God’s Beggars – Augustine on Matthew 7:7-12

Today’s gospel reading is from Matthew 7:7-12, the famous “ask and you shall receive” passage that often gets glibly quoted.  Below an excerpt from Augustine’s sermon on the text.  I am sorry to inform you that according to him it doesn’t mean you can ask and just have whatever you want ;-).

7. If then God hath made us His beggars by admonishing, and exhorting, and commanding us to ask, and seek, and knock, let us for our part pay regard to those who ask from us. We ask, and from whom do we ask? Who are we that ask? What do we ask? From whom, or who are we, or what is it that we ask? We ask of the Good God; and we that ask are evil men; but we ask for righteousness, whereby we may be good. We ask then for that which we may have for ever, wherewith when we shall be filled, we shall want no more. But in order that we may be filled, let us hunger and thirst; hungering and thirsting, let us ask, and seek, and knock. “For blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness.” Wherefore are they blessed? They do hunger and thirst, and are they blessed? Is want ever a blessing? They are not blessed in that they hunger and thirst, but in that they will be filled. There will there be blessedness, in the fulness, not in the hunger. But hunger must go before the fulness, that no loathing attach to the bread.

Read the rest HERE.

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About Jeremy

I work at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Hammond, LA. I teach part-time classes from time to time, through Loyola University in New Orleans, Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans and St. Joseph's Abbey and Seminary College. I also just finished a doctoral degree in Biblical languages through the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.
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