SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST THE GOSPEL MATT. 22. V. 35. TUESDAY 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.
The perfections & goodness of a man, draweth the love of others unto him; even as a Loadstone draweth iron, although they should receive no profit or good thereby, much more if they do, and that by the will & desire of the party himself, which is endued with those perfections.
If perfection and goodness draw love, whom, or what should we love as much as God, who is infinitely perfect, and whose delight is to impar this perfections, & goodness, unto us, nay who is wholly ours?
Of Christ when he was newly born, the Scripture sayth: A child was born unto us, therefore ours.
So God loved the world, that he gave unto us his only begotten son, therefore ours.
And in this Gospel, the Great commandment is, Thou shalt love thy Lord God, signifying by this word (thy) he is ours, as he is our Lord, and God: otherwise it would have sufficed, to have said, Thou shal love the Lord God.
It is any marvel then if he be all ours, that we should be all his? and that he requires us, in regard thereof, to love him with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind?
If his delight be to be with the children of men, is it not reason our delight should be to be with him? Is it not a great ingratitude and indignity to God, for us poor worms of the earth, in comparison of God, thought we were never so great, not to delight in the love of such a one, as the high God, and Lord of heaven and earth, Who loved us first even when we were his enemies, & raised us, from the dust, and dirt of the earth, to be children of God by adoption, and heirs of the kingdom of heaven, coheirs with, his natural Son, Christ Jesus?
Besides the practical love of God, which is to love him so, as not to commit any mortal sin, by which we loose him, or venial sin to keep us far from all danger thereof; there is also a contemplative love of God, which hath two principal acts.
The one of desire, the other of complacence, or delight.
That of desire is, to wish good things unto God, if he did want, that of complacence to delight and joy in that he hath.
The first, we cannot exercise towards God, because it is impossible he should want any good thing, or have any bad, yet love hath invented.