Seeking the things above

Daily Reading for August 22 • The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

The whole human race, like this woman, was bent over and bowed down to the ground. Someone already understands these enemies. He cries out against them and says to God, “They have bowed my soul down.” The devil and his angels have bowed the souls of men and women to the ground. He has bent them forward to be intent on temporary and earthly things and has stopped them from seeking the things that are above.

Since that is what the Lord says about the woman whom Satan had bound for eighteen years, it was not time for her to be released from her bondage on the Sabbath day. Quite unjustly, they criticized him for straightening her up. Who were these, except people bent over themselves? Since they quite failed to understand the very things God had commanded, they regarded them with earthbound hearts. They used to celebrate the sacrament of the Sabbath in a literal, material manner and did not notice its spiritual meaning.

From Sermon 162B of Augustine of Hippo, quoted in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament III, Luke, edited by Arthur A. Just, Jr. (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2003).

Past Posts