HOMILY 5

"God said: 'Let the water under heaven be gathered together into one mass, and let dry land appear.'"1.

COME NOW, DEARLY BELOVED, (48b) today also let us set before you the feast that comes from the words of the blessed Moses, and observe carefully what was created by the Lord on the third day. To begin with an example: men digging in gold-bearing soil, when they spy some seams of gold dust, don't stop until they have broken the seams open, got right to the very bottom of it and taken from the spot great wealth.2. So much the more should we, who have no intention of searching for gold dust but are expecting to find ineffable treasure, seek it daily so as to gain great wealth from the spiritual plenty to be found here, and so return home. (48c) After all, in the former case material wealth often brought dangers to the people gaining it, and provided only brief enjoyment before it disappeared altogether and the dangers set in, either from attacks by slanderers, or robbers, or burglars, or house guards who turned to theft and absconded.

(2) In the present case, on the contrary, there is no fear of anything like that; I mean, this spiritual treasure is proof against theft: when it is stored in the recesses of our mind, it is secure against every stratagem, provided we don't become slothful and give entry to the one anxious to deprive us of it. Our enemy, remember (I mean the wicked demon), when he sees spiritual wealth accumulated, grinds his teeth, and rages, and displays great vigilance so as to take advantage of the

____________________
1.
Gn 1.9.
2.
Cf. Homily 3, note 3 above for these traditional analogies of Chrysostom's.

-66-

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