SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST THE GOSPEL MATT. 22. V. 35. WEDNESDAY 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.
Although Christ knew the Pharisees asked him to tempt and and catch him; yet he refused not to answer, to instruct them and others: and indeed he that asked him the Question to catch him, was caught; for he so applauded the answer of Christ, as St. Mark relateth it, that Christ said unto him, he was not far from the kingdom of heaven.
Hereby we may learn that though sometimes we go to hear Sermons not so much of devotion, as for company, for our credit, for curiosity, or some such vain end, yet let us not omit to go, nor think it is altogether in vain, for peradventure we may be caught thereby, as this Pharisee was, or As St. Anthony who hearing these words of Christ in the Gospel delivered and dilated upon on a Sermon: If thou wilt be perfect go sell all thou hast and give to the poor and follow me, and thou shalt have life everlasting for it, did presently put the, in practice, and proved so eminent a Saint as he was.
The like St. Francis. and divers others.
And if the Pharisee took profit by the doctrine of Christ, coming out of an ill intention, what shall they that do it with a good? and peradventure the mild and gentle answer of Christ did win him, the rather.
For nothing doth more win and catch us, then mild and gentle language.
A mild answer, saith wise Salomon, breaketh Anger. Oh how many angers of our Neighbors might we avoid, if we would deal mildly, and gently with them.