INCOMPLETE WORK ON MATTHEW:
We too, set in the middle, should strive not to descend to those who are in hell but ascend to those who are in heaven. And in case perhaps you do not know which one you ought to shun or which one you ought to aspire to, he has given you as it were a little taste of both while you live between light and darkness: night as a taste of hell, daylight as a taste of heaven.1
Be aware that we have been hired as laborers. If we have been hired as laborers, we ought to know what our tasks are, for a hired laborer cannot be without a task. Our tasks are the works of justice, not to till our fields and vineyards; not to amass riches and pile up honors but to benefit our neighbors. And though we can do this tilling and amassing without sin, yet they are not our tasks but our daily occupations.
No one hires a laborer to work only so that the laborer may eat. So we too have been called by Christ to do not merely what pertains to our own benefit but to do what pertains to the glory of God. The hired hand, who only works so that he may fill his belly, wanders purposelessly about the house. So we too, if we do only what pertains to our benefit, live without reason on the earth. And just as the hired hand first looks to his work and then to his wages, so we too are Christ’s hired hands and first ought to look at what pertains to God’s glory and to the benefit of our neighbors.… Charity and true love toward God “does not insist on its own way” but desires to perform everything to the wish of the beloved—then to what pertains to our own benefit.2