More snippets from Cyril of Alexandria

“How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And I say unto you, that it is easier for a camel to enter in through the eye of a needle, than a rich man into the kingdom of God.” Now by a camel He means not the animal of that name, but a thick cable rather: for it is the custom of those well versed in navigation to call the thicker cables “camels.”

Observe however, that He does not altogether cut away the hope of the rich, but reserves for them a place and way of salvation. For He did not say that it is impossible for a rich man to enter in, but that he does so with difficulty.

… He has reserved therefore for those who possess wealth the possibility of being counted worthy, if they will, of the kingdom of God: for even though they refuse entirely to abandon what they have, yet it is possible for them in another way to attain unto honour. And the Saviour has Himself showed us how and in what way this can happen, saying, “Make to yourselves friends of the unrighteous mammon: that when it has failed, they may receive you into eternal tabernacles.” For there is nothing to prevent the rich, if they will, from making the poor partakers and sharers of the abundance which they possess.

What hinders him who has plentiful possessions from being affable of address, and ready to communicate to others, easily prevailed upon to give, and compassionate, and full of that generous pity which is well-pleasing to God. Not unrewarded, nor unprofitable shall we find carefulness in this respect; for “mercy boasts over judgment,” as it is written.

Commentary on Luke, Sermon 123


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