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Matthew 5:14

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
Non occ.: And therefore let none shut up his faith within the measure of the Law, but have recourse to the Church in which the grace of the sevenfold Spirit shines forth.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
By the world here we must not understand heaven and earth, but the men who are in the world; or those who love the world for whose enlightenment the Apostles were sent. Or, the mountain is the great righteousness, which is signified by the mountain from which the Lord is now teaching. Serm. in Mont., i, 7: Had He only said, “That they may see your good works,” He would have seemed to have set up as an end to be sought the praised of men, which the hypocrites desire; but by adding, “and glorify your Father,” he teaches that we should not seek as an end to please men with our good works, but referring all to the glory of God, therefore seek to please men, that in that God may be glorified. ...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
You are the light of the world. In the same way as He said above, the salt of the earth, so now He says, the light of the world. For in the former case that earth is not to be understood which we tread with our bodily feet, but the men who dwell upon the earth, or even the sinners, for the preserving of whom and for the extinguishing of whose corruptions the Lord sent the apostolic salt. And here, by the world must be understood not the heavens and the earth, but the men who are in the world or love the world, for the enlightening of whom the apostles were sent. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid, i.e. [a city] founded upon great and distinguished righteousness, which is also the meaning of the mountain itself on which our Lord is discoursing. ...

Bede

AD 735
In Loc. quoad sens.: Or, Christ Himself has lighted this lamp, when He filled the earthen vessel of human nature with the fire of His Divinity, which He would not either hide from them that believe, nor put under a bushel that is shut up under the measure of the Law, or confine within the limits of any one oration. The lampstand is the Church, on which He set the lamp, when He affixed to our foreheads the faith of His incarnation. ...
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Chromatius of Aquileia

AD 407
The Lord has already called his disciples the “salt of the earth” because they seasoned with divine wisdom the hearts of the human race which had been made tasteless by the devil. Now he also calls them the “light of the world.” For, illumined by his very own self who is the true and eternal light, they too become light within the darkness. For since he himself is the sun of righteousness, he rightly also calls his disciples “light of the world.” Through them, as if through shining rays, he poured the light of his knowledge on the entire world. For by showing the light of truth, the Lord’s disciples made the darkness of error flee from people’s hearts. . ...

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
As the doctors by their good conversation are the salt with which the people is salted; so by their word of doctrine they are the light by which the ignorant are enlightened.
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Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
It is the nature of a light to emit its rays whithersoever it is carried about, and when brought into a house to dispel the darkness of that house. Thus the world, placed beyond the pale of the knowledge of God, was held in the darkness of ignorance, till the light of knowledge was brought to it by the Apostles, and thenceforward the knowledge of God shone bright, and from their small bodies, whithersoever they went about, light is ministered to the darkness. Or, the city signifies the flesh which He had taken on Him; because that in Himby this assumption of human nature, there was as it were a collection of the human race, and we by partaking in His flesh become inhabitants of that city. He cannot therefore be hid, because being set in the height of God’s power, Heis offered to be contemplated of all men in admiration of his works. Or, the Lord likened the Synagogue to a corn-measure, which only receiving within itself such fruit as was raised; contained a certain measure of limited o...

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
He calls the flesh he has assumed a city. For as a city consists in a variety and multitude of inhabitants, so by virtue of his assumed body he contains in himself a certain union of the entire human race. Thus he becomes a city by our union in him, and we through union with his flesh are the community of the city. Therefore he cannot be hidden. Situated on God’s lofty height, he is held up to all in admiration of his good works as deserving of contemplation and understanding. But a lamp is not to be lit and hidden under a bushel. For what benefit is derived from keeping light enclosed? Thus the lamp of Christ must not be hidden under a bushel. … Hung on the wood of the cross, it sheds everlasting light on all those who dwell in the church. ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
But to live well must go before to teach well; hence after He had called the Apostles “the salt,” He goes on to call them “the light of the world. "Or, for that salt preserves a thing in its present state that it should not change for the worse, but that light brings it into a better state by enlightening it; therefore the Apostles were first called salt with respect to the Jews and that Christian body which had the knowledge of God, and which they keep in that knowledge; and now light with respect to the Gentiles whom they bring to the light of that knowledge. Mark how great His promise to them, men who were scarce known in their own country that the fame of them should reach to the ends of the earth. The persecutions which He had foretold, were not able to dim their light, yea they made it but more conspicuous. Thus shewing them that they ought to be careful of their own walk and conversation, seeing they were set in the eyes of all, like a city on a hill, or a lamp on astand. This c...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
After this He leads on to another, a higher image. You are the light of the world. Matthew 5:14 Of the world again; not of one nation, nor of twenty states, but of the whole inhabited earth. And a light to the mind, far better than this sunbeam: like as they were also a spiritual salt. And before they are salt, and now light; to teach you how great is the gain of these strict precepts, and the profit of that grave discipline: how it binds, and permits not to become dissolute; and causes clear sight, leading men on to virtue. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid, neither do men light a candle, and put it under the bushel. Again, by these words He trains them to strictness of life, teaching them to be earnest in their endeavors, as set before the eyes of all men, and contending in the midst of the amphitheatre of the world. For, look not to this, He says, that we are now sitting here, that we are in a small portion of one corner. For you shall be as conspicuous to all a...
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
You are the light of the world—not of a single nation nor of twenty cities but of the entire inhabited earth. You are like a light for the mind, far better than any particular sunbeam. Similarly, you are spiritual salt. First you are salt. Then you are light. The metaphors of salt and light drive home the great benefit of these stinging words and the profit of this rigorous discipline, how it binds and does not permit us to become dissolute in our behavior. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily ...
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
The person characterized by humility, gentleness, mercy and righteousness does not build a fence around good deeds. Rather, that one ensures that these good fountains overflow for the benefit of others. One who is pure in heart and a peacemaker, even when persecuted for the sake of truth, orders his way of life for the common good. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily ...
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Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
For as the sun sends forth his beams, so the Lord, the Sun of righteousness, sent forth his Apostles to dispel the night of the human race.
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Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
First He calls them salt and then light. He who reproves what is done in secret is light, "for whatsoever doth make manifest is light" (Eph. 5:13) The apostles did not enlighten one nation only, but the world. He teaches them to struggle and to be strict in living a virtuous life, for they will be in view of all. Do not imagine, He says, that you will be hidden away in some corner, for you will be most visible. See to it, then, that you live blamelessly, lest you become a stumbling block for others. ...
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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