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GOSPEL COMMENTARIES


 

 

 

A GOOD MAN AND THE TREASURES OF HIS HEART

A well-instructed scribe is described as a householder bringing out of his treasures things new and old.  We do not enter a school for no purpose; we enter the school of the Lord's service to learn the true interpretation of Scriptures; otherwise, we shall interpret it in the customary or secular way.

So, the Scribes professed the knowledge of the law; they kept and studied and transcribed and expounded the books of the law.  Yet Christ condemned them because they had the keys to the kingdom of God but they ". . .would neither enter in themselves nor let others enter in."  This behaviour blasphemes the name of the Lord; they are Scribes but NOT "instructed in the kingdom of God."

"A good man out of the good treasures of his heart bringeth forth  good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasures of his heart bringeth forth evil things."  If people say good things but do not live good lives, they are evil.  If they are evil, they cannot speak good things.  Why should we do what we hear from them when we cannot hear what is good from them?

Whatever an evil man brings forth from himself is evil.  Whatever an evil man brings forth out of his own heart is evil; for him, the things he treasures are evil.

But whatever a good man brings forth out of his heart is good.

The Scribes sat at the chair of Moses and taught the law of Moses. Christ told the Jews to do what they say but not what they do.  Anyway, what the Scribes taught did not come from their hearts; what they taught came from the seat of Moses.

"Every tree is known by its own fruit. Do men gather grapes from thorns and figs from thistles?"  Thorns and thistles are the evil hearts of evil men.

To understand the mystery of God, how Christ is both man and God, the heart must be cleansed. And it is cleansed by a good conversation, by a pure life, by chastity, sanctity and love, and by faith.

It is from the roots of the heart that actions proceed. If evil desires are planted in the heart, thorns and thistles will spring forth. If you plant charity, then grapes and figs will come forth.

This is why the proud and wretched Pharisees could not give good answers. The least they could have answered is, "We do not know the answer Master.  Please  teach us."  But, no. They opened not their mouth to seek instruction. And, because of their pride, "they loved the first seats." And Christ condemned their hearts.

This is the leaven of the Pharisees; the treasures in their heart are: they loved the present temporal good, they loved the first places, they did not fear the eternal evil things nor love the good eternal things. Their hearts being evil, they could not understand nor answer what the Lord asked them.

St. Augustine, "On the Gospels"

 

 

 

 

 

(02-13-04)

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