HOMILY 2

On the beginning of creation: "In the beginning God created heaven and earth."1.

TODAY, LOOKING AT your dear faces, I am filled with great happiness. (26c) My happiness is not simply that of doting parents who are pleased to have their children milling around them and bringing them pleasure by some other nice behavior or attention to them. My joy and satisfaction now is keener than that, to see the way you have come together here in a spiritual assembly with such propriety, ardent in your desire to hear the divine sayings, spurning nourishment and longing for spiritual feasting, thus demonstrating in deed that word of the Lord which reads: (26d) "Human beings will not live on bread alone, but on every word coming from the mouth of God."2.

(2) So come now, let us imitate the farmers: when they see the land scarified and cleared of the obstruction of weeds, they sow the seed liberally. It should be the same with ourselves. When by the grace of God the soil which is our spiritual self is cleared of troublesome passions and is relieved of intemperance, there are no storms or tempests at any stage of its reasoning, but only peace and the great tranquillities of a mind ready to fly aloft, you might say, right up to heaven, and contemplate spiritual things in preference to carnal. (27a) So

____________________
1.
Gn 1.1. Chrysostom, of course, as Introduction 3 & 15 mentions, is commenting on his LXX text, and is unaware of the recommendation of some modern commentators on the Heb. text to take v.1 as a subordinate clause, v.2 as parenthetical, and only v.3 as the principal assertion, lest God's creative activity be seen to result at once in chaos (cf. Speiser, Genesis, 12-13). Others, like Von Rad, join Chrysostom in maintaining the independence of v.1 as an important theological statement.
2.
Mt 4.4; cf. Dt 8.3.

-29-

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Homilies on Genesis
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents v
  • Select Bibliography vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Homily 1 Homily on the Beginning of the Holy Season of Lent 20
  • Homily 2 29
  • Homily 3 39
  • Homily 4 51
  • Homily 5 66
  • Homily 6 77
  • Homily 7 91
  • Homily 8 105
  • Homily 9 117
  • Homily 10 127
  • Homily 11 143
  • Homily 12 156
  • Homily 13 169
  • Homily 14 180
  • Homily 15 194
  • Homily 16 207
  • Homily 17 222
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