HOMILY 10

An exhortation to those ashamed to attend the evening congregation after eating; and from the verse, "'Let its make a human being in our image and likeness,'" up to the verse, "God made the human being; in God's image he made them; male and female he made them."1.

OUR CONGREGATION today is smaller, and the participants in the action less numerous. Why is this, and what is responsible for it? Perhaps some people are ashamed to attend this spiritual banquet after their material repast, and this is responsible for their absence. Let them, however, heed the words of the wise man: "Shame it is that leads to sin, and shame it is that is glory and grace."2. It is not cause for shame for a person to have partaken of (82a) a material repast and then come to spiritual food. You see, spiritual affairs are not divided into distinct times like human affairs; in other words, discourse on spiritual topics is suited to any time of the day. Why do I say time of the day? Even if night falls, that is no obstacle to spiritual teaching. Hence Paul said in writing to Timothy, "Press on whether the time is ripe or not: argue, censure, cajole."3. Listen further to blessed Luke when he says that "as Paul was due to leave Troas the next day, he began talking to them and prolonged his discourse to midnight."4. Was time a problem for him, I ask you, or did it interrupt the thread of his teaching? No. The alert listener, (82B) even after dining, would be in a suitable condition for this spiritual gathering, just as by the same token the slothful5. and

____________________
1.
Gn 1.27.
2.
Sir 4.21.
3.
2 Tm 4.2.
4.
Acts 20-7.
5.
Again it is rhathumia--indifference, sloth, negligence, carelessness-- that Chrysostom sees as the besetting weakness of the Christian.

-127-

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