Matthew 16:25

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Whosoever will save his life. Literally, his soul. In the style of the Scriptures, the word soul is sometimes put for the life of the body, sometimes for the whole man. (Witham) Whosoever acts against duty and conscience to save the life of his body, shall lose eternal life; and whoever makes the sacrifice of his life, or the comforts and conveniences of life for conscience sake, shall be rewarded with life eternal.

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Hom. in Ev., xxxii, 2: For unless a man departs from himself, he does not draw near to Him who is above him. But if we leave ourselves, whither shall we goout of ourselves? Or if we have forsaken ourselves, who is it then that goes? Indeed, we are one thing when fallen by sin, another thing as we were made by nature. It is therefore then that we leave and deny ourselves, when we avoid that which we were of old, and strive towards that to which we are called in newness. in Ezech., Hom. i, 10: He denies himself whosoever is changed for the better, and begins to be what he was not, and ceases to be what he was. Mor., xxxiii, 6: He also denies himself, who having trode under foot the risings of pride, shows himself in the eyes of God to be estranged from himself. Hom. in Ev., xxxii, 3: There are two ways of taking our cross; when the body is afflicted by abstinence, or when the heart is pained by compassion for another. Forasmuch as our very virtues are beset with faults, we must declare t...

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
We are to follow our Lord by taking up the cross of His passion; and if not indeed, yet in will, bear Him company.


AD 420
Otherwise; He takes up his cross who is crucified to the world; and he to whom the world is crucified, follows his crucified Lord.

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Then, because the saying seemed to be vehement, see how He softens it by what follows, and sets down rewards surpassing our toils; and not rewards only, but also the penalties of vice: nay, on these last He dwells more than on those, since not so much His bestowing blessings, as His threat of severities, is wont to bring ordinary men to their senses. See at least how He both begins here from this, and ends in this. Now what He says is like this: not as unsparing towards you, but rather as exceedingly sparing you, I enjoin these things. For he who spares his child, ruins it; but he who spares it not, preserves. To which effect also a certain wise man said, If you beat your son with a rod, he shall not die, but you shall deliver his soul from death. Proverbs 23:13-14 And again, He that refreshes his son, shall bind up his wounds. Sirach 30:7 This takes place in the camp also. For if the general, sparing the soldiers, commands them to remain within the place always, he will destroy ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
And because malefactors often suffer grievous things, that you should not suppose that simply to suffer evil is enough, He adds the reason of suffering, when He says, “And follow me.” For His sake you are to endure all, and to learn His other virtues; for this is to follow Christ aright, to be diligent in the practice of virtues, and to suffer all things for His sake. And then because this seemed severe, He softens it by shewing the abundant rewards of our pains, and the punishment of evil, “He that will save his life shall lose it.”

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Then, because he had said, “Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it,” Jesus makes a strict distinction between salvation and destruction. This was to prevent anyone from imagining the one destruction and the other salvation to be all the same thing in the last instance. The distance is infinite between destruction and salvation. Then he makes this inference once for all to establish these points: “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” Do you see how the wrongful preservation of life amounts to destruction and is worse than all destruction, as being even past remedy from the want of anything more to redeem it? The Gospel of Matthew, Homily

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
He exhorts us to confess Christ even at the cost of a martyr’s death. For he who denies Christ, finds his life in the present, that is, he saves his own life, but he also loses it later. But he who confesses Christ as a martyr, loses his life, but for Christ’s sake, and so he "shall find it" incorrupt and eternal.

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

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