Friday, August 4, 2017

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

You that thirst, go to the water,
    and all that have no money, go and buy;
and eat and drink wine and milk
    without money or price.
Why do you value at the price of money,
    and give your labor for that which will not satisfy?
Hearken to Me, and you shall eat of all that is good,
    and your soul shall feast itself on good things.
Listen with your ears, and follow My ways;
    obey Me, and your soul shall live in prosperity;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
    the sure mercies of David.
Behold, I have made him a testimony among the Gentiles,
    a prince and commander to the Gentiles.
Nations which know you not shall call upon you,
    and peoples which are not acquainted with you shall flee to you for refuge,
for the sake of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel;
    for He has glorified you. (Is 55:1-5)

How can they purchase, yet receive gifts without paying? Well, because we accept the payment in faith from Christ, and we pay for none of these things with short-term or perishable goods. For it says, “I said to my Lord, ‘You are my Lord since you have no need of goods from me’”* By way of gifts and honor to Christ we offer to Christ the confession of faith in Him. So without money and payment comes this drink and bountiful gift of spiritual charisms. For what could we offer and what price could we pay for such a drink? For those drinking the living water are those enriched with grace through the Holy Spirit through participation in Him and purchasing this through faith, since they are sharers of the wine and suet, that is, of the holy body and the blood of Christ.

Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Isaiah

* Psalm 16:2

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