Homilies on Genesis 46–67 (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 87)

Homilies on Genesis 46–67 (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 87)

Translated by ROBERT C. HILL
Copyright Date: 1992
Pages: 294
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Homilies on Genesis 46–67 (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 87)
    Book Description:

    No description available

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1187-9
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-2)
  3. HOMILY 46
    (pp. 3-13)

    Come now, [422] today too, dearly beloved, let us take up the thread of yesterday’s remarks and thus set before you this spiritual meal so that we may once more come to learn, as you heard yesterday, the good God’s ineffable care and considerateness and the patriarch’s remarkable obedience and gratitude. Do you see how the birth of Isaac made Sarrah joyful? “She said;” the text said, remember, “‘The Lord brought laughter to me: whoever hears of it will rejoice with me:’”² Everyone who hears of it, she is saying, I will convince to be a sharer of my joy....

  4. HOMILY 47
    (pp. 14-24)

    Great [428] is the benefit in our reading today, and beyond telling the treasure concealed in these brief words. This, you see, is what the divine sayings are like: the great wealth they have contained in them is not in the number of the words but in the conciseness of the expression. So come now, let us unfold what is said and discover precisely the force of what was read today. In this way, in fact, we will learn once again both the patriarch’s great virtue and the surpassing degree of God’s loving kindness.

    (2) “Despite these words, God put...

  5. HOMILY 48
    (pp. 25-41)

    Yesterday, [434] dearly beloved, you saw the patriarch’s valor; you saw a soul stronger than iron in so far as, to the extent of his volition, he turned sacrificer of his son for the love of God; he stained his right hand with blood in intention and offered sacrifice. But owing to God’s loving kindness beyond telling he received his son back safe and sound and went off with him; the patriarch was commended for his intention and bedecked with a bright crown; he had engaged in the ultimate struggle and at every stage given evidence of his godly attitude....

  6. HOMILY 49
    (pp. 42-49)

    Once [443] again I would like to bring you to the customary table and spread before you the banquet from the words of Moses, or rather from the Spirit. [444] You see, it was not of himself that Moses proposed these matters to us, but under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.² So let us see today also what he wants to teach us. You see, it is not idly or to no purpose that he proposes to us the lives of good people; rather, it is for us to emulate their virtue and become imitators of their good deeds....

  7. HOMILY 50
    (pp. 50-55)

    Would [448] you be happy to have us set before you today, dearly beloved, our leftovers from yesterday’s sermon? After all, we did not succeed in bringing the whole theme to a conclusion. The fact that Isaac managed by his own prayer and ardent entreaty to awaken Rebecca’s womb to childbearing and, so to say, open up her damaged condition—all this we taught you yesterday to a sufficient degree, bringing out the number of years that blessed man spent begging and imploring God on this account. We proceeded to the story of those barren people and told you the...

  8. HOMILY 51
    (pp. 56-65)

    Once again [451] I would like to resume your instruction by taking up the theme of the sermon of the day before yesterday. So that you may be quite clear where we broke off the sermon then and where we should take it up today, it is necessary for us to provide reminders for you, dearly beloved. You see, even though you, distracted as you are with many concerns, have forgotten, yet it is my task to refresh your memory, so that the sermon due to be delivered today may be the fresher for the reminder. You know that previously...

  9. HOMILY 52
    (pp. 66-78)

    Today [456] we need to pass on to you, dearly beloved, the remnants of yesterday’s remarks, and, by taking up the sequence of our sermon, look once again at the good man Isaac and see how much care he enjoys from on high. You see, the one who had prevented his going down to Egypt and said, “‘Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you;’”² found so many means to render him famous that before long he became an object of envy to the king of the people of Gerar. In fact, when they saw his resources increasing...

  10. HOMILY 53
    (pp. 79-91)

    Come now, [463] today we will take up the sequel to what was said yesterday, if you don’t mind, and expound each phrase in the text to the extent of our ability so that we may gain some [464] benefit from it and thus go off home. So let us look at the beginning of what was read.² “Now, Esau was forty years old when he took as his wife Judith, daughter of Beel the Chettite, and Basemath, daughter of Elom the Evite. They were at odds with Isaac and Rebecca:” See how much can be learnt from these few...

  11. HOMILY 54
    (pp. 92-106)

    Did you see [471] yesterday the deep gratitude of the tax collector, the Lord’s ineffable love, and the extraordinary stupidity of the Jews?² Did you see how blessed Matthew instructed us all, by the way he responded promptly, by the way he gave evidence of such a remarkable transformation, that the way to virtue and to wickedness lies in our own choice, after receiving grace from above,³ and that by zeal we can succeed in becoming virtuous, and, likewise, by indifference we can fall down the precipice of sin? This, in fact, is what distinguishes us from brute beasts, that...

  12. HOMILY 55
    (pp. 107-118)

    Yesterday [479] the beginning of the good man’s journey instructed us sufficiently on the extent of his sound values, on account of which God judged him worthy of such a wonderful promise. Buoyed up further by his request and the prayer he offered to the God of all, he provided us all with adequate instruction, provided we are ready to be prompted to imitation of the good man’s virtue. You see, there is room for marvelling at how, after realizing the power of the one making the promise and hearing the extent of the promises made to him, he could...

  13. HOMILY 56
    (pp. 119-132)

    Yesterday [486] we digressed from the love Jacob showed for Rachel to the love of Paul, and, after learning the extent of his desire for Christ, we were unable to return to the theme of our sermon, as though swept away by some extremely powerful torrent. Hence, if you don’t mind, let us today take up the sequel and complete the remainder so that we may gain sufficient benefit from what is said today and thus go off home.

    (2) When the period of seven years was completed, Scripture tells us, remember, “in Jacob’s eyes such a long period was...

  14. HOMILY 57
    (pp. 133-153)

    Today [494] we must give you, dearly beloved, what was left over yesterday so that you may come to discover both the care God showed to Jacob and the godly attitude of the good man, and so imitate the man’s virtue.² I mean, it was not without purpose that the grace of the Spirit caused these stories to be recorded; rather, it was to stir us to imitation and emulation of virtuous men.³ You see, whenever we hear of one person’s endurance, of another’s self-control, of a third person’s prompt hospitality, of the great virtue of each of them, and...

  15. HOMILY 58
    (pp. 154-165)

    I realize [506] that you were wearied yesterday by the sermon’s being taken to great length. Cheer up, though; your labor was not in vain: it was done in the Lord, and even the slightest exertion on his account brings great rewards. You see, even if the body is weary, still the soul is further strengthened. Hence I myself, too, on seeing your ardent desire and heightened enthusiasm, intended to shorten the instruction, but I was unwilling to bring the sermon to a close before the end of the story, knowing as I did that I would thus give you...

  16. HOMILY 59
    (pp. 166-176)

    Yesterday [513] you saw the extraordinary love of the common Lord of all, the disciples’ common sense, and the unresponsiveness of the Jews.² You saw with how much forbearance he checked their shameful endeavor, making excuses for the disciples and demonstrating that those who wished to exert the full force of the Law were themselves ignorant of the intent of the Law, and that, despite the radiance of truth, they still insisted on sitting in darkness. You saw how, right from the outset, he took pains to cancel the observances of the Law, teaching them that with the appearance of...

  17. HOMILY 60
    (pp. 177-185)

    Come now, [520] today too, if you don’t mind, let us pick up the theme of our words of the day before yesterday, and thus once more propose to you the instruction from the sequel. Even yesterday as well, in fact, Jacob’s story was sufficient to provide us with instruction about God’s intense care for him and the way he encouraged him further with his own promises by way of reward for his sound attitude. When in the preceding part, you recall, it had narrated to us how he had in accord with God’s command left Shekim on account of...

  18. HOMILY 61
    (pp. 186-197)

    Once more [525] I want to bring you to the customary table, and by picking up the sequence of what was said the day before yesterday lay before you this spiritual banquet from what was read just now. You see, what was read today is sufficient to teach us how great the harm of envy, and how this ruinous passion of ill-will demonstrated its typical force even to the extent of affecting brotherhood.² But in order that the sermon may develop in orderly fashion, we must address the very beginning of the reading. “Now, this is Jacob’s line;” it says....

  19. HOMILY 62
    (pp. 198-211)

    The day [532] before yesterday the story about Joseph gave us adequate instruction on the harm caused by envy and how this deadly passion first destroys the soul nourishing it. You saw how Joseph’s brothers, constrained by the impulse of this passion, forgot even the bonds of kinship and displayed the savagery of wild beasts to the one who had done them no wrong, manifesting their own wickedness without causing their brother such harm as the shame they brought on themselves. I mean, even if they sold him to barbarians, who in turn handed him over to Pharaoh’s chief steward,...

  20. HOMILY 63
    (pp. 212-223)

    We [540] want today to present to you, dearly beloved, the remainder of what was said to you yesterday and resume the story of Joseph. You realize, of course, that since the sermon yesterday went beyond proper limits we were unable to go on further, but, rather, called a halt at the point where he was cast into prison by the chief cook on account of the Egyptian woman’s accusation. Hence today we must teach you, beloved, what befell him in prison. You see, when he was thrown into prison and was handed over to the chief jailer, even there...

  21. HOMILY 64
    (pp. 224-242)

    Are [547] you ready today, too, for us to deal with the story of Joseph and see how this remarkable man, after being given charge of the whole of Egypt, brought comfort to everyone from the intelligence with which he was endowed? “He left Pharaoh’s presence;” the text says, remember, “and travelled throughout the entire land of Egypt. The land produced crops in the seven years of plenty. Joseph collected the grain like the sands of the seashore.” Having been invested with complete authority by the king, he collected the harvest, the text says, and stored it in the cities,...

  22. HOMILY 65
    (pp. 243-254)

    You [558] saw from what was told you yesterday Joseph’s sound values and the unspeakable long-suffering he demonstrated in regard to his brothers, not only by recalling nothing of what had been done to him but also by urging and advising them as they were on the point of returning to their father not to blame one another for their actions against him but to throw off all malice and make their journey in harmony. Now, at this point today we need to complete the sequel so as to look both at their return to their father, at Jacob’s journey...

  23. HOMILY 66
    (pp. 255-264)

    Come now, [566] today let us bring to a close the story about Jacob and see what the arrangements were that he made at the point of dying. Let no one, however, have regard to the present situation in requiring of good people of that time the attitude thought proper for believers today; rather, let judgment be made in terms of times and situations. I make this opening remark of set purpose with a view to the words about to be addressed to Joseph by the patriarch. Let us listen to the words: “Now, it came the time for Israel...

  24. HOMILY 67
    (pp. 265-278)

    The [571] day before yesterday I promised to bring to a close jacob’s story, but although our sermon had become protracted, we were not able to put the promise completely into effect. Hence, I intend today to draw to your attention what we left uncompleted on that occasion the other day so as now to bring it to a close this way, God willing. First of all, however, we need to refresh your memory by showing you, dearly beloved, where we interrupted the sermon and concluded the teaching. You are aware, I presume, and remember well that when the good...

    (pp. 281-284)
    (pp. 285-288)