Friday, July 29, 2016

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to Sunday

And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.  (1 Thess 5:14)

Let us then bravely bear the evils that befall us; it is in war that heroes are discerned; in conflicts that athletes are crowned; in the surge of the sea that the art of the helmsman is shown; in the fire that the gold is tried.  And let us not, I beseech you, heed only ourselves, let us rather have forethought for the rest, and that much more for the sick than for the whole, for it is an apostolic precept which exclaims “Comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak.”  Let us then stretch out our hands to those who lie low, let us tend their wounds and set them at their post to fight the devil.  Nothing will so vex him as to see them fighting and smiting again.

Theodoret of Cyrus, Letter to Eusebius

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.  (1 Thess 5:23-24)

In the wicked, sin reigns over the soul, being settled as on its own throne in this mortal body, so that the soul obeys its lusts … but in the case of those who have now become perfected, the spirit has gained the mastery and put to death the deeds of the body, and imparts to the body of its own life, so that already this is fulfilled, “He shall give life also to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit Who dwells in you;” and there arises a concord of the two, body and spirit, on the earth…. But still more blessed is it if the three [i.e., body, soul, and spirit] be gathered together in the name of Jesus that this may be fulfilled, “May God sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Origen, Commentary on Matthew 14.3

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