Homilies on Luke: Fragments on Luke

By Joseph T. Lienhard; Origen | Go to book overview

HOMILY 11 Luke 1.80-2.2

On the passage from, "But the boy grew and was strengthened in spirit," up to the point where it says, "This is the first census that was made under Cyrinus, the governor of Syria."

IN THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, something is said to "grow" in two senses. One sense is corporeal, that is, when the human will contributes nothing. The other sense is spiritual, that is, when human effort is the cause of the growth. The evangelist now speaks of this latter sense, that is, the spiritual one--which we laid out second--when he says, "But the boy grew and was strengthened in spirit."1. What it means follows: "He grew in spirit." His spirit did not remain in the same condition in which it had begun, but always kept growing in him. In each hour and each moment, as the spirit grew, his soul too kept developing. And not only his soul, but also his senses and his mind kept following the growth of his spirit. The Lord commanded, "Grow and multiply."2. do not know how those who take this passage simply and literally can explain it. Granted that "multiply" refers to numbers, when they become more in number than they were previously, they "multiply." But what precedes, to "grow," that is not in our power.

2. For, what man would not want to "add to his stature,"3. to become miler? Something is commanded so that it will be done; it is stupid to command what the one you command cannot do. We are commanded to grow. Hence we are able

____________________
1.
Lk 1.80.
2.
Gn 1.22. The usual translation is "increase and multiply," but the word for "increase" is the same as the one for "grow" in Lk 1.80, both in Greek and in Latin.
3.
Mt 6.27.

-44-

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Homilies on Luke: Fragments on Luke
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Title Page vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Select Bibliography xi
  • Introduction xv
  • Homilies on Luke 1
  • Preface of Jerome the Presbyter 3
  • Homily 1 Luke 1.1-4 5
  • Homily 2 Luke 1.6 10
  • Homily 3 Luke 1.11 14
  • Homily 4 Luke 1.13-17 17
  • Homily 5 Luke 1.22 20
  • Homily 6 Luke 1.24-32 23
  • Homily 7 Luke 1.39-45 28
  • Homily 8 Luke 1.46-51 33
  • Homily 9 Luke 1.56-64 37
  • Homily 10 Luke 1.67-76 40
  • Homily 11 Luke 1.80-2.2 44
  • Homily 12 Luke 2.8-11 48
  • Homily 13 Luke 2.13-16 52
  • Homily 14 Luke 2.21-24 56
  • Homily 15 Luke 2.25-29 62
  • Homily 16 Luke 2.33-34 65
  • Homily 17 Luke 2.33-38 70
  • Homily 18 Luke 2.40-49 76
  • Homily 19 Luke 2.40.4-6 80
  • Homily 20 Luke 2.49-51 84
  • Homily 21 Luke 3.1-4 88
  • Homily 22 Luke 3.5-8 92
  • Homily 23 Luke 3.9-12 97
  • Homily 24 Luke 3.15-16 103
  • Homily 25 Luke 3.15 105
  • Homily 26 Luke 3. 16-17 109
  • Homily 27 Luke 3.18-22 112
  • Homily 28 Luke 3.23-38 115
  • Homily 29 Luke 4.1-4 119
  • Homily 30 Luke 4.5-8 123
  • Homily 31 Luke 4.9-12 125
  • Homily 32 Luke 4.14-20 130
  • Homily 33 Luke 4.23-27 134
  • Homily 34 Luke 10.25-37 137
  • Homily 35 Luke 12.57-59 142
  • Homily 36 Luke 17.20-21, 33 151
  • Homily 37 Luke 19.29-40 153
  • Homily 38 Luke 19.41-45 156
  • Homily 39 Luke 20.21-40 159
  • Fragments on Luke 163
  • Indices 229
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