Monday, June 13, 2011

Sententiae Patristicae: Trinity Sunday, Year A

The Fathers of the Church on the Readings of the Lectionary
First Reading Exodus 34:4b–6, 8–9
Second Reading 2 Corinthians 13:11–13
Gospel John 3:16–18


St. John Chrysostom--love is the mother of countless good things:
‎“And the God of love and peace shall be with you.” For truly he not only recommends and advises, but also prays. For either he prays for this, or else foretells what shall happen; or rather, both. ‘For if ye do these things,’ he says, ‘for instance, if ye be “of one mind” and “live in peace,” God also will be with you, for He is “the God of love and of peace,” and in these things He delighteth, He rejoiceth. Hence shall peace also be yours from His love; hence shall every evil be removed. This saved the world, this ended the long war, this blended together heaven and earth, this made men angels. This then let us also imitate, for love is the mother of countless good things. By this we were saved, by this all those unspeakable good things [come] to us.’ (Chrysostom, Hom. 2 Cor. 30.1, NPNF1, vol. 12, pg. 418)

St. John Chrysostom on the "holy kiss":
‎‎We are the temple of Christ; we kiss then the porch and entrance of the temple when we kiss each other. See ye not how many kiss even the porch of this temple, some stooping down, others grasping it with their hand, and putting their hand to their mouth. And through these gates and doors Christ both had entered into us, and doth enter, whensoever we communicate. Ye who partake of the mysteries understand what I say. For it is in no common manner that our lips are honored, when they receive the Lord’s Body. It is for this reason chiefly that we here kiss. Let them give ear who speak filthy things, who utter railing, and let them shudder to think what that mouth is they dishonor; let those give ear who kiss obscenely. Hear what things God hath proclaimed by thy mouth, and keep it undefiled. (Chrysostom, Hom. 2 Cor. 30.2, NPNF1, vol. 12, pg. 418)

St. Augustine on Christ the physician:
‎“For God sent not His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him may be saved.” So far, then, as it lies in the physician, He is come to heal the sick. He that will not observe the orders of the physician destroys himself. He is come a Saviour to the world: why is he called the Saviour of the world, but that He is come to save the world, not to judge the world? Thou wilt not be saved by Him; thou shall be judged of thyself And why do I say, “shall be judged”? See what He says: “He that believeth on Him is not judged, but he that believeth not.” What dost thou expect He is going to say, but “is judged”? “Already,” saith He, “has been judged.” The judgment has not yet appeared, but already it has taken place. For the Lord knoweth them that are His: He knows who are persevering for the crown, and who for the flame; knows the wheat on His threshing-floor, and knows the chaff; knows the good corn, and knows the tares. He that believeth not is already judged. Why judged? “Because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.” (Augustine, Tract. in ev. Joan. 12.12, NPNF1, vol. 7, pg. 85)

St. John Chrysostom on the strength of God's love:
‎Now he spoke at greater length, as speaking to believers, but here Christ speaks concisely, because His discourse was directed to Nicodemus, but still in a more significant manner, for each word had much significance. For by the expression, “so loved,” and that other, “God the world,” He shows the great strength of His love. Large and infinite was the interval between the two. He, the immortal, who is without beginning, the Infinite Majesty, they but dust and ashes, full of ten thousand sins, who, ungrateful, have at all times offended Him; and these He “loved.” Again, the words which He added after these are alike significant, when He saith, that “He gave His Only-begotten Son,” not a servant, not an Angel, not an Archangel. And yet no one would show such anxiety for his own child, as God did for His ungrateful servants. (Chrysostom, Hom. Jn. 27.2, NPNF1, vol. 14, pg. 95)

St. John Chrysostom--on the purpose of Christ's two comings:
‎‎For there are two Advents of Christ, that which has been, and that which is to be; and the two are not for the same purpose; the first came to pass not that He might search into our actions, but that He might remit; the object of the second will be not to remit, but to enquire. Therefore of the first He saith, “I came not to condemn the world, but to save the world” (Jn 3:17); but of the second, “When the Son shall have come in the glory of His Father, He shall set the sheep on His right hand, and the goats on His left.” (Mt 25:31 and Mt 25:46) (Chrysostom, Hom. Jn. 28.1, NPNF1, vol. 14, pg. 96-97)

St. John Chrysostom--judgments comes not from Christ but out of the very nature of unbelief:
‎‎Yet if He “came not to judge the world,” how is “he that believeth not judged already,” if the time of “judgment” has not yet arrived? He either means this, that the very fact of disbelieving without repentance is a punishment, (for to be without the light, contains in itself a very severe punishment,) or he announces beforehand what shall be. For as the murderer, though he be not as yet condemned by the decision of the judge, is still condemned by the nature of the thing, so is it with the unbeliever. Since Adam also died on the day that he ate of the tree; for so ran the decree, “In the day that ye eat of the tree, ye shall die” (Gen. 2:17 LXX.); yet he lived. How then “died” he? By the decree; by the very nature of the thing; for he who has rendered himself liable to punishment, is under its penalty, and if for a while not actually so, yet he is by the sentence. (Chrysostom, Hom. Jn 28.1, NPNF1, vol. 14, pg. 97)

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