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Becoming the Place for Christ to Lay His Head


Earnestly to follow Christ is confessedly profitable to salvation.


But he who wishes to be counted worthy of such great glory must, I say, bear his cross.  And what is it to bear the cross? It is to die to the world by denying its empty distractions and abandoning a carnal and pleasure-loving life.  For it is written: Do not love the world or the things of the world.  For all that is in the world is sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life (1 Jn 2:15-16).  And again: Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God (Jas 4:4).  The one, therefore, whose choice it is to be with Christ loves that which is admirable and profitable for salvation.  But let him hearken to our words: Remove that which separates you from Christ; break down the enmity; burst open the hedge that is between; for then you will be with Christ

Christ says, Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.  And the simple meaning of the passage is as follows: that the beasts and birds have dens and dwellings, but I have nothing to offer of those things which are the objects of general pursuit; for I have no place to dwell and rest myself and lay my head.  But the inner and secret significance of the passage is attained by more profound thoughts.  For he seems to mean by the foxes and birds those wicked and cunning and impure powers, the herds of demons.  For they are so called in many places in the Scriptures (Sg 2:15; Lk 8:32)

Expel the beasts, hunt out the foxes, drive away the birds, free your hearts from their impurity in order that the Son of Man may find a place in you to lay his head, the Word of God who was incarnate and became man.  He in whom Christ dwells is a temple, not of one of those gods falsely named so, but of him who by nature and in truth is God.  For we have been taught to say that we are the temple of the living God (2 Cor 6:16).



Garrigou1Saint Cyril of Alexandria. "Becoming the Place for Christ to Lay His Head" from Commentary on the Gospel of Saint Luke. Studion Publishers, Inc.: 1983.

Reprinted under fair use. Image credit: Michelangelo, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons [edited].

The Author

Saint Cyril of Alexandria was the Patriarch of Alexandria from 412 to 444. He received an important recognition of his preachings by the Second Council of Constantinople (553 d.C.) which declared; "St. Cyril who announced the right faith of Christians"

Copyright © 1983 Studion Publishers, Inc.
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