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COMMANDS OF CHRIST


 

 

 

HOW THE WORD OF GOD IS TO BE DESIRED AND SOUGHT 

Blessed are those who truly wish to know the commands of Christ.  This remarkable hunger and desirable thirst is a gift of God.  The hunger and thirst is sincere if we are willing to hear the word of God with patience and love.

Action is better than mere knowledge; but it is necessary to know before acting.  One must know exactly what he wished.  We must first learn so that afterwards we may fulfill.

If you truly thirst and hunger, you will not be content just to listen during homilies.  You must seek it every moment as something rightly your due. 

Preachers are told to preach ceaselessly: "Show my people their sins.  If you do not, I will require his blood at thy hand."  The apostle says, "For  three days and three nights, I did not cease to admonish everyone of you."  

The apostle was so fearful of this obligation that he preached day and night.  "Preach the word. . .in season and out of season; reprove, entreat, rebuke."  "In season. . ." i.e. when people are willing to listen and "Out of season. . .", even when they are not willing.

The word of God must be offered to those who are willing to listen: it must be forced upon those who are averse to it.  "You must double with good deeds what you have received in word."  

You must feel it when your dosage of God's words is delayed.  The body is fed three times a day; and the soul is fed once a week?  

There must be a desirable restlessness for the words of Scriptures.  For when God sees that the hearers are slothful because of worldly distraction and the preachers are equally slothful in preaching the word of God, God ". . .sends a famine on hearing the word of God."  

So preachers must preach well and, you, the hearers, be gentle in your obedience and persevere in good works. 

St. Caesarius of Arles, Sermo. 4

 

 

 

 

(10-21-04)

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