HOMILY 9

On what follows the verse, "'Let us make a human being in our image,'" and against those who ask, Why were the wild beast created? and, What good comes from their being made? And to prove that this most of all shows regard for the human being and God's unspeakable love.

TO BEGIN (76B) BY AN analogy with hardworking farmers. Whenever they see a rich pasture with great depth of soil, they sow the seed liberally and give it their constant and undivided attention, surveying the scene each day in case somewhere some useless thing capable of damaging the seeds should thwart the efforts they have put into it. Now, in exactly the same way we too have seen your spiritual hunger and your great readiness to listen, and each day we have been exerting ourselves to have the thinking of the Holy Scriptures enter your mind; we have also shown to you what can harm this spiritual seed, lest you be caught out and the sound teaching of the dogmas be undermined by the assaults of people endeavouring to infiltrate the Church's dogmas with notions from their own reasoning. ( 76c) To you falls the task of scrupulously safeguarding what has been entrusted to you and preserving the memory of it intact so that you can follow with ease the sequel. You see, if the present opportunity is not taken for us to go rather deeply into the meaning, and for you to develop your understanding, now that it is the season of Lent, now that our limbs are more nimble for swimming and our mental vision sharper, without the hindrance of the evil current of luxury, but with our spirit strengthened against drowning, when on earth will it be possible for us to achieve it? When luxury, drunkenness and gluttony are rampant, and the evils they spawn?

-117-

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