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Trinity 06 Notes

by ToddPeperkorn ~ June 26th, 2008

Man tames the wild beast, yet he tames not his tongue. He tames all else, yet he tames not himself. “For the tongue can no man tame.” (James 3.8) So Our Blessed Lord says, “Whoever says to his brother, ‘You fool,’ shall be in danger of hell fire.” Shall all men go into hell fire? God forbid! Let us then understand that if no man can tame the tongue, we must have recourse to God, that He may tame it. In Him is our hope. Let us submit ourselves to Him, and entreat His mercy. In Him let us place our hope, and until we are tamed, and tamed thoroughly, that is, are perfected, let us bear with whatever discipline our Tamer mercifully gives. (St. Augustine)
The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees is the commandments of Moses. Their perfect fulfillment is through the commandments of Christ. So when Jesus says, “Your righteousness must exceed theirs,” He means this: “Unless, over and above the commandments of the Law, you also fulfill My precepts you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. The observance of the commandments of Moses delivers from punishment, but they do not lead into the kingdom of heaven. But My commandments both deliver you from punishment and lead you into heaven.” (St. John Chrysostom)

Today Our dear Lord Jesus Christ teaches us about the Christian love we are to have for one another. He also acquaints us with the obstacles which tend to impede such love. For whoever nurses anger and hatred in his heart against his neighbor is incapable of loving him. Likewise, the one who says to his brother, Raca, or You fool, that is, whoever manifests by his attitude and frowning that he is angry with his neighbor, heaping curses and invectives on him, cannot possibly love him. For this reason the Lord instructs us to avoid such goings-on in order that Christian love might be manifested toward our neighbor freely and openly. (Blessed Martin Luther)

The Lord says: “I both grant you forgiveness, and at the same time give you healing of soul, and a kingdom. And then I accept your gift, as soon as you have become reconciled to your enemy, when you cherish no hatred against anyone, when the sun has not gone down upon your wrath, when there is peace and charity in you towards all men—then your prayer is heard, then your offering is pleasing and acceptable to God, your house is blessed and you are blessed. If however you will not be reconciled to your brother, how can you seek forgiveness and pardon from Me? For You let My words fall to the ground, as it were; yet you look for forgiveness?” (St Ephraim)

When the Lord says, “Love your enemies; do good to them that hate you,” He does not command the impossible. The Lord Himself makes this clear, and has shown it to us by His very works. And so too, all His disciples strove till death for love of their neighbor, and prayed fervently for those that killed them. But since we love material things and prefer pleasure more than the commandments of God, we are often not able to love them that hate us. Rather, we often repulse them that love us. But when a man truly knows the Lord’s purpose, by the Lord gift he can love all men from his heart—even those who hate and trouble him. (St Maximos the Confessor)

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