Twelveth Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Luc. 10. v. 23. Tuesday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
GOSPEL Luke 10:23-37
At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: "Blessed are the eyes that see the things which you see. For I say to you that many prophets and kings have desired to see the things that you see and have not seen them; and to hear the things that you hear and have not heard them." And behold a certain lawyer stood up, tempting him and saying, "Master, what must I do to possess eternal life?" But he said to him: "What is written in the law? How readest thou?" He answering, said: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with all thy strength and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself." And he said to him: "Thou hast answered right. This do: and thou shalt live." But he willing to justify himself, said to Jesus: "And who is my neighbour?" And Jesus answering, said: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among robbers, who also stripped him and having wounded him went away, leaving him half dead. And it chanced, that a certain priest went down the same way: and seeing him, passed by. In like manner also a Levite, when he was near the place and saw him, passed by. But a certain Samaritan, being on his journey, came near him: and seeing him, was moved with compassion: And going up to him, bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine: and setting him upon his own beast, brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two pence and gave to the host and said: 'Take care of him; and whatsoever thou shalt spend over and above, I, at my return, will repay thee.' "Which of these three, in thy opinion, was neighbour to him that fell among the robbers?" But he said: "He that shewed mercy to him." And Jesus said to him: "Go, and do thou in like manner."
Acknowledgment of benefits & thankfulness or gratitude for the same, is the key of the Treasury of the mercies & goodness of God towards mankind.
Nothing dryeth up the fountain of God's goodness towards us, so much as ingratitude.
The Cup bearer of King Pharaoh, and the Patriarch Joseph were in prison together: Joseph by way of prophesy, (wherewith God had endued him) told him that one of his fellow servants that was there in prison with him, within three days should be hanged,and should be delivered & restored to his place again, and be in as good grace with the King as he was before, only he entreated him to be mindful of him to the king his Master, and to get him out of prison.
The Cup-bearer being at liberty and in his former place and favor with the King, was so ungrateful as never to remember him.
Joseph was set free by other means, and made Governor of all the kingdom under the King.
Now what a shame and confusion was it, think you, for this ungrateful wretch to be subject, & servant unto Joseph, towards whom he had been so ungrateful?
This no doubt, was ordained of God, amongst other weighty causes, in punishment of his ungrateful mind, & a warning for us.
For what a shame and confusion will it before ungrateful persons, that forget the benefits of God, and not only do him no service for them, but make them instruments to offend him there withal, which he that was such unto us in this life, shall come to be our judge in the next: yea for a punishment of Ingratitude God doth oftentimes permit the ungrateful to fall into such blindness of heart, that they shall not see the way or means how to be grateful, though they be never so learned, or wise.
So did, as St. Paul sayth, the wise Philosophers of the world who by their natural wisdom, did know God more then others, but were so ungrateful as not to worship him as God: And therefore for a punishment of their ingratitude, God permitted them to vanish away in their cogitations, and foolish hearts obscured, that professing themselves Philosophers, or Wise men, with all their wisdom became such fools, as to change the glory of the incorruptible God, into the image of a corruptible man; and of fowls and four-footed beasts, and serpents, to adore them for Gods, and all this as St Paul sayth, because knowing God more then others, they did not glorify God, and give thanks unto him, for his benefits, especially that of their natural wisdom, to know God, more then others did.
Therefore St. Paul counseled the Colossians, & in them us that whatsoever we do in word, or in work, we do it in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father by him; which thankfulness doth not consist in words, but in keeping his commandments: My dear children, sayth St. John,let us not love in tongue and word,but in work and truth.
The rod of Aaron and the Tables of the Law were kept together in the Ark,& must be kept together in our hearts,the rod of remembrance of Gods benefits towards us signified by that rod of Moses by which the people received so great a benefit,as to be delivered out of their long captivity of Egypt,and the keeping of the commandments in the Tables of our hearts,signified by the commandments kept written in the Tables of Stone: which how to do, the Meditation following shall show.