THE WORDS OF CHRIST (FEAST
OF THE HOLY FAMILY)
"Let the Word of the Lord
dwell in you richly," i.e. the teachings, doctrines and
exhortations of Christ must dwell in your hearts. And the main
teaching of the Word of the Lord is "the present life and its
good things is nothing."
". . .richly. . .," not
merely swell but swell with great abundance. Scriptures must
be learned, not lightly nor in any sort of way but with great
earnestness. Only he who is rich in doctrines will bear the
poverty, sufferings and calamities that are the shares of those who
"In all wisdom. . . teaching
and admonishing one another." Virtue is wisdom, lowliness
of mind is wisdom, almsgiving is wisdom. Everything else is
folly; and cruelty comes from folly, thus, sin is folly.
What is more folly than to have 20
garments,10 of which we hardly use while our brothers are naked; or
to feed our pets with expensive food while our brothers
He who is wise gives of his
substance because he knows he has the same nature as he who
starves. He has judged wealth correctly who gives wealth no
importance. He who is despiser of glory is wise. He who
knows what is human and what is divine, thus despising one and
working at pains for the other is wise. He who gives thanks to
God in all things is wise; he who considers the present life
as nothing is wise because he will not delight in prosperity nor
grieve in poverty.
Listen to wise preachers. If
there is none, procure the New Testament, the Apostolic Epistles,
the Acts and the Gospels. If grief befalls you, if you are in
trouble, if loss or death or bereavement befalls you, dive into them
as if a chest of medicine.
The cause of all evils is not
knowing Scriptures. It is like going into battle without
weapons. With Scriptures, it is difficult to be safe; how much
more without them.
Those learning the way of salvation
must not be forever learning; for then they are not taught. He
who is forever learning will never learn. You must finish
learning so as to be able to teach others. If you are ever
learning, it is certain proof that you have learned
A reproach to the Jews: "they
were still learning even up to old age. For, as pupils, you
should have given your place to others and helped to teach
others. What do you think of one who studies the alphabet up
to old age? In the early times, students were soon appointed
to be teachers so the truth spread around the world.
So, husbands are supposed to teach
their wives; parents, their children and bishops are supposed to
teach husbands. But, in most Christian communities, no one
seems to be teaching anyone.
". . .teaching and admonishing
one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs." Your
children sing the songs of Satan and you expect them to behave like
saints. But if they learn first the psalms, there they can
learn of true love, wisdom of chastity, of avoiding the wicked, or
restraining the belly, and that money is nothing nor glory nor
St. John Chrysostom, "On Col"