HOMILY 3

Further comment on the verse, "In the beginning God made heaven and earth,"1. up to the verse, "Evening came and morning came: one day."2.

READING (32c) THE HOLY Scriptures is like a treasure.3. With a treasure, you see, anyone able to find a tiny nugget gains for himself great wealth; likewise in the case of Sacred Scripture, you can get from a small phrase a great wealth of thought and immense riches. The Word of God is not only like a treasure, but is also like a spring gushing with everflowing waters in a mighty flood; this we all perceived from what we did yesterday. We began, remember, at the opening of the book of Genesis on the words, "In the beginning God made heaven and earth," and dealt completely with all its contents, without however being able to grasp it fully. You see, great is the yield of this treasure and the flow of this spiritual fountain. Don't be surprised if we have experienced this: (32d) our forebears drank from these waters to the limit of their capacity, and those who come after us will try to do likewise, without risk of exhausting them; instead the flood will increase and the streams will be multiplied.

____________________
1.
Gn 1.1.
2.
Gn 1.5. Speiser notes: "In Semitic the normal ordinal series is 'one, second, third,' etc., not 'first, second, third,' etc." ( Genesis, 6)--something lost on the LXX, evidently, and on Chrysostom.
3.
Chrysostom employs a wide range of figures for the saving truth that is Sacred Scripture: a rich table or feast (his favorite), a treasure (especially gold and gems to be mined), food and drink, remedies for ailments, arms for warfare, an overflowing stream--figures that H. De Lubac parallels from the Latin Fathers, so evidently the stock-in-trade of churchmen of the time (cf. Exégèse Médiévale I ( Paris 1959), 119-20. and St. John Chrysostom's Teaching on Inspiration in his Old Testament Homilies160-69.

-39-

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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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