Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Early Church Father Friday

Matthew 5:4

Tears and Joy—John Chrysostom (The Golden Mouthed)

How does Paul say, “Rejoice in the Lord always”? The joy he is speaking of springs from tears of mourning. For just as worldly joy comes with sorrow, godly tears produce never-ending unfading joy.

The harlot, who obtained more honor than virgins, experienced joy when seized by this fire. Thoroughly warmed by repentance, she was moved by her longing desire for Christ. She loosened her hair, drenched His holy feet with her tears, wiped them with her tresses, and poured out all the ointment. But these were only outward expressions.

Those emotions in her mind were much more fervent—things only God could see. Therefore, everyone who hears of this woman rejoices with her, delights in her good works, and acquits her of every sin. If we, who are evil, judge her this way, imagine what sentence she obtained from God, who loves mankind. Consider how much, even before she received God’s gifts, she was blessed by her repentance.

For I seek those tears shed, not for display, but in repentance; I want those that trickle down secretly and in closets, out of sight, softly and noiselessly. I desire those that rise from depth of mind, those shed in anguish and sorrow, those which are for God alone.

Readings taken from Day by Day with the Early Church Fathers


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