Homily by St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan
7th Bk. on Luke, ch. xii
After the condemnation of the Jewish people, the mystery of the Church is plainly declared in the figures of the repentant Ninevites, and of the Queen of the South. Like that Queen, the Church cometh from the uttermost parts of the earth, to hear the wisdom of the true Solomon, the Prince of Peace. A Queen she is, and a Queen of one indivisible realm, wrought into one body out of all nations, however diverse and distant.
|Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthæum.||Sequel of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.|
|Cap. xii.||Ch. xii.|
|In illo tempore: Responderunt Jesu quidam de Scribis et Pharisæis, dicentes: Magister, volumus a te signum videre. Qui respondens, ait illis: Generatio mala et adultera signumquærit: et signum non dabitur ei, nisi signum Jonæ prophetæ. Sicut enim fuit Jonas in ventre ceti tribus diebus et tribus noctibus, sic erit Filius hominis in corde terræ tribus diebus et tribus noctibus. Viri Ninivitæ surgent in judicio cum generatione ista, et condemnabunt eam: quia pœnitentiam egerunt in prædicatione Jonæ, et ecce plus quam Jonas hic. Regina Austri surget in judicio cum generatione ista, et condemnabit eam: quia venit a finibus terræ audire sapientiam Salomonis, et ecce plus quam Salomon hic. Cum autem immundus spiritus exierit ab homine, ambulat per loca arida, quærens requiem, et non invenit. Tunc dicit: Revertar in domum meam, unde exivi. Et veniens invenit eam vacantem, scopis mundatam, et ornatam. Tunc vadit, et assumit septem alios spiritus secum nequiores se, et intrantes habitant ibi: et fiunt novissima hominis illius pejora prioribus. Sic erit et generationi huic pessimæ. Adhuc eo loquente ad turbas, ecce mater ejus et fratres stabant foris quærentes loqui ei. Dixit autem ei quidam: Ecce mater tua, et fratres tui foris stant, quærentes te. At ipse respondens dicenti sibi, ait: Quæ est mater mea, et qui sunt fratres mei? Et extendens manum in discipulos suos, dixit: Ecce mater mea, et fratres mei: quicumque enim fecerit voluntatem Patris mei, qui in cœlis est, ipse meus frater, et soror, et mater est.||At that time: Some of the Scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying: Master we would see a sign from thee. Who answering said to them: An evil and adulterous generation seeketh for a sign; and a sign shall not be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was in the whale’s belly three days and three nights, so shall the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. The men of Ninive shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it, because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas; and behold a greater than Jonas here. The queen of the south shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold a greater than Solomon here. When an unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith: I will return into my house, from whence I came out. And coming, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then he goeth, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there; and the last state of that man is made worse than the first. So shall it be also to this wicked generation. As he was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold his Mother and his brethren stood without, seeking to speak to him. And one said unto him: Behold thy Mother and thy brethren stand without, seeking thee. But he answering him that told him, said: Who is my mother, and who are my brethren? And stretching forth his hand towards his disciples, he said: Behold my mother and my brethren; for whosoever shall do the will of my Father, that is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother.|