Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


How then does he command the holy apostles, who are innocent men and “sheep,” to seek the company of wolves, and go to them of their own will? Is not the danger apparent? Are they not set up as ready prey for their attacks? How can a sheep prevail over a wolf? How can one so peaceful conquer the savageness of beasts of prey? “Yes,” he says, “for they all have me as their Shepherd: small and great, people and princes, teachers and students. I will be with you, help you, and deliver you from all evil. I will tame the savage beasts. I will change wolves into sheep, and I will make the persecutors become the helpers of the persecuted. I will make those who wrong my ministers to be sharers in their pious designs. I make and unmake all things, and nothing can resist my will.”1


What good or what harm would it do them to have shoes on their feet or go without them? By this command, he does wish them to learn and to attempt to practice that they must lay all thought of their livelihood on him. They must call to mind the saint who said, “Cast your care on the Lord, and he will feed you.” He gives what is needful for life to the saints.2


He forbid them to take money for fear they would be considered businessmen and not announcers.3


Those who write of the nature of animals say that all wild creatures, beasts of burden, and sheep and birds have an innate affection for their offspring and young but that the greatest love is found among eagles, who build their nests in very high and inaccessible locations so that no serpent can harm their chicks. Also to be found among newly hatched eagles is the aetiten stone, which overcomes all poisons. If this is true, then the eagle’s affection is rightly compared with that of God for his creatures, who protects his children by taking every precaution to shatter the adversary’s plots on the name of the stone that is placed in Zion’s foundation, lest the dragon and ancient serpent, the devil and Satan, seize his newborns. And this Jerusalem, a mother by whom sons are consoled and caressed on her knees, is she of whom the apostle wrote: “But the Jerusalem above, who is the mother of us all, is free.”4


So, then, the Holy Spirit is the river, and the abundant river, which according to the Hebrews flowed from Jesus in the lands, as we have received it prophesied by the mouth of Isaiah. This is the great river that flows always and never fails. And not only a river but also one of the copious stream and overflowing greatness, as also David said, “The stream of the river makes glad the city of God.”5



  1. COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILY 61.  Just, A. A. (Ed.). (2005). Luke (pp. 171–172). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  2. COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILY 62.  Just, A. A. (Ed.). (2005). Luke (p. 172). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  3. COMMENTARY ON TATIAN’S DIATESSARON 8.1A, 1C.  Just, A. A. (Ed.). (2005). Luke (p. 172). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  4. COMMENTARY ON ISAIAH 18.26.  Elliott, M. W. (Ed.). (2007). Isaiah 40–66 (pp. 285–286). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  5. ON THE HOLY SPIRIT 1.16.177.  Elliott, M. W. (Ed.). (2007). Isaiah 40–66 (p. 286). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
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