Called of God

Daily Reading for June 29 • St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles

A certain man came near to Christ the Savior of us all, saying, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Christ rejected the man, saying that the foxes have holes, and the birds of heaven a place to lodge in; but he had no place to lay his head. . . . It is easy for anyone that will examine such matters accurately to perceive that in the first place there was great ignorance in his manner of coming near. Second, it was full of excessive presumptuousness. His wish was not simply to follow Christ, but rather to thrust himself into apostolic honors. This was the following that he was seeking, being self-called. The blessed Paul writes that no one takes the honor to himself unless he is called of God, as Aaron also was. Aaron did not enter the priesthood through himself, but on the contrary, God called him. We find none of the holy apostles promoted himself to the office of apostle but rather received the honor from Christ. He said, “Come after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.” This man, as I said, boldly took upon himself honorable gifts, and, although no one called him, thrust himself into what was above his rank.

From Commentary on Luke 57 by Cyril of Alexandria, quoted in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament III, Luke, edited by Arthur A. Just, Jr. (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2003).

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