
In this therefore did our good God and Master. make his burden light and his yoke easy unto us, and this did Christ mean when he spake these words, My yoke is easy and my burden light.
Blessed be such a Master as Almighty God is to us, who would not almost chose to serve such a Master, if he were free? who would desire to serve if they must needs serve, (as we must, either God or Manon, )yea and glory in their Service, to serve not as slaves, but as children serve their parents, especially our time of Service being short, and momentary, afterwards to reign with God our Master, in unspeakable felicity forever & ever.