But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
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Cornelius a Lapide
Seek ye therefore . . . all those things shall be added. Gr. Ï€ÏÎ¿ÏƒÎ¸Î®ÏƒÎµÏ„Î±Î¹, shall be set before you, as SS. Cyprian and Augustine read, as bread and meat are set before a hungry beggar in a rich man"s house. First, not so much in time as in dignity says S. Augustine, in estimation and appreciation. Seek chiefly and above all things the kingdom of God, esteem it above all other things, count it as of highest value, but count temporal goods of small worth, and as only to be sought after in subordination to the kingdom of God, as things which are added by God, overweight, so to say, so far, that Isaiah , as they conduce to our real good.
Wherefore they err who say:—
"0 citizens, 0 citizens, first money get,
Then, after that, on virtue"s crown your hearts be set."
Such is the error of those who at this day seek after and procure rich appointments, benefices, dignities, bishoprics, with all diligence, but think little of the responsibility and their own capabilities, and little of their own eternal salvation. The kingdom of God, i.e, His heavenly kingdom, eternal glory and happiness, and His righteousness, viz, the means which lead us to the kingdom of God, such as God"s grace, virtue, good and righteous works, by which we become righteous, or more just before God, works which God has prescribed and commanded that we should do them.
All these things shall be added. Therefore they are not the reward of good works, for this is wholly kept for us in heaven, says S. Augustine, but they shall be added as overweight, a little trifling addition to the infinite reward.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow, i.e, for time future. The seventh argument, Leave for the morrow, i.e, for the time to come, the care and anxiety of the morrow. Why do ye wish to be anxious and wretched before the time? For even though to-day ye summon to you to-morrow"s cares, to-morrow will, on that account, bring you not one care the less. Let therefore each care be kept for its own time, to-day"s for to-day, to-morrow"s for tomorrow; thus solicitude being divided into parts will be diminished, will become lighter, and will be borne more easily. Verily if a soul when it enters a human body could see all the poverty, pain and trouble and anguish, which in a lifetime, day after day, minute after minute, it would suffer, it would shudder and despair, and would not enter the body. Wherefore God hides from us the afflictions which we shall have to undergo, that we may take them day by day, and so sustain them. Wisely does S. Chrysostom say in this passage, "Far be it from us that the cares of another day should bruise us. For thou knowest not that thou shalt behold the dawning of that day on account of which thou tormentest thyself with anxiety." And "What does it profit to care about future contingencies which, it may be, will never happen?"
Similarly the poet sings—
"Thou knowest not what the late eventide may bring."
And the Psalmist says, "Day unto day uttereth a word, and night unto night showeth knowledge." (Ps. xix3 , Vulg.)
Christ here does not forbid all provision for future time, as for instance storing up the harvests of corn and wine and oil: for prudence and economy require this to be done: and this is what Joseph did so prudently in Egypt. (Gen. xli35.) Whence S. Anthony (apud Cassian. Collat2) says, that some who would keep nothing for to-morrow were deceived, and could not bring the task they had begun to a suitable end. Christ only forbids useless anxieties about the future, unseasonable cares, as when a man is anxious about those things the care of which does not, according to right reason, pertain to present but to future time.
Solicitude then is of two kinds, the first moderate and business-like, such as right reason dictates ought to be employed for such or such an affair or business: this is laudable and needful, with all prudence and virtue. The other is immoderate, vain, and unbecoming, by which a timid or covetous man vainly torments himself about future events which are altogether uncertain, and can neither be foreseen nor delayed. This sort of care which the Greeks call Î¼ÎµÏÎ¹Î¼Î½Î± is anxious care, worry; and it is this which Christ forbids. Whence the Gloss says, "Not labour, or provident care, is forbidden, but anxiety which chokes the mind."
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. That, is the day"s trouble, care, affliction. Every day brings to man its own trouble and solicitude. The Greek is ÎºÎ±ÎºÎ¯Î±, evil, badness. It is put here for ÎºÎ±ÎºÏŽÏƒÎ¹Ï‚ the bringing of evil, or afflicting. Thus Jacob said to Pharoah, "Few and evel," that Isaiah , miserable, "have been the days of the years of my pilgrimage." (, Genesis 47:9.) Song of Solomon , on the other hand, goodness or good, is to be taken for joyful, glad, pleasant, as Ps. cxxxiii, "Behold how good and joyful a thing it Isaiah , brethren, to dwell together in unity." Thus SS. Jerome, Chrysostom, Augustine, &c. S. Chrysostom gives the reason, "That He may rebuke them more sharply, He has almost personified time itself, and introduced it as though itself afflicted by men, as though it cried out against them on account of the superfluous affliction which they impose upon it." Hear also S. Augustine: "Necessity He calls evil, because it is for a punishment: it pertains to mortality, which we have deserved by sin. When we see the servant of God providing for necessary things, we do not think he is acting contrary to the commandment of God. For the Lord, as an example, kept a bag. And in the Acts of the Apostles we read, that necessary things were provided for the future on account of the threatened famine. We are therefore not forbidden to provide, but to fight on account of those things."