Matthew 18:20

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Otherwise; When you begin to hold your brother as a publican you bind him on earth, but take heed that you bind him with just cause; for an unjust cause breaks rightful bonds. But when you have corrected him, and agreed with him, you have loosed him upon earth, and when you have loosed him upon earth, he shall be loosed also in heaven. You confer a great boon not on yourself, but on him, as he had done the hurt not to you but to himself. ...
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Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
Christ gives to those who are allotted the duty of teaching the power to loose and to bind. So when those who have once fallen do not convert to the pursuit of virtue, they must fear the voices of the saints, even if they are not many who make the petition to bind or loose. For Christ has assured us of this, saying that there will be strength in the prayers of many, but that even if only two in number harmoniously and deliberately define their requests, they will come to their goal. “For I will be with you,” he says, “and will support you if only two are gathered, because of me.” For it is not the number of those gathered but the strength of their piety and their love of God that is effective. ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
There am I in the midst of them: This is understood of such assemblies only, as are gathered in the name and authority of Christ; and in unity of the Church of Christ. (St. Cyprian, de Unit ate Ecclesiæ.) (Challoner) St. Chrysostom, Theophylactus, and Euthymius explain the words in his name, thus, assembled by authority received from Christ, in the manner appointed by him, or for his sake, and seeking nothing by his glory. Hence we may see what confidence we may place in an oecumenical council lawfully assembled. (Tirinus) (St. Gregory, lib. vii. Regist. Epist. cxii.) ...
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Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
But He holds out a ratification not only of sentences of excommunication, but of every petition which is offered by men holding together in the unity of the Church; for He adds, “Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree upon earth,” whether in admitting a penitent, or casting out afroward person, “touching any thing which they shall ask,” any thing, that is, that is not against the unity of the Church, “it shall be done for them by my Father which is in heaven.” By saying, “which is in heaven,” He points Him out as above all, and therefore able to fulfil all that shall be asked of Him. Or, He is in the heavens, that is, with saints, proof enough that whatever worthy thing they shall ask shall be done unto them, because they have with them Him of whom they ask. For this cause is the sentence of those that agree together ratified, because God dwells in them, “For where two or more are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” ...

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
For He who is peace and charity, will set His place and habitation in good and peaceable dispositions.
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AD 420
Because He had said, “If he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as a heathen, and a publican,” whereupon the brother so contemned might answer, or think within himself, If you despise me, I also will despise you; if you condemn me, you shall be condemned by my sentence. He therefore confers powers upon the Apostles, that they may be assured that when any are condemned after this manner, the sentence of man is ratified by the sentence of God. “Verily Isay unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose upon the earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Or otherwise; All His foregoing discourse had invited us to union; now to make us embrace peace more anxiously, He holds out a reward, promising to be in the midst of two or three. We may also understand this spiritually; where our spirit, soul, and body are in agreement, and have not within them conflicting wills, they shall obtain from My Father every thing they shall ask; for none ca...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
And be it noted, that He said not to the Primate of the Church, Bind such a man; but, If ye shall bind him, the bonds shall be indissoluble; leaving the other to his discretion. And see how He has set the incorrigible person under the yoke of a twofold necessity; to wit, the punishment that is here, namely, the casting forth out of the Church, when He said, “Let him be as a heathen;” and the future punishment, saying, that he shall be bound in heaven; thus by the weight of his penalties lessening his brother’s wrath against him. Or, because He had said, It shall be done unto them by My Father; therefore, to shew that He is the Giver together with His Father, He adds this, “where two or three”. Yet He said not barely, “Where they are gathered together,” but added, “in my name,” as much as to say, If any man look upon Me as the chief motive of his love to his neighbour, I will be with him, though his virtue be shown towards other men. How is it then that those who thus agree together do ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Then because He had said, Of my Father, in order that He might show that it is Himself that gives, and not He who begot Him only, He added, For wheresoever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. What then? Are there not two or three gathered together in His name? There are indeed, but rarely. For not merely of the assembling does He speak, neither this does He require only; but most surely, as I said before also, the rest of virtue too together with this, and besides, even this itself He requires with great strictness. For what He says is like this, If any holds me the principal ground of his love to his neighbors, I will be with Him, if he be a virtuous man in other respects. But now we see the more part having other motives of friendship. For one loves, because he is loved, another because he has been honored, a third because such a one has been useful to him in some other worldly matter, a fourth for some other like cause; but for Chris...

Peter Chrysologus

AD 450
There are those who presume that the congregation of the church can be disregarded. They assert that private prayers should be preferred to those of an honorable assembly. But if Jesus denies nothing to so small a group as two or three, will he refuse those who ask for it in the assemblies and congregation of the church? This is what the prophet believed and what he exults over having obtained when he states, “I will confess to you, O Lord, with my whole heart, in the council and congregation of the righteous.” A man “confesses with his whole heart” when in the council of the saints he hears that everything which he has asked will be granted him. Some, however, endeavor to excuse under an appearance of faith the idleness that prompts their contempt for assemblies. They omit participation in the fervor of the assembled congregation and pretend that they have devoted to prayer the time they have expended upon their household cares. While they give themselves up to their own desires, they...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. By these words He draws us together in love. After forbidding us to give offence to each other, either to harm and to be harmed, now He speaks of mutual agreement and harmony. Those who agree are those who collaborate, not in evil, but in good. Mark what He said: "if two of you," that is, of believers who are virtuous. For Annas and Caiaphas also agreed, but in a manner deserving blame. This is why we often pray but do not receive, because we do not agree among each other. He did not say, "I will be there," for He does not merely intend to be there at some future time, nor does He delay, but rather He said, "there am I," that is, I am present at once. You may also understand that when the flesh and the spirit agree, and the flesh does not desire something in opposition to the spirit, then is the Lord there in the midst. And so also do the three faculties of the soul — the abilities to reason, to be stirred to action, and to desire — all agree. But the Old and the New agree as well an...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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