HOMILY 6

"God said: 'Let lights be made in the firmament of heaven for lighting up the earth, to separate day from night; let them act as signs and indicate days, seasons and years.'"1.

I WANT TO TAKE up the usual line of teaching, yet I hesitate and hang back: a cloud of despair has settled upon me, and has confused and upset my train of thought--not simply despair but anger as well. I'm not sure what I should do; uncertainty is paralyzing my brain. I mean, when I consider that at the merest suggestion from the devil you have put out of your mind all that unremitting teaching of ours and the daily exhortations, and have all rushed off to that diabolical concourse and been absorbed in horse racing, what sort of zest can I bring to the task of teaching you any more, when my former words have so lightly slipped away? (54d) What especially aggravates my despair and brings my anger to boiling point is the fact that despite all our exhortation you have put out of your mind the respect due to the holy season of Lent and have thus cast yourself into the devil's net. How could anyone, even with heart of stone, take that kind of rejection unmoved? I'm ashamed of you, believe me, I'm mortified to see the pointlessness of the trouble I've gone to, sowing seed among stones.

(2) Still, whether you heed my words or reject them, the reward coming to me will be unimpaired. After all, I did every

____________________
1.
Gn 1.14. Chrysostom's pastoral concern for his congregation, leading him generally to adopt a moral style of commentary (cf. Introduction 13, 16, 17). causes him in this 'homily' to depart from his text to berate his congregation for their attendance at horse racing--an amusement that was not altogether innocent in the Antioch of those days. See R. Hill, "On giving up the horses for Lent," CleR 68 ( March 1983) 105-106.

-77-

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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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