Ecclesiastes 11:1

Cast your bread upon the waters: for you shall find it after many days.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
Tears are aptly called bread there, where a hunger for justice exists. “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.” And so there are tears which are bread and which strengthen the human heart. The maxim of Ecclesiastes is also appropriate to this discussion, “Cast your bread on the face of the water.” For the bread of heaven is there, where the water of grace is; it is right that those from whose belly rivers of living water flow should receive the support of the Word and a nurture of a mystical kind. .

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Waters. Sow thy seed where it may produce a good crop. (Calmet) Be charitable to all, Luke vi. 30. Indiscrete faciendum bene. (St. Jerome) Assist those in distress, (Calmet) even though they may be ungrateful, or unable to make a return, Luke xiv. 12. (Tirinus) In this third part we are exhorted to serve God with perseverance. Of all virtues, the works of mercy avail most, Matthew xxv. (Worthington)

Gregory the Theologian

AD 390
It happens with most people that they give indeed, but they do not do so freely and readily, which is a greater and more perfect thing than the mere act of offering itself. It is far better to be generous to the unworthy for the sake of the worthy than to deprive the worthy out of fear of the unworthy. This seems to have a bearing on our duty of casting bread upon the waters, not that it may be swept away or perish in the eyes of the just examiner, but that it may come to that place where all our goods will be stored up. And [it will] be there to meet us in due time, even though we may think otherwise. On the Death of His Father, Oration

Gregory the Wonderworker

AD 270
Moreover, it is a righteous thing to give (to the needy) of your bread, and of those things which are necessary for the support of man's life. For though you seem immediately to waste it upon some persons, as if you cast your bread upon the water, yet in the progress of time your kindness shall be seen to be not unprofitable for you. Also give liberally, and give a portion of your means to many; for you know not what the coming day does. The clouds, again, do not keep back their plenteous rains, but discharge their showers upon the earth. Nor does a tree stand for ever; but even though men may spare it, it shall be overturned by the wind at any rate. But many desire also to know beforehand what is to come from the heavens; and there have been those who, scrutinizing the clouds and waiting for the wind, have had nought to do with reaping and winnowing, putting their trust in vanity, and being all incapable of knowing anything of what may come from God in the future; just as men cannot t...

Isaac of Syria

AD 700
When you give, give generously, with a joyous countenance, and give more than you are asked for, since it is said: “Send forth thy morsel of bread toward the face of the poor man, and soon you will find your recompense.” Do not separate the rich from the poor, nor try to discriminate the worthy from the unworthy, but let all persons be equal in your eyes for a good deed.

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

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