I wanted to heartily thank you for this service you offer us; reading many questions and answers, more than once my heart was gladdened and drew even closer to our Lord.
After very dark years of total confusion and perdition, a very small event led me to welcome the word of God in my life; in the past I am sure I received a call from Him and ignored it and then lived years and years in error. Today, I can’t even describe the lightness and change, physical, moral, and spiritual that the closeness to the Word is bringing in me. It’s like there’s a turning point, a definite before and after, and I really don’t have words to describe how fulfilling and beautiful it all is.
I wanted to ask you a question about the verse of the Gospel according to Matthew, when Jesus answering the scribe says “foxes have dens and the birds of the sky have their nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to rest his head”. It impacts me very much but I can’t understand it, I feel it’s meaning escaping me.
In faith I thank you again, remembering you in my prayers to the Lord.
1. I am delighted first of all with you and with the Lord for the rediscovered faith.
After the darkness of the distance from God – in which perhaps you considered yourself superior to those who have faith and in your heart you pitied them as many do – now you feel a sense of lightness, by reason of the physical, moral and spiritual change.
Everything has changed in you.
I emphasize the physical change because when you get close to God and feed on His word, you also feel a bodily relief, a sense of well-being that is not easy to describe.
2. But now I come to the question you asked me,! to which first of all a benevolent and obvious answer is given: Jesus tells that scribe that he must keep in mind that – if he is to follow Him – he will have to experience poverty.
The Holy Fathers, on the other hand, saw in the scribe’s question a wrong motivation.
3. Going back to the text: “Then a scribe approached and said to him: “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go. “
Jesus answered him: “Foxes have their dens and birds of the sky their nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to rest his head” (Mt 8:19-20).
Note that “then”.
What had happened earlier?
The sacred text says that: “When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits with a word and cured all the sick” (Mt 8,6).
So the scribe wanted to follow him because he had seen all those wonders.
4. Saint Thomas says that by answering him with those words “Foxes have their dens …”, the Lord rejected him.
But why did he reject him if – as it seems – he approached with great devotion?
“Because he did not have a good faith,” says St. Jerome.
And this is clear because “he only calls him teacher, while true disciples called him Lord, as we read in John 13:13: “You call me teacher and Lord”.
5. He also wanted to follow him with bad intention: because he had heard that a sign had been performed;, he wanted to follow him to perform signs too, as is said of Simon Magus. (…).
He wanted to follow him, but he desired gain. And the Lord in contrast to this adjoins poverty; for this reason he says: Foxes have dens, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head; as we read in 2 Cor 8: 9: “From being rich he became poor” etc. “(Commentary on Mt 8:20).
6. Others comment: how can you want to follow me in order to have riches while I am so deprived of even that minimum which not even animals lack because foxes have burrows and birds of the air have nests? (Id.).
7. Finally, it should be noted that Jesus for the first time defines himself as the Son of man.
No one gives Him this title, but he gives it to Himself, applying to Himself the vision in which the prophet Daniel sees the Messiah as the Son of Man to whom is given “power, glory and kingdom; all peoples, nations and languages served Him: His power is an eternal power, which will never end, and His kingdom will never be destroyed ”(Dan 7: 13-14).
The scribe thought he was going after a man, no matter how great He was.
In reality, Jesus is not simply a man, but he is the Messiah who must suffer to usher-in that kingdom into which you have entered and which makes you feel physical, moral and spiritual well-being, as an anticipation and deposit of what you will experience when you are in that kingdom definitely entered, as I wish you with all my heart.
For this purpose I assure you of my prayers and I bless you.