SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST THE GOSPEL MATT. 22. V. 35. SUNDAY MEDITATION: A PLAINE PATH-WAY TO HEAVEN THOMAS HILL 1634
GOSPEL Matt. 22. v. 35.
At that time, the pharisees came to Jesus, and one of them, a doctor of the law, asked Him, tempting Him: Master, which is the great commandment of the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets. And the Pharisees being gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying: What think you of Christ? whose son is He? They said to Him: David’s. He saith to them: How then doth David in spirit call Him Lord, saying: The Lord said to my Lord: Sit on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool? If David then call Him Lord, how is He his son? And no man was able to answer Him a word; neither durst any man from that day forth ask Him any more questions.
It is not said here, Thou shalt fear they Lord God, but, thou shalt love him. Fear is proper to servants, Love to children: yet Fear is the beginning of wisdom. To join a piece of cloth again together that is torn or rent in sunder, there is necessary a needle and thread to sow it.
The needle only openeth the way, and having done that, is laid away, the thread remaineth, and holdeth it together.Our sins make a division or rent between God and us. The love of God is the thread, that sowed us together again, Fear of Gods punishments, is the needle, that introduceth it, which being once introduced, Fear is laid away, for Charity as St. John sayth, expelleth fear, and he giveth the reason, because fear hath pain, that is to say, worketh with pain and difficultly, but love, or Charity which is a suoernatural love, worketh with facility and delight, and consequently, expelleth fear.
Let us fear God, because he will punish, and love God, because he will pardon our fauts, and reward every good deed we do with an infinite reward, though our good deeds be but his own gifts, for when he crowneth our merit, he crowneth his own gifts.