Friday, October 14, 2016

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to Sunday

The Lᴏʀᴅ has remembered us; He will bless us;
    He will bless the house of Israel;
    He will bless the house of Aaron;
He will bless those who fear the Lᴏʀᴅ,
    both the small and the great.  (Ps 115:12-13)

He made the same distinction here, too, and gave a glimpse of the fruit of hope: he linked blessing to hope and said a share of it would be not only to the house of Israel and the house of Aaron but also to those who fear Him.  Then in turn he makes the distinction of ages and positions: not only the young but also the elderly, not only those bedecked with wealth but also those living a life of need, not only those furnished with liberty but also those forced to carry the yoke of slavery.  For those possessing hope in God, the inspired word prays for increase and abundance.  You will attain this above all, he is saying, to the extent that you receive the blessing from the Maker of all things.

Theodoret of Cyrus, Commentary on the Psalms

The heavens are the Lᴏʀᴅ's heavens,
    but the earth he has given to the children of man.
The dead do not praise the Lᴏʀᴅ,
    nor do any who go down into silence.
But we will bless the Lᴏʀᴅ
    from this time forth and forevermore.
Praise the Lᴏʀᴅ!  (Ps 115:16-18)

For the feast does not consist in pleasant intercourse at meals, nor splendor of clothing, nor days of leisure, but in the acknowledgment of God, and the offering of thanksgiving and of praise to Him.  Now this belongs to the saints alone, who live in Christ; for it is written, “The dead shall not praise You, O Lord, neither all those who go down into silence; but we who live will bless the Lord, from henceforth even forever.”  So was it with Hezekiah, who was delivered from death, and therefore praised God, saying, “Those who are in Hades cannot praise You; the dead cannot bless You; but the living shall bless You, as I also do.”  For to praise and bless God belongs to those only who live in Christ, and by means of this they go up to the feast.  For the Passover is not of the Gentiles, nor of those who are yet Jews in the flesh, but of those who acknowledge the truth in Christ, as he declares who was sent to proclaim such a feast: “Our Passover, Christ, is sacrificed.”

Athanasius, Festal Letter for Easter Day 4

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