Friday, January 13, 2017

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to Sunday

Jonah the Prophet – Byzantine icon
Now the word of the Lᴏʀᴅ came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.”  (Jnh 1:1–2)

In my view, then, the God who knows everything had the beneficial intention of demonstrating even to the ancients that people who were quite alienated and caught in the toils of deception would also be attracted in due course to the knowledge of the truth, even if quite desperate, stubborn, and completely in the grip of impenitence.  The word of God, you see, is quite capable even of succeeding in forming attitudes and persuading people to learn the things that make a person wise.… It was therefore not without purpose that the divinely inspired Jonah was sent to the Ninevites; rather it was for him to be a kind of harbinger of God’s inherent clemency, which is bestowed even on people led astray by ignorance.

Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Jonah

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