ambrose_of_milanOn Luke 10:29-37.

Jericho is a figure of this world, to which Adam, cast forth from Paradise, the heavenly Jerusalem, because of sin, descended;

that is, he descended from the things of eternal life to the things of this lower world: he who through, not change of place but change of will, had brought exile upon his posterity.

For he was far changed from that Adam who had lived in untroubled blessedness, when he descended to earthly sinfulness and fell among robbers;

and he would not have fallen among them, had he not exposed himself to them, through turning away from what God had laid down for him.

Who are these robbers, if not the angels of night and of darkness; who will at times change themselves into angels of light, but cannot remain so?

These first of all strip us of the garments of spiritual grace we received, and this is how they are able to wound us.

For had we preserved the unstained garments we received, we could not feel the blows of the robbers.

Watch therefore that they do not first strip you, as they stripped Adam in the beginning, as he was stripped of the protection of the divine commandment, as he was stripped of the garment of faith, and so received a deadly wound.

In him all mankind would have been slain, had not this Samaritan, descending, taken care of his grievous wounds.

[…] Seeing the man half dead, whom no one before Him had been able to cure; like that woman having an issue of blood who had bestowed all her substance on physicians (Lk. 8:43);

He came near him, that is, He came close to us by sharing our suffering, and a neighbour to us by showing us mercy.

And bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine. Many are the remedies this Physician brings to heal us.  His words are medicines.

One word binds up our wounds, another soothes them with oil, another pours in wine.  He binds our wounds by His more austere rule of life,  He soothes us by the forgiveness of our sins, just as He urges us forward by the threat of His judgement.

And setting him upon his own beast. Hear how He raises you up.  He bears our sins, and for us suffers (Is. 53:4, Sept.).  And the Shepherd lays the weary sheep upon His own shoulders (Lk. 15:5).  For man had become like the beast (Ps. 48:13).

So He places us upon His own shoulders, lest we become like the horse and the mule (Ps. 31:9); so that by taking upon Himself our body, He might do away with the weaknesses of our flesh.

Ambrose of Milan (c. 337-397): Commentary on St Luke, ch. 10, Translated by M.F. Toale, D.D. @ Lectionary Central.

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