Folio 41v Translation and Transcription
||Folio 41v Translation
and set you together with the princes of his people in his kingdom of glory.
Again of the ostrich
The wing of the ostrich resembles those of the gyrfalcon and the hawk. Who does not know how the speed of the gyrfalcon and hawk in flight exceeds that of other birds? The ostrich certainly has wings like theirs but not their speed of flight. Truly, it has not the capacity to be lifted from the ground and gives only the impression of spreading its wings as if to fly; however, it never supports itself above the earth in flight.
It is exactly the same with all those hypocrites who pretend to live a life of piety, giving the impression of holiness without the reality of holy behaviour. They certainly have wings, as far as appearance goes, but in terms of action, they creep along the ground, because they spread their wings only to give an illusion of holiness, but they cannot possibly raise themselves from earth, weighed down as they are by the weight of worldly preoccupations.
For the Lord rebuked the pretensions of the Pharisees as if he exposed the wing of the ostrich, which does one thing in deed and another in show, saying: 'Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!' (Matthew, 23:14). It is as if he were saying: 'Your wings look as they they had the power to raise you up, but the weight of your life forces you down into the depths.' Of this weight, the prophet says: 'Sons of men, how long will you have a heavy heart?' (see BSV, NEB, Psalms, 4:2).
The Lord promises that he will convert the hypocritical ostrich, saying through the prophet: 'The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the ostriches' (see BSV, NEB, Isaiah: 43:20). For what is meant by the word 'dragons', if not, clearly, malicious minds, which creep across the earth forever, revealing themselves in the basest thoughts? Who are signified by the word 'ostrich' if not those who pretend to be worthy? Those who lead a life of holiness, in appearance, like the wing that seems to have the power of flight, but do not put it into practice by their deeds. Thus the Lord declares that he will be glorified by the dragon or the ostrich, when he converts to his side, deep in their hearts, both those who are openly evil and those who pretend to be worthy.
In considering the ostrich, we should look more carefully at the hawk and the gyrfalcon. Their bodies are small but their feathers are more densely packed; as a result, they fly at great speed, because they have little to weigh them down, much to uplift them. In contrast