Matthew 10:42

And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
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Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
Non occ.: Note, that God looks more to the pious mind of the giver, than to the abundance of the thing given. ord.: Or, “the least,” are they who have nothing at all in this world, and shall be judges with Christ.
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Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Hom. in Ev., xx, 12: He says not, a reward from a prophet, or righteous man, but the reward of a prophet or righteous man. For the prophet is perhaps arighteous man, and the less he possesses in this world, the greater confidence has he in speaking in behalf of righteousness. He who hath of this world's goods, in supporting such a man, makes himself a free partaker in his righteousness, and shall receive the reward of righteousness together with him whom he has aided by supporting him. He is full of the spirit of prophecy, buthe lacks bodily sustenance, and if the body be not supported, it is certain that the voice will fail. Whoso then gives a prophet food, gives him strength for speaking, therefore together with the prophet he shall receive the prophet's reward, when he shows before the face of God what bounty be showed him.

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
He teaches that no deed of a good conscience is useless. It is no crime for a believer to have hope that transcends another’s unbelief. For he foresaw that there would be many who glory merely in the name of apostleship but whose every action proves they are unworthy. They deceive and lie perpetually. And yet when we grant these people the favors that are due them because of their mere appearance of religiosity, he does not withhold from us the reward of doing his work and of hope. For even if they are the very least, that is, the worst sinners of all—for nothing is smaller than the “least”—nonetheless he decrees that we have duties toward them. These duties are light but not useless. They are represented by the phrase “cold water.” For honor is to be paid not to the sins of the individual but to his status as a disciple. He grants his reward to the faith of the one who gives, not to the deceitfulness of the one who receives.

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
Thus the gain of life brings death, the loss of life brings salvation; for bythe sacrifice of this short life we gain the reward of immortality.
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AD 420
Jesus said, “He who receives you receives me.” But there are many false prophets and false preachers who perhaps make this doctrine difficult. He has also cured this stumbling block by saying, “He who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward.” Then again, someone may object and say, “I am prevented by poverty. My own lack prevents me from acting as a host.” Jesus eliminated this excuse, too, by the easily fulfilled command that we should offer a cup of cold water with our whole heart. He said “cold water” rather than “hot water” so that we could not object because of our poverty or lack of fuel for hot water. As I have mentioned before, the apostle gave a similar instruction to the Galatians: “Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches.” He admonishes disciples to give refreshment to their teachers because before he had specified this, it was possible for anyone to plead poverty and avoid the ins...


AD 420
The Lord when He sends forth His disciples to preach, teaches them that dangers are not to be feared, that natural affection is to be postponed to religion -gold He had above taken from them, brass He had shaken out of their purses -hard then surely the condition of the preachers! Whence their living? Whence their food and necessaries? Therefore He tempers the rigour of His precepts bythe following promises, that in entertaining the Apostles each believer may consider that he entertains the Lord. Otherwise; To this His exhortation to the disciple to entertain his teacher, there might a secret objection arise among the faithful; then shall we have to support the false prophets, or Judas, the traitor. To this end it is that the Lord instructs them in these words, that it is not the person but the office that they should look to: and that the entertainer loses not his reward, thoughhe whom he entertains be unworthy. Mystically; He who receives a prophet as a prophet, and understands him s...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Do you see what mighty persuasions He used, and how He opened to them the houses of the whole world? Yea, He signified that men are their debtors: first, by saying, The workman is worthy of his hire; secondly, by sending them forth having nothing; thirdly, by giving them up to wars and fightings in behalf of them that receive them; fourthly, by committing to them miracles also; fifthly, in that He did by their lips introduce peace, the cause of all blessings, into the houses of such as receive them; sixthly, by threatening things more grievous than Sodom to such as receive them not: seventhly, by signifying that as many as welcome them are receiving both Himself and the Father; eighthly, by promising both a prophet's and a righteous man's reward: ninthly, by undertaking that the recompenses shall be great, even for a cup of cold water. Now each one of these things, even by itself, were enough to attract them. For who, tell me, when a leader of armies wounded in innumerable places, and ...
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
Enough had been said above to persuade those who should have to entertain the Apostles. For who would not with all willingness take in to his house men who were so courageous, that they despised all dangers that others might be saved? Above He had threatened punishment to those who should not receive them, He now promises reward to such as should receive them. And first He holds out to those who should entertain them the honour, that in so doing they were entertaining Christ, and even the Father; “He whoreceiveth me, receiveth him that sent me.” What honour to be compared to this of receiving the Father and the Son?. A further reward also He promises, saying, “He who receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive a prophet’s reward.” He said not merely,“Whoso receiveth a prophet,” or “a righteous man,” but “in the name of aprophet,” and “in the name of a righteous man;” that is, not for any greatness in this life, or other temporal account, but because he is a prophet, or ...

Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
“The least of these,” that is, not a prophet, or a righteous man, but one of these least.
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Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
Lest anyone use poverty as an excuse, He says, "If you give even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, you will receive a reward even for this." He who gives a cup of cold water is also he who teaches one burning with the fire of anger and desire and causes him to be named a disciple of Christ. The teacher will not lose his reward.
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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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