Homilies on Genesis and Exodus

By Ronald E. Heine; Origen | Go to book overview

HOMILY X

On Rebecca, when she went out to draw water and Abraham's servant met her

ISAAC, SCRIPTURE SAYS, "GREW"1 and became strong, that is, Abraham's joy grew as he looked not at those things "which are seen, but at the things which are not seen."2 For Abraham did not rejoice about present things nor about the riches of the world and the activities of the age. But do you wish to hear why Abraham rejoiced? Hear the Lord saying to the Jews: " Abraham your father desired to see my day, and he saw it and was glad."3 In this way, therefore, "Isaac grew";4 that vision of Abraham, in which he saw the day of Christ, and the hope which is in Christ were increasing his joys. And would that you too might be made Isaac and be a joy to your mother the Church!

But I fear that the Church is still bearing sons in sadness and sorrow. Or does it not cause her sadness and sorrow when you do not gather to hear the word of God? And scarcely on feast days do you proceed to the Church, and you do this not so much from a desire for the word as from a fondness for the festival and to obtain, in a certain manner, common relaxation.

What then shall I do, to whom the dispensation of the word is committed?5 Although I am "an unprofitable servant,"6 I have, nevertheless, received from the Lord "to distribute the measure of wheat to the master's servants."7 But behold what the word of the Lord adds: "to distribute the measure of wheat

____________________
1
Cf. Gn 21.8.
2
Cf. 2 Cor 4.18.
3
Jn 8.56.
4
Cf. Gn 21.8.
5
Cf. 1 Cor 9.17.
6
Cf. Lk 17.10.
7
Cf. Lk 12.42.

-157-

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