Friday, June 17, 2016

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to Sunday

Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.  (1 Thess 3:11-13)

This is a proof of excessive love, that he not only prays for them by himself, but even in his epistles inserts his prayer.  This argues a fervent soul, and one truly not to be restrained.  This is a proof of the prayers made there also, and at the same time also an excuse, as showing that it was not voluntarily, nor from lack of effort, that they did not go to them.  As if he had said, “May God Himself cut short the testings that everywhere distract us, so that we may come directly to you.”  Do you see the unrestrainable madness of love that is shown by his words?  “Make you to increase and abound,” instead of cause you to grow.  As if one should say, that with a kind of superabundance he desires to be loved by them.  “Even as we do also toward you,” he says.  Our part is already done, we pray that yours may be done.  Do you see how he wishes love to be extended, not only toward one another, but everywhere?  For this truly is the nature of godly love, that it embraces all.

John Chrysostom, Homilies on First Thessalonians

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