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Matthew 6:25

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Or we may understand the soul in this place to be put for the animal life. De Haeres., 57: There are certain heretics called Euchitae , who hold that a monk may not do any work even for his support; who embrace this profession that they may be freed from necessity of daily labour. De Op. Monach. 1 et seq.: For they say the Apostle did not speak of personal labour, such as that of husbandmen or craftsmen, when he said, “Who will notwork, neither let him eat.” , where it is said, that he abode with Aquila and his wife Priscilla, “labouring with them, for they were tent-makers. "And yet to the Apostle, as a preacher of the Gospel, a soldier of Christ, a planter of the vineyard, a shepherd of his flock, the Lord had appointed that he should live of the Gospel, but he refused that payment which was justly his due, that he might present himself an example to those who exacted what was not due to them. Let those hear this who have not that power which he had; namely, of eating bread for nough...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Lest perchance, although it is not now superfluities that are sought after, the heart should be made double by reason of necessaries themselves, and the aim should be wrenched aside to seek after those things of our own, when we are doing something as it were from compassion; i.e. so that when we wish to appear to be consulting for some one's good, we are in that matter looking after our own profit rather than his advantage: and we do not seem to ourselves to be sinning for this reason, that it is not superfluities, but necessaries, which we wish to obtain. But the Lord admonishes us that we should remember that God, when He made and compounded us of body and soul, gave us much more than food and clothing, through care for which He would not have us make our hearts double. Is not, says He, the soul more than the meat? So that you are to understand that He who gave the soul will much more easily give meat. And the body than the raiment, i.e. is more than raiment: so that similarly you a...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Wherefore I say unto you, &c. For your life, Vulg, anima, "for your soul." For it has need of food, not strictly speaking, but that it may be kept in the body, and animate the body. And again, in the soul resides all sense of food, all taste of and pleasure in it. For the soul, i.e, for the life, as S. Augustine says, because the soul is the cause of life. For, take no thought, the Greek has μὴ μεριμνα̃τε, take no anxious thought, lest, through care, ye be troubled with anxiety and distress; for the desire of gathering wealth divides the mind, and distracts it with various cogitations, cares, and anxieties, and as it were cuts it in twain. Christ, then, does not forbid provident diligence and labour in procuring the necessaries of life for ourselves and those who belong to us, as the Euchitæ maintained, who wished to pray always without working, against whom S. Augustine wrote a book, On the Work of Monks. But Christ forbids anxious, untimely, fearful solicitude, care th...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
A prudent provision is not prohibited, but that over-solicitude which draws the soul, the heart, and its affections from God, and his sweet all-ruling providence, to sink and degrade them in empty pursuits, which can never fill the soul. (Haydock) Be not solicitous; i.e. too solicitous with a trouble and anxiety of mind, as appears by the Greek. For your life; lit. for your soul, which many times is put for life. (Witham) ...
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Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
Interlin.: That is, Be not withdrawn by temporal cares from things eternal.
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Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
Otherwise; Because the thoughts of the unbelievers were ill-employed respecting care of things future, cavilling concerning what is to be the appearance of our bodies in the resurrection, what the food in the eternal life, therefore He continues, “Is not the life more than food?” He will not endure that our hope should hang in care for the meat and drink and clothing that is to be in the resurrection, lest there should be affront given to Him who has given us the more precious things, in our being anxious that He should also give us the lesser. ...
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Jerome

AD 420
Some manuscripts, add here, “nor what ye shall drink.” That which belongs naturally toall animals alike, to brutes and beasts of burden as well as to man, from all thought of this we are not freed. But we are bid not to be anxious what we should eat, for in the sweat of our face we earn our bread; the toil is to be undergone, the anxiety put away. This “Be not careful,” is to be taken of bodily food and clothing; for the food and clothing of the spirit it becomes usto be always careful. The command is therefore, “not to be anxious what we shall eat.” For it is also commanded, that in the sweat of our face we must eat bread. Toil therefore is enjoined, carking forbidden. He who has given the greater, will He not also give the less? ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
He does not hereby mean that the spirit needs food, for it is incorporeal, but He speaks according to common usage, for the soul cannot remain in the body unless the body be fed. Or we may connect the context otherwise; When the Lord had inculcated contempt of money, that none might say, How then shall we be able to live when we have given up our all? He adds, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life.”. Bread may not be gained by carefulness of spirit, but by toil of body; and to the m that will labour it abounds, God bestowing it as a reward of their industry; and is lacking to the idle, God withdrawing it as punishment of their sloth. The Lord also confirms our hope, and descending first from the greater to the less, says, “Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”. For had He not willed that which was should be preserved, He had not created it; but what He so created that it should be preserved by food, it is necessary that He give it food, as long ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Having now, as you see, in all ways taught the advantage of contemning riches, as well for the very preservation of the riches, as for the pleasure of the soul, and for acquiring self-command, and for the securing of godliness; He proceeds to establish the practicability of this command. For this especially pertains to the best legislation, not only to enjoin what is expedient, but also to make it possible. Therefore He also goes on to say, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat. That is, lest they should say, What then? If we cast all away, how shall we be able to live? At this objection, in what follows, He makes a stand, very seasonably. For as surely as if at the beginning He had said, Take no thought, the word would have seemed burdensome; so surely, now that He has shown the mischief arising out of covetousness, His admonition coming after is made easy to receive. Wherefore neither did He now simply say, Take no thought, but He added the reason, and so enjoined t...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Note that he did not simply say, “Don’t be anxious for your life,” but he added the reason and so commanded this. After having said, “You cannot serve God and mammon,” he added, “Therefore I say to you, don’t worry.” Therefore? Why therefore? Because of the unspeakable loss. For the hurt you receive is not in riches only; rather, the wound is in the most vital parts, in the subversion of your salvation, casting you as it does away from the God who made you, cares for you and loves you. “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life.” Only after Jesus has shown the hurt to be unspeakable, then and not before does he make the instruction stricter. He not only asks us to cast away what we have but also forbids us to take thought even for the food we need, saying, “Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat,” not because the soul needs food, for it is incorporeal. He spoke figuratively. For though the soul as such needs no food, it cannot endure to remain in the body unles...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. "For this reason" — for what reason? Because concern over money drives a man away from God. The soul does not eat, for it is bodiless, but Jesus said this according to the common use of the word. For it is obvious that the soul does not consent to remain in a body if the flesh is not fed. Jesus does not forbid us to work, but rather He forbids us to give ourselves over entirely to our cares and to neglect God. Hence we must work for our livelihood while not neglecting the soul. This means, will not He Who gave what is greater, life itself, and fashioned the body, will He not also give food and clothing? ...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
For this reason I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on: For this reason: for what reason? Because concern over money drives a man away from God. The soul does not eat, for it is bodiless, but Jesus said this according to the common use of the word (1) For it is obvious that the soul does not consent to remain in a body if the flesh is not fed. Jesus does not forbid us to work, but rather He forbids us to give ourselves over entirely to our cares and to neglect God. Hence we must work for our livelihood while not neglecting the soul. Is not life more than food, and the body more than raiment?: his means: He gave us much greater things, life itself, and formed our bodies. Will He not give us food and clothing? ...

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

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