Homilies on Luke: Fragments on Luke

By Joseph T. Lienhard; Origen | Go to book overview
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HOMILY 25 Luke 3.15

On the suspicion that the people had about John, "that perhaps he was the Christ."

EVEN LOVE ENTAILS a risk, if it is excessive. If someone loves another, he should consider the nature and the causes of his loving, and not love that person more than he deserves. For, if he goes beyond the measure and the limit of charity, then both he who loves and he who is loved will be in sin. To make this clearer, we can take John as an example. The people revered and loved him. And indeed he was a worthy object of wonder. More deference was paid to him than to the rest of men, for he had lived differently than all other mortals. None of us is content with simple food; we take pleasure in a variety of food. One kind of wine to drink does not suffice for us; we purchase wines with different tastes.

2. But John always ate locusts, and he always ate woodland honey.1. He was content with simple and light food, lest his body grow fat on richer, savory dishes and be overpowered by exquisite banquets. This is the nature of our bodies; they are weighed down by excess food and, when the body is weighed down, the soul too is burdened. For, the soul is spread throughout the whole body and is subject to its passions. Hence, those who can observe it are tightly advised, "It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that scandalizes your brother."2. So John's life was remarkable, and quite different than other men's way of living. He had no purse, no servant, not even an ordinary hut.

____________________
1.
Cf. Mt 3-4.
2.
Rom 14.21.

-105-

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