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Ravens


RAVENS

Jesus said, “Notice the ravens: they do not sow or reap; they have neither storehouse nor barn, yet God feeds them. How much more important are you than birds!” (Lk 12:24). Jesus here refers to Psalm 147:9. “He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they cry.”

Ravens are disgraceful beings that humans disregard because they are unclean for Jews. The old ravens abandon the young ravens, and they expel them out of their nests at an early stage. Then they live upon the dew. The Jews believed that flies and worms arise out of their dung and enter the mouths of the young ravens. Thus, God feeds the deserted young ravens and makes them survive. In the book of Job, God asks: “Who provides prey for the raven when its young cry out to God and roam about desperate for food?” (Job 38:41).

The ancient fathers interpreted ravens as Gentiles and their young ones as early Christians whom God nourished when they were helpless and cried out to God for help. Jesus contrasted worthless ravens with invaluable humans. Compared to ravens, humans can sow, reap, and keep the produce in storehouses. God cannot abandon those who cry out to Him, those who obey his commandments, and those who work on his behalf.

 


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