October 5 Gospel Reading

Luke 6:37-45

37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” 39 And He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. 41 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye. 43 “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

St. Cyril of Alexandria in his Commentary on the Gospel of St.Luke said:

“He cuts away from our minds a very unmanageable passion, the commencement and begetter of pride. For while it is men’s duty to examine themselves, and to order their conduct according to God’s will, they leave this alone to busy themselves with the affairs of others. If they see any infirm, forgetting as it seems their own frailties, they make it an excuse for faultfinding, and a handle for calumny. For they condemn them, not knowing that being equally afflicted with the same infirmities as those whom they censure, they condemn themselves. For so also the most wise Paul writes, ‘For wherein you judge the other, you condemn yourself: for you who judge do the same things’ (Rom.2:1). And yet it is our duty rather to have compassion on the infirm, as those who have been overcome by the assaults of the passions and entangled without hope of escape in the meshes of sin, and to pray in their behalf, exhort them, and rouse them to soberness, and endeavor ourselves not to fall into similar faults.”

“Next, overthrowing the vaunting passion of boastfulness, to which most men give way, so they may not emulously strive to surpass their teachers in honor, He added: ‘The disciple is not above his teacher’; and even if some make such progress, as to attain to a virtue that rivals that of their teachers, they will range themselves no higher than their level, and be their imitators. And Paul will again be our warrant, saying, ‘Be imitators of me, as I also am of Christ.’ Since, therefore, the Teacher does not even judge, why do you judge? For He came not to judge the world, but to show pity. And according to the foregoing explanation, He says, If I do not judge, neither must you, the disciple. But if you are guilty of worse crimes than those for which you judge another, how can you keep yourself from shame when you are convicted of it?”

Cyprian of Carthage in his Epistle 54 said:

“Exaltation, and puffing up, and arrogant and haughty boastfulness, spring not from the teaching of Christ who teaches humility, but from the spirit of Antichrist, whom the Lord rebukes by His prophet, saying, ‘For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will place my throne above the stars of God: I will sit on a lofty mountain, above the lofty mountains to the north: I will ascend above the clouds; I will be like the Most High.’ (Is.14:13-14) And he added, saying, ‘Yet you shall descend into hell, to the foundations of the earth; and they that see you shall wonder at you.’ (Is.14:15-16) Whence also divine Scripture threatens a like punishment to such in another place, and says, ‘For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is injurious and proud, and upon every one that is lifted up, and lofty.’ (Is.2:12) By his mouth, therefore, and by his words, is every one at once betrayed; and whether he has Christ in his heart, or Antichrist, is discerned in his speaking, according to what the Lord says in His Gospel, ‘O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure brings forth good things; and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.’ (Mt.12:34-35) Whence also that rich sinner who implores help from Lazarus, then laid in Abraham’s bosom, and established in a place of comfort, while he, writhing in torments, is consumed by the heats of burning flame, suffers most punishment of all parts of his body in his mouth and his tongue, because doubtless in his mouth and his tongue he had most sinned.”

Origen in Fragments on Luke 112 wrote:

“‘The good tree’ is the Holy Spirit. The ‘bad tree’ is the devil and his underlings. The person who has the Holy Spirit manifests the fruits of the Spirit, which the apostle describes when he says, ‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.'” The one who has the opposing power brings forth briars and thistles, the passions of dishonor.”

Cyril of Alexandria in his Commentary on Luke, Homily 33 wrote:

“See again, Christ commands that those who come to us must be distinguished not by their clothing but by what they really are. ‘By its fruit,’ he says, ‘the tree is known.’ It is ignorance and folly for us to expect to find the choicer kinds of fruits on thorns, grapes for instance, and figs. So it is ridiculous for us to imagine that we can find hypocrites and the profane anything that is admirable, such as the nobleness of virtue…”

“This is also made clear by another declaration of our Lord. ‘The good man,’ he says, ‘as out of a good treasure, pours forth from the heart, good things.’ One who is differently disposed, and whose mind is the prey of fraud and wickedness, necessarily brings forth what is concealed deep within. The things that are in the  mind and heart boil over and are vomited forth by the stream of speech that flows out of it. The virtuous person therefore speaks such things as become his character, while one who is worthless and wicked vomits forth his secret impurity.”

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