On Repentance and Almsgiving

By Gus George Christo | Go to book overview

HOMILY 8

1

YESTERDAY I WAS absent from you, not willingly, but rather by necessity. I was absent physically not mentally. For I even embraced you, as much as I could, all of you, and I was bearing you in my thoughts. Again, brethren, when I recovered from this temporary ailment I hurried eagerly to see your face, and I ran to your love having still the traces of the illness. For all those who become ill ask for baths and bathing-places after the sickness has passed; however, I preferred to see your desirable faces and to satisfy the desire I am obliged to have: to attend to this vast sea that does not have salt, this sea that is free of waves. I came to see your clean, tilled land.

(2) For what harbor is like the Church? What paradise is like your congregation? Here lurks no malevolent snake, rather, Christ the Initiator. 1. Here there is no Eve who trips up and casts down, but rather, the Church who raises up. Here no leaves of trees exist, rather the fruit of the Spirit. Here there is no partition with thorns, rather a vineyard that flourishes. And if I find a thorn, I change it into an olive branch, because the things here do not possess the poverty of nature but are honored with the freedom of choice. If I find a wolf, I make him into a sheep without changing nature, rather altering the choice.

(3) For this reason one would not make a mistake to call

____________________
1.
Christ, as the chief celebrant of the Eucharistic sacrifice, initiates Christians into His very Body and Blood manifest in the Eucharist, the Mystery of Mysteries.

-111-

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