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Then said Jesus: 'Verily all that which a man loveth, for which he leaveth everything else but that, is his god. And so the fornicator hath for his image the harlot, the glutton and drunkard hath for image his own flesh, and the covetous hath for his image silver and gold, and so likewise every other sinner.'
Then said he who had invited him: 'Master, which is the greatest sin?'
Jesus answered: 'Which is the greatest ruin of a house?'
Everyone was silent, when Jesus with his finger pointed to the foundation, and said: 'If the foundation give way, immediately the house falleth in ruin, in such wise that it is necessary to build it up anew: but if every other part give way it can be repaired. Even so then say I to you, that idolatry is the greatest sin, because it depriveth a man entirely of faith, and consequently of God; so that he can have no spiritual affection. But every other sin leaveth to man the hope of obtaining mercy: and therefore I say that idolatry is the greatest sin.'
All stood amazed at the speaking of Jesus, for they perceived that it could not in any wise be assailed.
Then Jesus continued: 'Remember that which God spake and which Moses and Joshua wrote in the law, and ye shall see how grave is this sin. Said God, speaking to Israel: "Thou shalt not make to thyself any image of those things which are in heaven nor of those things which are under the heaven, nor shalt thou make it of those things which are above the earth, nor of those which are above the water, nor of those which are under the water. For I am thy God, strong and jealous, who will take vengeance for this sin upon the fathers and upon their children even unto the fourth generation." Remember how, when our people had made the calf, and when they had worshipped it, by commandment of God Joshua and the tribe of Levi took the sword and slew of them one hundred and twenty thousand of those that did not crave mercy of God. Oh, terrible judgment of God upon the idolaters!'