Thursday of the Twenty-ninth week in Ordinary Time
Saint Ambrose (c.340-397),
Commentary of the day
Saint Ambrose (c.340-397), Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church
Commentary on the Gospel of Luke, 7, 134 (cf. SC 52, p. 55f.)
"Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother... for the sake of my name, will receive a hundred times more ” (Mt 19,29)
In almost every passage of Scripture the spiritual meaning plays an important part. But in this passage especially we must look for spiritual depth within the thread of its meaning... How is it that he himself can say: “Peace I leave with you, my own peace I give you” (Jn 14,27) if he has come to divide fathers from their sons, sons from their fathers, breaking their connection? How can we be called “cursed if you dishonor your father” (Dt 27,16) yet fervent if we abandon him?
If we understand that religion comes first and filial devotion second then we will understand this question to be clarified: for we have to pass on to the human after the divine. For if we have duties towards our parents, how much more to the Father of our parents to whom we owe thanksgiving for our parents?... He doesn't say, then, that we must give up those we love but that we must prefer God before all else. Besides, do we not find in another book: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Mt 10,37). What is forbidden is not to love your parents but to prefer them to God. For our blood relations are among God's blessings and no one is to love the good things they have received more than the God who conserves the blessings he has given.