Homilies of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, on the Second Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the
2 Cor. i. 1, 4
Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the Church of God, which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in the whole of Achaia: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; Who comfort us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort them that are in any affliction through the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
It is meet to enquire, first, why to the former Epistle he adds a second: and what can be his reason for thus beginning with the mercies and consolation of God.
Why then does he add a second Epistle? Whereas in the first he had said, “I will come to you, and will know not the word of them which are puffed up, but the power;” (1 Cor. iv. 19.) and again towards the end had promised the same in milder terms, thus, “I will come unto you when I shall have passed through Macedonia; for I do pass through Macedonia; and it may be that I shall abide, or even winter with you;” (1 Cor. xvi. 5, 6.) yet now after along interval, he came not; but was still lingering and delaying even though the time appointed had passed away; the Spirit detaining him in other matters of far greater necessity than these. For this reason he had need to write a second Epistle, which he had not needed had he but a little out-tarried his time.1 εἰ παρὰ μικρὸν ὑστέρησεν.
But not for this reason only, but also because they were amended by the former; for him that had committed fornication whom before they applauded and were puffed up about, they had cut off and separated altogether. And this he shows where he says, “But if any hath caused sorrow, he hath caused sorrow not to me, but in part (that I press not too heavily) to you all. Sufficient to such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the many.” (2 Cor. ii. 5, 6.) And as he proceeds, he alludes again to the same thing when he says, “For behold that ye were made sorry after a godly sort, what earnest care it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what longing, yea, what zeal, yea, what avenging! In every thing ye approved yourselves to be pure in this matter.” (2 Cor. vii. 11.) Moreover, the collection2 λογίαν, Ben. εὐλογίαν, bounty, as 2 Cor. ix. 5. Engl. Vers. which he enjoined, they gathered with much forwardness. Wherefore also he says, “For I know your readiness of which I glory on your behalf to them of Macedonia, that Achaia hath been prepared for a year past.” (2 Cor. ix. 2.) And Titus too, whom he sent, they received with all kindness, as he shows when he says again, “His inward affection is more abundantly toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him.” (2 Cor. vii. 15.) For all these reasons he writes the second Epistle. For it was right that, as when they were in fault he rebuked them, so upon their amendment he should approve and commend them. On which account the Epistle is not very severe3 καταφορικωτέρα. throughout, but only in a few parts towards the end. For there were even amongst them Jews who thought highly of themselves, and accused Paul as being a boaster and worthy of no regard; whence also that speech of theirs; “His letters are weighty, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account:” (2 Cor. x. 10.) meaning thereby, when he is present he appears of no account, (for this is the meaning of, “his bodily presence is weak,”) but when he is away he boasts greatly in what he writes, (for such is the signification of “his letters are weighty.”) Moreover, to enhance their own credit these persons made a pretence of receiving nothing, to which he also alludes where he says, “that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.” (2 Cor. xi. 12.) And besides, possessing also the power of language, they were forthwith greatly elated. Wherefore also he calls himself “rude in speech,” (2 Cor. xi. 6.) showing that he is not ashamed thereof; nor deems the contrary any great acquisition. Seeing then it was likely that by these persons some would be seduced, after commending what was right in their conduct, and beating down their senseless4 ἀπόνοιαν. pride in the things of Judaism, in that out of season they were contentious to observe them, he administers a gentle5 συμμέτρως. rebuke on this subject also.
[2.] Such then, to speak summarily and by the way, appears to me the argument of this Epistle. It remains to consider the introduction, and to say why after his accustomed salutation he begins, as he does, with the mercies of God. But first, it is necessary to speak of the very beginning, and inquire why he here associates Timothy with himself. For, he saith, “Paul an Apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Timothy our brother.” In the first Epistle he promised he would send him; and charged them, saying, “Now if Timothy come, see that he be with you without fear.” (1 Cor. xvi. 10.) How then is it that he associates him here in the outset with himself? After he had been amongst them, agreeably to that promise of his teacher, “I have sent unto you Timothy who shall put you in remembrance of my ways which be in Christ,” (1 Cor. iv. 17.) and had set everything in order, he had returned back to Paul; who on sending him, had said, “Set him forward on his journey in peace that he may come to me, for I expect him with the brethren.” (1 Cor. xvi. 11.)
Since then Timothy was restored to his teacher, and after having with him set in order the things in Asia, (for, says he, “I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost,” 1 Cor. xvi. 8;) had crossed again into Macedonia; Paul not unreasonably associates him hereafter as abiding with himself. For then he wrote from Asia, but now from Macedonia. Moreover, thus associating him he at once gains increased respect for him, and displays his own exceeding humility6 σεμνότερον ποιῶν.: for Timothy was very inferior to himself, yet doth love bring all things together. Whence also he everywhere makes him equal with himself; at one time saying, “as a child serveth a father so he served with me;” (Philip. ii. 22.) at another, “for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do;” (1 Cor. xvi. 10.) and here, he even calleth him, “brother;” by all making him an object of respect to the Corinthians amongst whom he had been, as I have said, and given proof of his worth.
“To the Church of God which is at Corinth.” Again he calleth them “the Church,” to bring and bind them all together in one. For it could not be one Church, while those within her were sundered and stood apart. “With all the saints which are in the whole of Achaia. In thus saluting all through the Epistle addressed to the Corinthians, he would at once honor these, and bring together the whole nation. But he calls them “saints,” thereby implying that if any be an impure person, he hath no share in this salutation. But why, writing to the mother city, does he address all through her, since he doth not so everywhere? For instance, in his Epistle to the Thessalonians he addressed not the Macedonians also; and in like manner in that to the Ephesians he doth not include all Asia; neither was that to the Romans written to those also who dwell in Italy. But in this Epistle he doth so; and in that to the Galatians. For there also he writeth not to one city, or two, or three, but to all who are scattered every where, saying, “Paul an Apostle, (not from men neither through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, Who raised Him from the dead,) and all the brethren which are with me, unto the Churches of Galatia. Grace to you and peace.” (Gal. i. 1–3.) To the Hebrews also he writes one Epistle to all collectively; not distinguishing them into their several cities. What then can be the reason of this? Because, as I think, in this case all were involved in one common disorder, wherefore also he addresses them in common, as needing one common remedy. For the Galatians were all of them infected. So too were the Hebrews, and so I think these (Achaians) also.
[3.] So then having brought the whole nation together in one, and saluted them with his accustomed greeting, for, saith he, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:” (2 Cor. i. 2.) hear how aptly to the purpose in hand he begins, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” (ver. 3.) Do you ask, how is this aptly to the purpose in hand? I reply, Very much so; for observe, they were greatly vexed and troubled that the Apostle had not come to them, and that, though he had promised, but had spent the whole time in Macedonia; preferring as it seemed others to themselves. Setting himself then to meet this feeling7 τὸ ἀνθορμοῦν. against him, he declares the cause of his absence; not however directly stating it, as thus; “I know, indeed, I promised to come, but since I was hindered by afflictions forgive me, nor judge me guilty of any sort of contempt or neglect towards you:” but after another manner he invests the subject at once with more dignity and trustworthiness, and gives it greatness by the nature of the consolation8 ἐπαίρων τῇ παραμυθίᾳ τὸ πρᾶγμα., so that thereafter they might not so much as ask the reason of his delay. Just as if one, having promised to come to one he longed for, at length arriving after dangers innumerable, should say, “Glory to Thee, O God, for letting me see the sight so longed for of his dear countenance! Blessed be Thou, O God, from what perils hast Thou delivered me!” for such a doxology is an answer to him who was preparing to find fault, and will not let him so much as complain of the delay; for one that is thanking God for deliverance from such great calamities he cannot for shame drag to the bar, and bid clear himself of loitering. Whence Paul thus begins, “Blessed be the God of mercies,” implying by the very words that he had been both brought into and delivered from mighty perils. For as David also doth not address God every where in one way or with the same titles; but when he is upon battle and victory, “I will love Thee, he saith, O Lord my strength; the Lord is my buckler9 ὑπερασπιστὴς Gr.:” when again upon delivery from affliction and the darkness which overwhelmed him, “The Lord is my light and my salvation;” (Ps. xxvii. 1.) and as the immediate occasion suggests, he names Him now from His loving-kindness, now from His justice, now from His righteous judgment:—in like way Paul also here at the beginning describeth Him by His loving-kindness, calling Him “the God of mercies,” that is, “Who hath showed me so great mercies as to bring me up from the very gates of death.”
And thus to have mercy is the peculiar and excellent attribute of God, and the most inherent in His nature; whence he calleth Him the “God of mercies.”
And observe, I pray you, herein also the lowly-mindedness of Paul. For though he were in peril because of the Gospel he preached; yet saith he not, he was saved for his merit, but for the mercies of God. But this he afterwards declareth more clearly, and now goes on to say, “Who comforteth us in all affliction.” (2 Cor. i. 4.) He saith not, “Who suffereth us not to come into affliction:” but, “Who comforteth in affliction.” For this at once declareth the power of God; and increaseth the patience of those afflicted. For, saith he, “tribulation worketh patience.” (Rom. v. 3.) And so also the prophet, “Thou hast set me at large when I was in distress.” (Ps. iv. 1.) He doth not say, “Thou hast not suffered me to fall into affliction,” nor yet, “Thou hast quickly removed my affliction,” but, whilst it continueth, “Thou hast set me at large:” (Dan. iii. 21. &c.) that is, “hast granted me much freedom and refreshment.” Which truly happened also in the case of the three children, for neither did He prevent their being cast into the flame, nor when so cast, did He quench it, but while the furnace was burning He gave them liberty. And such is ever God’s way of dealing; as Paul also implies when he says, “Who comforteth us in all affliction.”
But he teaches something more in these words: Do you ask what? Namely, that God doeth this not once, nor twice, but without intermission. For He doth not one while comfort, another not, but ever and constantly. Wherefore he saith, “Who comforteth,” not, “Who hath comforted,” and, “in all affliction,” not, “in this or that,” but, “in all.”
“That we may be able to comfort them which are in any affliction through the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” See you not how he is beforehand10 προανακρούεται. with his defence by suggesting to the hearer the thought of some great affliction; and herein also is his modesty again apparent, that he saith not for their own merits was this mercy showed, but for the sake of those that need their assistance; “for,” saith he, “to this end hath He comforted us that we might comfort one another.” And hereby also he manifesteth the excellency of the Apostles, shewing that having been comforted and breathed awhile, he lieth not softly down as we, but goeth on his way to anoint11 i.e., for the combat., to nerve, to rouse others. Some, however, consider this as the Apostle’s meaning. “Our consolation is that of others also:” but my opinion is that in this introduction, he is also censuring the false Apostles, those vain boasters who sat at home and lived in luxury; but this covertly and, as it were, incidentally, the leading object being to apologise for his delay. “For,” [he would say,] “if for this end we were comforted that we might comfort others also, do not blame us that we came not; for in this was our whole time spent, in providing against the conspiracies, the violence, the terrors which assailed us.”
[4.] “For as the sufferings of Christ abound unto us, even so our comfort also aboundeth through Christ.” Not to depress the disciples by an aggravated account of his sufferings; he declareth on the other hand that great and superabundant was the consolation also, and lifteth up12 ἀνιστησιν. The word has here probably the double sense, “raiseth up the depressed,” and “lifteth upward towards heaven.” their heart not hereby alone, but also by putting them in mind of Christ and calling the sufferings “His,” and 13 πρὸ τῆς παρακλήσεως.prior to the consolation deriveth a comfort from the very sufferings themselves. For what joy can I have so great as to be partaker with Christ, and for His sake to suffer these things? What consolation can equal this? But not from this source only does he raise the spirits of the afflicted, but from another also. Ask you what other? In that he saith, “abound:” for he doth not say, “As the sufferings of Christ” are “in us,” but as they “abound,” thereby declaring that they endure not His sufferings only, but even more than these14 St. Chrysostom does not, of course, mean, for an instant, to compare the sufferings of the Apostles with those of our Lord in themselves, but in one point only, their number. His sufferings alone were meritorious and well-pleasing in themselves, their’s in Him only; His turned away the Father’s wrath, their’s were accepted by Him, when reconciled; His were spiritual also, their’s bodily only; His were borne by His own power, through His divinity, their’s not by their own, but through His indwelling Spirit; but, while of course, beyond all thought inferior in every other respect, S. Chrysostom infers from the Apostle’s words, that their bodily sufferings outnumber His, though these also were, (he insists throughout) not their’s, but His in these His members, bestowed by Him, borne through Him and acceptable in Him. The whole comment is a development of the word περισσεύει “aboundeth,” whence he infers that they were “more abundant,” περισσά: (as, plainly, the bodily sufferings of the army of Martyrs have been more numerous.) Yet though true, the statement, if repeated by one less reverent and not corrected by the vivid consciousness that these too were His sufferings, would become profane.. For, saith he, “not whatsoever He suffered, that have we suffered; “but even more15 περισσά, περισσεύει.,” for, consider, “Christ was cast out, persecuted, scourged, died,” but we, saith he, “more than all this,” which even of itself were consolation enough. Now let no one condemn this speech of boldness; for he elsewhere saith, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh.” (Col. i. 24.) Yet neither here nor there is it from boldness or any presumptousness. For as they wrought greater miracles than He according to that saying of His, “he that believeth on Me shall do greater works than these,” (John xiv. 12.) but all is of Him that worketh in them; so did they suffer also more than He, but all again is of Him that comforteth them, and fitteth them to bear the evils that betide them.
With which respect Paul aware how great a thing he had said, doth again remarkably restrain it by adding, “So our comfort also aboundeth through Christ;” thus at once ascribing all to Him, and proclaiming herein also His loving-kindness; for, he saith not, “As our affliction, such our consolation;” but “far more;” for, he saith not, “our comfort is equal to our sufferings,” but, “our comfort aboundeth,” so that the season of struggles was the season also of fresh crowns. For, say, what is equal to being scourged for Christ’s sake and holding converse with God; and being more than match for all things, and gaining the better of those who cast us out, and being unconquered by the whole world, and expecting hence such good things “as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man!” (1 Cor. ii. 9.) And what is equal to suffering affliction for godliness’ sake, and receiving from God consolations infinite, and being rescued from sins so great, and counted worthy of the Spirit, and of being sanctified and justified, and regarding no man with fear and trembling, and in peril itself outshining all.
[5.] Let us then not sink down when tempted. For no self-indulger hath fellowship with Christ, nor sleeper, nor supine [person], nor any of these lax and dissolute livers. But Whoso is in affliction and temptation, this man standeth near to Him, whoso is journeying on the narrow way. For He Himself trode this; whence too He saith, “the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head.” So then grieve not when thou art in affliction; considering with Whom thou hast fellowship, and how thou art purified by trials; and how great gain is thine. For there is nothing miserable save the offending against God; but this apart, neither afflictions nor conspiracies, nor any other thing hath power to grieve the right-minded soul: but like as a little spark, if thou cast it into a mighty deep, thou presently puttest it out, so doth even a total and excessive sorrow if it light on a good conscience easily die away and disappear.
Such then was the spring of Paul’s continual joy: because in whatever was of God he was full of hope; and did not so much as take count of ills so great, but though he grieved as a man yet sank not. So too was that Patriarch encompassed with joy in the midst of much painful suffering; for consider, he forsook his country, underwent journeyings long and hard; when he came into a strange land, had “not so much as to set his foot on.” (Acts vii. 5.) Then again a famine awaited him which made him once more a wanderer; after the famine again came the seizure of his wife, then the fear of death, and childlessness, and battle, and peril, and conspiracies, and at the last that crowning trial, the slaying of his only-begotten and true16 γνησίον, i.e., the son of the true wife, as opposed to the son of the bondwoman. son, that grievous irreparable [sacrifice.] For think not, I pray you, that because he readily obeyed, he felt not all the things he underwent. For though his righteousness had been, as indeed it was, inestimable17 μυριακὶς δίκαιος., yet was he a man and felt as nature bade. But yet did none of these things cast him down, but he stood like a noble athlete, and for each one was proclaimed and crowned a victor. So also the blessed Paul, though seeing trials in very snow-showers assailing him daily, rejoiced and exulted as though in the mid-delights of Paradise. As then he who is gladdened with this joy cannot be a prey to despair; so he who maketh not this his own is easily overcome of all; and is as one that hath unsound armor, and is wounded by even a common stroke: but not so he who is well encased at all points, and proof against every shaft that cometh upon him. And truly stouter than any armor is joy in God; and whoso hath it, nothing can ever make his head droop or his countenance sad, but he beareth all things nobly. For what is worse to bear than fire? what more painful than continual torture? truly it is more overpowering18 τυραννικώτερον. in pain than the loss of untold wealth, of children, of any thing; for, saith he, “Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.” (Job ii. 4.) So nothing can be harder to bear than bodily pain; nevertheless, because of this joy in God, what even to hear of is intolerable, becomes both tolerable and longed for: and if thou take from the cross or from the gridiron the martyr yet just breathing, thou wilt find such a treasure of joy within him as admits not of being told.
[6.] And doth any one say, What am I to do19 τί πάθω.; for now is no time of martyrdom? What sayest thou? Is now no time of martyrdom? Never is it not a time; but ever is it before our eyes; if we20 ἐὰν νήφωμεν. will keep them open. For it is not the hanging on a cross only that makes a Martyr, for were this so, then was Job excluded from this crown; for he neither stood at bar, nor heard Judge’s voice, nor looked on executioner; no, nor while hanging on tree aloft had his sides mangled; yet he suffered worse than many martyrs; more sharply than any stroke did the tale of those successive messengers strike, and goad him on every side: and keener the gnawings of the worms which devoured him in every part than thousand executioners.
Against what martyr then may he not worthily be set? Surely against ten thousand. For in every kind [of suffering] he both wrestled and was crowned; in goods, and children, and person, and wife, and friends, and enemies, and servants, (for these too even did spit in his face,) in hunger and visions and pains and noisomeness; it was for this I said he might worthily be set, not against one nor two nor three, but against ten thousand Martyrs. For besides what I have mentioned, the time also maketh a great addition to his crown; in that it was before the Law, before Grace, he thus suffered, and that, many months, and each in its worst form; and all these evils assailed him at once. And yet each individual evil by itself intolerable, even that which seemeth most tolerable, the loss of his goods. For many have patiently borne stripes, but could not bear the loss of their goods; but rather than relinquish any part of them were content even to be scourged for their sake and suffer countless ills; and this blow, the loss of goods, appeared to them heavier than all. So then here is another method of martyrdom for one who bears this loss nobly. And doth any ask, How shall we bear it nobly? When thou hast learned that by one word of thanksgiving thou shalt gain more than all thou hast lost. For if at the tidings of our loss we be not troubled, but say, “Blessed be God,” we have found far more abundant riches. For truly such great fruit thou shalt not reap by expending all thy wealth on the needy, by going about and seeking out the poor, and scattering thy substance to the hungry, as thou shalt gain by the same word. And so neither Job do I admire so much in setting wide his house to the needy, as I am struck with and extol his taking the spoiling of his substance thankfully. The same in the loss of children it happeneth to see. For herein, also, reward no less than his who offered21 ἀναγαγόντος, see Acts vii. 41. his son and presented him in sacrifice shalt thou receive, if as thou seest thine die thou shalt thank the God of love. For how shalt such an one be less than Abraham? He saw not his son stretched out a corpse, but only looked to do so. So if he gain in the comparison by his purpose to slay and his stretching forth his hand to take the knife, (Gen. xxii. 10.) yet doth he lose in that the child is lying dead here. And besides, he had some comfort in the prospect of a good work done, and the thought that this so excellent achievement was the work of his own fortitude, and that the voice he heard came from above made him the readier. But here is no such thing. So that he had need have a soul of adamant, who can bear with calmness to see a child, his only one, brought up in affluence, in the dawn22 ὑποφαίνοντα. of fair promise, lying upon the bier23 βάθρον, bench, Ben. βόθρου. an outstretched corpse. And should such an one, hushing to rest the heavings of nature, be strengthened to say the words of Job without a tear, “The Lord gave, the Lord hath taken away;” (Job i. 21.) for those words’ sake alone, he shall stand with Abraham himself and with Job be proclaimed a victor. And if, staying the wailings of the women and breaking up the bands of mourners, he shall rouse them all to sing glory [to God], he shall receive above, below, rewards unnumbered; men admiring, angels applauding, God crowning him.
[7.] And sayest thou, How is it possible for one that is man not to mourn? I reply, If thou wilt reflect how neither the Patriarch nor Job, who both were men, gave way to any thing of the kind; and this too in either case before the Law, and Grace, and the excellent wisdom of the laws [we have]: if thou wilt account that the deceased has removed into a better country, and bounded away to a happier inheritance, and that thou hast not lost thy son but bestowed him henceforward in an inviolable spot. Say not then, I pray thee, I am no longer called “father,” for why art thou no longer called so, when thy son abideth? For surely thou didst not part with thy child nor lose thy son? Rather thou hast gotten him, and hast him in greater safety. Wherefore, no longer shalt thou be called “father” here only, but also in heaven; so that thou hast not lost the title “father,” but hast gained it in a nobler sense; for henceforth thou shalt be called father not of a mortal child, but of an immortal; of a noble soldier; on duty continually within [the palace]. For think not because he is not present that therefore he is lost; for had he been absent in a foreign land, the title of thy relationship had not gone from thee with his body. Do not then gaze on the countenance of what lieth there, for so thou dost but kindle afresh thy grief; but away with thy thought from him that lieth there, up to heaven. That is not thy child which is lying there, but he who hath flown away and sprung aloft into boundless height. When then thou seest the eyes closed, the lips locked together, the body motionless, Oh be not these thy thoughts, “These lips no longer speak, these eyes no longer see, these feet no longer walk, but are all on their way to corruption!” Oh say not so: but say the reverse of this, “These lips shall speak better, and the eyes see greater things, and the feet shall mount upon the clouds; and this body which now rotteth away shall put on immortality, and I shall receive my son back more glorious. But if what thou seest distress thee, say to thyself the while, This is [only] clothing and he has put it off to receive it back more precious; this is an house and it is taken down to be restored in greater splendor. For like as we, when purposing to take houses down, allow not the inmates to stay, that they may escape the dust and noise; but causing them to remove a little while, when we have built up the tenement securely, admit them freely; so also doth God; Who taking down this His decaying tabernacle hath received him the while into His paternal dwelling and unto Himself, that when it hath been taken down and built anew He may then return it to him more glorious.
Say not then, “He is perished and shall no more be;” for these be the words of unbelievers; but say, “He sleepeth and will rise again,” “He is gone a journey and will return with the King.” Who sayeth this? He24 i.e. Paul. See 2 Cor. xiii. 3. that hath Christ speaking in him. “For,” saith he, “if we believe that Jesus died and rose again” and revived, “even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.” (1 Thess. iv. 14.) If then thou seek thy son, there seek him where the King is, where is the army of the Angels; not in the grave; not in the earth; lest whilst he is so highly exalted, thyself remain grovelling on the ground.
If we have this true wisdom, we shall easily repel all this kind of distress; and “the God of mercies and Father of all comfort” comfort all our hearts, both those who are oppressed with such grief and those held down with any other sorrow; and grant us deliverance from all despair and increase of spiritual joy; and to obtain the good things to come; whereunto may all we attain, through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom unto the Father, together with the Holy Spirit, be glory, power, honor, now and ever, and world without end. Amen.
ΤΟΥ ΕΝ ΑΓΙΟΙΣ ΠΑΤΡΟΣ ΗΜΩΝ ΙΩΑΝΝΟΥ ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΥ ΚΩΝΣΤΑΝΤΙΝΟΥΠΟΛΕΩΣ ΤΟΥ ΧΡΥΣΟΣΤΟΜΟΥ ΥΠΟΜΝΗΜΑ ΕΙΣ ΤΗΝ ΠΡΟΣ ΚΟΡΙΝΘΙΟΥΣ ΔΕΥΤΕΡΑΝ ΕΠΙΣΤΟΛΗΝ.ΟΜΙΛΙΑ Αʹ. Παῦλος ἀπόστολος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ διὰ θε λήματος Θεοῦ, καὶ Τιμόθεος ὁ ἀδελφὸς, τῇ Ἐκ κλησίᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῇ οὔσῃ ἐν Κορίνθῳ, σὺν τοῖς ἁγίοις πᾶσι τοῖς οὖσιν ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ Ἀχαΐᾳ: χά ρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ Θεοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ Κυ ρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. Εὐλογητὸς ὁ Θεὸς καὶ Πατὴρ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ Πα τὴρ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν, καὶ Θεὸς πάσης παρακλήσεως, ὁ παρακαλῶν ἡμᾶς ἐν πάσῃ τῇ θλίψει ἡμῶν, εἰς τὸ δύνασθαι ἡμᾶς παρακαλεῖν τοὺς ἐν πάσῃ θλίψει, διὰ τῆς παρακλήσεως, ἧς πα ρακαλούμεθα αὐτοὶ ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ. αʹ. Ἄξιον ζητῆσαι πρότερον, τίνος ἕνεκεν δευτέραν προστίθησιν Ἐπιστολὴν τῇ προτέρᾳ, καὶ τί δήποτε οὕτως ἄρχεται ἀπὸ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ τῆς παρακλήσεως. Τίνος οὖν ἕνεκεν δευτέραν προστίθησιν; Εἰπὼν ἐν τῇ προτέρᾳ Ἐπιστολῇ, ὅτι Ἐλεύσομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς, καὶ γνώσομαι, οὐ τὸν λόγον τῶν πεφυσιωμένων, ἀλλὰ τὴν δύναμιν, καὶ πρὸς τῷ τέλει πάλιν προσηνέστερον αὐτὸ τοῦτο ὑποσχόμενος: Ἐλεύσομαι γὰρ, φησὶ, πρὸς ὑμᾶς, ὅταν Μακεδονίαν διέλθω: Μακεδονίαν γὰρ διέρχομαι: πρὸς ὑμᾶς δὲ τυχὸν παραμενῶ, ἢ καὶ παραχειμάσω: πολλοῦ μεταξὺ γενομένου χρόνου οὐ παρεγένετο, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς προθεσμίας παρελθούσης, ἔμελλεν ἔτι καὶ ἐβράδυνε, τοῦ Πνεύματος αὐτὸν κατέχοντος ἐν ἑτέροις πολλῷ τούτων ἀναγκαιοτέροις. Διὰ τοῦτο ἐπιστολῆς ἐδεήθη δευτέρας, οὐκ ἂν δεηθεὶς εἰ παρὰ μικρὸν ὑστέρησεν. Οὐ διὰ τοῦτο δὲ μόνον, ἀλλ' ὅτι καὶ βελτίους ἦσαν ἀπὸ τῆς προτέρας γεγενημένοι. Καὶ γὰρ τὸν πεπορνευκότα, ὃν πρότερον συνεκρότουν, καὶ ἐφ' ᾧ μέγα ἐφρόνουν, τοῦτον ἐξέκοψαν καὶ ἀφώρισαν παντελῶς. Καὶ τοῦτο ἐδήλωσεν εἰπών: Εἰ δέ τις λελύπηκεν, οὐκ ἐμὲ λελύπηκεν, ἀλλὰ ἀπὸ μέρους, ἵνα μὴ ἐπιβαρῶ πάντας ὑμᾶς. Ἱκανὸν τῷ τοιούτῳ ἡ ἐπιτιμία αὕτη ἡ ὑπὸ τῶν πλειόνων. Καὶ προϊὼν πάλιν τὸ αὐτὸ αἰνίττεται λέγων: Ἰδοὺ γὰρ τὸ κατὰ Θεὸν λυπηθῆναι ὑμᾶς, πόσην κατειργάσατο ἐν ὑμῖν σπουδήν: ἀλλὰ ἀπολογίαν, ἀλλὰ ἀγανάκτησιν, ἀλλὰ φόβον, ἀλλὰ ἐπιπόθησιν, ἀλλὰ ζῆλον, ἀλλὰ ἐκδίκησιν. Ἐν παντὶ συνεστήσατε ἑαυτοὺς ἁγνοὺς εἶναι ἐν τῷ πράγματι. Καὶ τὴν εὐλογίαν δὲ, ἣν ἐκέλευσε, μετὰ πολλῆς συνήγαγον τῆς σπουδῆς: διὸ καὶ ἔλεγεν: Οἶδα γὰρ τὴν προθυμίαν ὑμῶν, ἣν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν καυχῶμαι Μακεδόσιν, ὅτι Ἀχαΐα παρεσκεύασται ἀποπέρυσι. Καὶ τὸν Τίτον, ὃν ἔπεμψε, μετὰ πάσης ἐδέξαντο τῆς εὐνοίας. Καὶ τοῦτο αὐτὸ δεικνὺς πάλιν ἔλεγεν, ὅτι Τὰ σπλάγχνα αὐτοῦ περισσοτέρως ἐστὶν εἰς ὑμᾶς, ἀναμιμνησκομένου τὴν πάντων ὑμῶν ὑπακοὴν, ὥστε μετὰ φόβου καὶ τρόμου ἐδέξασθε αὐτόν. Διὰ ταῦτα πάντα γράφει τὴν δευτέραν Ἐπιστολήν. Καὶ γὰρ ἐχρῆν, ὥσπερ ἡνίκα ἡμάρτανον ἐνεκάλει, οὕτω διορθωθέντας ἀποδέξασθαι καὶ ἐπαινέσαι. Διόπερ οὐδὲ καταφορικωτέρα ἐστὶ πᾶσα ἡ Ἐπιστολὴ, ἀλλ' ὀλίγα τοῦ τέλους αὐτῆς μέρη. Καὶ γὰρ ἦσαν καὶ παρ' αὐτοῖς ἐξ Ἰουδαίων μέγα φρονοῦντες, καὶ Παῦλον διαβάλλοντες ὡς ἀλαζόνα καὶ οὐδενὸς ἄξιον λόγου: διὸ καὶ ἔλεγον: Αἱ μὲν ἐπιστολαὶ βαρεῖαι, ἡ δὲ παρουσία τοῦ σώματος ἀσθενὴς, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἐξουθενημένος. Ὃ δὲ ἔλεγον τοῦτο ἦν: Ὅταν μὲν παρῇ, φησὶν, οὐδενὸς ἄξιος φαίνεται: τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν, Ἡ παρουσία τοῦ σώματος ἀσθενής: ἀπελθὼν δὲ κομπάζει μεγάλα, δι' ὧν ἐπιστέλλει: τὸ γὰρ, Αἱ ἐπιστολαὶ βαρεῖαι, τοῦτο σημαίνει. Καὶ ἵνα δόξωσι τὰ καθ' ἑαυτοὺς σεμνοποιεῖν, ὑπεκρίνοντο μὴ λαμβάνειν. Ὅπερ οὖν καὶ αὐτὸ αἰνιττόμενος ἔλεγεν: Ἵνα ἐν ᾧ καυχῶνται, εὑρεθῶσι καθὼς καὶ ἡμεῖς. Μετὰ δὲ τούτων καὶ τὴν ἀπὸ τοῦ λόγου δύναμιν ἔχοντες αὐτόθι, σφόδρα ἐπῄροντο. Διὸ καὶ ἰδιώτην ἑαυτὸν καλεῖ, δεικνὺς ὅτι οὐκ αἰσχύνεται τούτῳ, οὐδὲ μέγα τι κτῆμα, τοὐναντίον μὲν οὖν ἡγεῖται. Ἐπεὶ οὖν εἰκὸς ἦν τινας ὑπὸ τούτων παραπείθεσθαι, πρότερον αὐτοὺς ἐγκωμιάσας ὑπὲρ ὧν κατώρθωσαν, καὶ τὴν ἀπόνοιαν ἐκείνων τὴν ἐπὶ τοῖς Ἰουδαϊκοῖς καταβαλὼν, ἐπειδὴ παρὰ καιρὸν αὐτὰ τηρεῖν ἐφιλονείκουν, τότε συμμέτρως καὶ τὴν ὑπὲρ τούτων ποιεῖται ἐπίπληξιν. Ἡ μὲν οὖν ὑπόθεσις τῆς Ἐπιστολῆς, ὡς ἄν τις ἐν κεφαλαίῳ καὶ παρατρέχων εἴποι, αὕτη μοι εἶναι δοκεῖ. Δεῖ δὲ αὐτοῦ τοῦ προοιμίου τῆς Ἐπιστολῆς ἅψασθαι λοιπὸν, καὶ μετὰ τὴν εἰωθυῖαν αὐτοῦ πρόσρησιν εἰπεῖν, τίνος ἕνεκεν οὕτως ἤρξατο ἀπὸ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν τοῦ Θεοῦ. Τέως μέντοι αὐτὴν τὴν ἀρχὴν ἀναγκαῖον εἰπεῖν, καὶ ζητῆσαι πῶς τὸν Τιμόθεον ἐνταῦθα ἑαυτῷ συντάττει. Παῦλος γὰρ, φησὶν, ἀπόστολος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ διὰ θελήματος Θεοῦ, καὶ Τιμόθεος ὁ ἀδελφός. Καὶ γὰρ ἐν τῇ προτέρᾳ Ἐπιστολῇ ἐπηγγέλλετο αὐτὸν πέμπειν, καὶ παρήγγελλε λέγων: Ἐὰν δὲ ἔλθῃ Τιμόθεος, βλέπετε ἵνα ἀφόβως γένηται πρὸς ὑμᾶς: πῶς οὖν ἐνταῦθα αὐτὸν ἑαυτῷ ἐν τῷ προοιμίῳ συντάττει; Παραγενόμενος κατὰ τὴν ὑπόσχεσιν τοῦ διδασκάλου (Ἔπεμψα γὰρ ὑμῖν Τιμόθεον, φησὶν, ὃς ὑμᾶς ἀναμνήσει τὰς ὁδούς μου τὰς ἐν Χριστῷ), καὶ διορθώσας ἅπαντα, ἐπανῆλθε. Καὶ γὰρ πέμπων αὐτὸν ἔλεγε: Προπέμψατε αὐτὸν ἐν εἰρήνῃ, ἵνα ἔλθῃ πρός με: ἐκδέχομαι γὰρ αὐτὸν μετὰ τῶν ἀδελφῶν. βʹ. Ἐπεὶ οὖν ἀπέλαβε τὸν διδάσκαλον, καὶ τὰ ἐν Ἀσίᾳ διορθώσας μετ' αὐτοῦ (Ἐπιμενῶ γὰρ, φησὶν, ἐν Ἐφέσῳ ἕως τῆς Πεντηκοστῆς), πάλιν εἰς Μακεδονίαν διέβη, εἰκότως αὐτὸν ἅτε παρόντα ἑαυτῷ συντάττει λοιπόν. Καὶ γὰρ τότε μὲν ἐξ Ἀσίας, νῦν δὲ ἀπὸ Μακεδονίας ἐπιστέλλει. Συνέταξε δὲ αὐτὸν, ἐκεῖνόν τε σεμνότερον ταύτῃ ποιῶν, καὶ τὴν πολλὴν ἑαυτοῦ ταπεινοφροσύνην ἐνδεικνύμενος: καὶ γὰρ καταδεέστερος αὐτοῦ ἦν, ἀλλ' ἡ ἀγάπη πάντα συνάγει. Διὸ καὶ πανταχοῦ αὐτὸν ἑαυτῷ ἐξισάζει, νῦν μὲν λέγων: Ὡς πατρὶ τέκνον, σὺν ἐμοὶ ἐδούλευσε: νῦν δὲ, Τὸ γὰρ ἔργον Κυρίου ἐργάζεται, ὡς κἀγώ: ἐνταῦθα δὲ καὶ ἀδελφὸν καλεῖ, διὰ πάντων αἰδέσιμον αὐτὸν Κορινθίοις καθιστάς. Καὶ γὰρ ἦν παραγεγονὼς, ὥσπερ ἔφην, αὐτόθι, καὶ πεῖραν τῆς αὐτοῦ δεδωκὼς ἀρετῆς. Τῇ Ἐκκλησίᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῇ οὔσῃ ἐν Κορίνθῳ. Πάλιν αὐτοὺς Ἐκκλησίαν καλεῖ, συνάγων πάντας εἰς ἓν καὶ συνδέων. Οὐ γὰρ ἂν γένοιτο Ἐκκλησία μία, διεσπασμένων τῶν ἐν αὐτῇ, καὶ κατ' ἀλλήλων ἑστώτων. Σὺν τοῖς ἁγίοις πᾶσι τοῖς οὖσιν ἐν ὅλη τῇ Ἀχαΐᾳ. Ἅμα καὶ τιμᾷ Κορινθίους, διὰ τῆς τούτων Ἐπιστολῆς πάντας προσαγορεύων, καὶ ὁλόκληρον συνάγει τὸ ἔθνος. Ἁγίους δὲ καλεῖ, δεικνὺς ὅτι εἴ τις ἀκάθαρτος, ἐκτός ἐστι τῆς προσηγορίας ταύτης. Διὰ τί δὲ τῇ μητροπόλει γράφων, πᾶσι δι' αὐτῆς ἐπιστέλλει, οὐ πανταχοῦ τοῦτο ποιῶν; Θεσσαλονικεῦσι γοῦν ἐπιστέλλων οὐ δήπου καὶ Μακεδόσιν ἐπέστελλε: καὶ Ἐφεσίοις γράφων, ὁμοίως οὐ περιέλαβε τὴν Ἀσίαν ἅπασαν: καὶ ἡ πρὸς Ῥωμαίους δὲ Ἐπιστολὴ, οὐχὶ καὶ τοῖς τὴν Ἰταλίαν οἰκοῦσίν ἐστιν ἐπεσταλμένη. Ἀλλ' ἐνταῦθα αὐτὸ ποιεῖ, καὶ ἐν τῇ πρὸς Γαλάτας. Οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐκεῖ μιᾷ πόλει, καὶ δύο καὶ τρισὶν, ἀλλὰ τοῖς πανταχοῦ διεσπαρμένοις ἐπιστέλλει, λέγων: Παῦλος ἀπόστολος οὐκ ἀπ' ἀνθρώπων, οὐδὲ δι' ἀνθρώπου, ἀλλὰ διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ Θεοῦ Πατρὸς τοῦ ἐγείραντος αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν, καὶ οἱ σὺν ἐμοὶ πάντες ἀδελφοὶ, ταῖς Ἐκκλησίαις τῆς Γαλατίας, χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη. Καὶ Ἑβραίοις δὲ μίαν ἅπασιν ἔγραψεν Ἐπιστολὴν, οὐδὲ τούτους διελὼν κατὰ πόλεις. Τί ποτ' οὖν ἐστι τὸ αἴτιον; Ἐμοὶ δοκεῖ τὸ κοινὰ τὰ νοσήματα εἶναι ἐνταῦθα: διὸ καὶ κοινὴν ποιεῖται τὴν Ἐπιστολὴν, ἐπειδὴ καὶ κοινῆς ἐδέοντο τῆς διορθώσεως. Καὶ γὰρ Γαλάται πάντες ἐνόσουν, καὶ Ἑβραῖοι: οἶμαι δὲ καὶ οὗτοι. Συναγαγὼν τοίνυν ἅπαν τὸ ἔθνος, καὶ προσειπὼν αὐτοὺς, ὡς πάντας αὐτῷ προσαγορεύειν νόμος ἦν: Χάρις γὰρ ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη, φησὶν, ἀπὸ Θεοῦ Πατρὸς ἡμῶν, καὶ Κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ: ἄκουσον πῶς καταλλήλως ἄρχεται τῇ προκειμένῃ ὑποθέσει: Εὐλογητὸς ὁ Θεὸς καὶ Πατὴρ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ Πατὴρ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν, καὶ Θεὸς πάσης παρακλήσεως. Καὶ ποῦ τοῦτο κατάλληλον τῇ προκειμένῃ ὑποθέσει, φησί; Καὶ σφόδρα μὲν οὖν. Σκόπει δέ: Ἐλύπει λίαν αὐτοὺς καὶ ἐθορύβει τὸ μὴ παραγενέσθαι ἐκεῖ τὸν Ἀπόστολον, καὶ ταῦτα ἐπαγγειλάμενον, ἀλλὰ τὸν ἅπαντα ἐν Μακεδονίᾳ ἀναλῶσαι χρόνον, καὶ δοκεῖν αὐτῶν ἑτέρους προτετιμηκέναι. Διὰ τοῦτο πρὸς τοῦτο ἱστάμενος τὸ θορυβοῦν, λέγει τὴν αἰτίαν δι' ἣν οὐ παρεγένετο: οὐ μὴν ἐξ εὐθείας αὐτὴν τίθησιν, οὐδὲ λέγει, ὅτι Οἶδα μὲν ὑποσχόμενος ἥξειν, ἐπειδὴ δὲ διὰ τὰς θλίψεις ἐνεποδίσθην, σύγγνωτε, καὶ μὴ καταγνῶτέ τινα ὑπεροψίαν ἢ ῥᾳθυμίαν ἡμῶν: ἀλλ' ἑτέρως αὐτὸ καὶ μεγαλοπρεπέστερον καὶ ἀξιοπιστότερον κατασκευάζει, ἐπαίρων τῇ παραμυθίᾳ τὸ πρᾶγμα, ἵνα μηδὲ ἐρωτῶσι λοιπὸν τὴν αἰτίαν, δι' ἣν ὑστέρησε. Καὶ ταυτὸν ποιεῖ, οἷον εἴ τις ἐπαγγειλάμενος ἐλθεῖν πρός τινα ποθούμενον, εἶτα μετὰ μυρίους κινδύνους ἐλθὼν λέγοι: Δόξα σοι, ὁ Θεὸς, ὅτι μοι τὸ ποθούμενον ἔδειξας πρόσωπον: εὐλογητὸς ὁ Θεὸς, οἵων με κινδύνων ἀπήλλαξας. Ἡ γὰρ δοξολογία αὕτη ἀπολογία γίνεται τῷ μέλλοντι ἐγκαλεῖν, καὶ οὐδὲ ἀφίησι μέμψασθαι τῇ μελλήσει. Ἐρυθριᾷ γὰρ τὸν ἐπὶ τῇ τῶν τοσούτων ἀπαλλαγῇ κακῶν εὐχαριστοῦντα τῷ Θεῷ εἰς δικαστήριον ἕλκειν, καὶ εὐθύνας ἀπαιτεῖν τῆς βραδύτητος. Διὰ τοῦτο καὶ οὕτως ἄρχεται: Εὐλογητὸς ὁ Θεὸς τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν: μεγάλων κινδύνων ἐντεῦθεν ἐπαγωγήν τε καὶ ἀπαλλαγὴν αἰνιττόμενος. Ἐπειδὴ καὶ ὁ Δαυῒδ οὐχ ὁμοίως αὐτὸν πανταχοῦ καλεῖ, οὐδὲ ἀπὸ τῶν αὐτῶν: ἀλλ' ὅταν μὲν περὶ πολέμου διαλέγηται καὶ νίκης, Ἀγαπήσω σε, Κύριε, ἡ ἰσχύς μου, φησὶ, Κύριος ὑπερασπιστής μου: ὅταν δὲ περὶ θλίψεως ἀπαλλαγῆς καὶ τοῦ ζόφου τοῦ κατεσχηκότος αὐτὸν, Κύριος φωτισμός μου καὶ Σωτήρ μου: καὶ νῦν μὲν ἀπὸ φιλανθρωπίας, νῦν δὲ ἀπὸ δικαιοσύνης, νῦν δὲ ἀπὸ κρίσεως ἀδεκάστου αὐτὸν ὀνομάζει καταλλήλως τοῖς ὑποκειμένοις καιροῖς. Οὕτω δὴ καὶ ὁ Παῦλος ἐνταῦθα ἀρχόμενος, ἀπὸ φιλανθρωπίας αὐτὸν καλεῖ, Ὁ Θεὸς τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν, λέγων: τουτέστιν, ὁ οἰκτιρμοὺς τοσούτους ἐπιδειξάμενος, ὡς ἐξ αὐτῶν ἡμᾶς ἀναγαγεῖν τῶν τοῦ θανάτου πυλῶν. γʹ. Τοῦτο γὰρ μάλιστα ἴδιον Θεοῦ καὶ ἐξαίρετον, καὶ τῇ φύσει συγκεκληρωμένον, τὸ οὕτως ἐλεεῖν. Διὰ τοῦτο Θεὸν οἰκτιρμῶν καλεῖ. Σὺ δέ μοι σκόπει κἀντεῦθεν τὴν ταπεινοφροσύνην Παύλου: ὑπὲρ γὰρ τοῦ κηρύγματος κινδυνεύων, οὔ φησι διὰ τὴν ἀξίαν σώζεσθαι, ἀλλὰ διὰ τοὺς οἰκτιρμοὺς τοῦ Θεοῦ. Ἀλλὰ τοῦτο μὲν ὕστερον σαφέστερόν φησι, νῦν δὲ ἐπάγει λέγων: Ὁ παρακαλῶν ἡμᾶς ἐν πάσῃ θλίψει. Οὐκ εἶπεν, Ὁ μὴ ἐῶν ἡμᾶς θλίβεσθαι, ἀλλ', Ὁ ἐν τῷ θλίβεσθαι παρακαλῶν. Τοῦτο γὰρ καὶ τοῦ Θεοῦ τὴν δύναμιν δείκνυσι, καὶ τῶν θλιβομένων αὔξει τὴν ὑπομονήν: Ἡ γὰρ θλῖψις, φησὶν, ὑπομονὴν κατεργάζεται. Τοῦτο καὶ ὁ προφήτης ἔλεγεν: Ἐν θλίψει ἐπλάτυνάς με. Οὐκ εἶπεν, ὅτι Οὐκ εἴασάς με ἐμπεσεῖν εἰς θλῖψιν, οὐδ' ὅτι Παρήγαγες ταχέως τὴν θλῖψιν, ἀλλ' ὅτι Μενούσης αὐτῆς ἐπλάτυνάς με, τουτέστι, πολλὴν τὴν εὐρυχωρίαν καὶ τὴν ἄνεσιν παρέσχες: ὃ δὴ καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν παίδων τῶν τριῶν γέγονεν. Οὔτε γὰρ ἐκώλυσεν αὐτοὺς ἐμπεσεῖν, οὔτε ἐμπεσόντων, τὴν φλόγα ἔσβεσεν, ἀλλὰ καιομένης τῆς καμίνου, τὴν εὐρυχωρίαν παρέσχε. Τοῦτο καὶ ἀεὶ ποιεῖν εἴωθεν ὁ Θεός: ὅπερ αἰνιττόμενος καὶ ὁ Παῦλος ἔλεγεν: Ὁ παρακαλῶν ἡμᾶς ἐν πάσῃ θλίψει. Καὶ ἕτερον δέ τι διὰ τούτων δείκνυσι. Ποῖον δὴ τοῦτο; Ὅτι οὐχ ἅπαξ, οὐδὲ δὶς, ἀλλὰ διηνεκῶς τοῦτο ποιεῖ. Οὐδὲ γὰρ νῦν μὲν παρακαλεῖ, νῦν δὲ ἀφίησιν, ἀλλ' ἀεὶ καὶ διαπαντὸς τοῦτο ἐργάζεται. Διὸ εἶπεν, Ὁ παρακαλῶν, οὐχ, Ὁ παρακαλέσας, καὶ, Ἐν πάσῃ θλίψει, οὐκ, Ἐν τῇδε καὶ τῇδε, ἀλλ', Ἐν πάσῃ: εἰς τὸ δύνασθαι ἡμᾶς παρακαλεῖν τοὺς ἐν πάσῃ θλίψει, διὰ τῆς παρακλήσεως ἧς παρακαλούμεθα αὐτοὶ ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ. Εἶδες πῶς προανακρούεται τὴν ἀπολογίαν, καὶ μεγάλης θλίψεως ὑπόνοιαν παρέχει τῷ ἀκροατῇ; Καὶ δι' αὐτῶν πάλιν μετριάζει τούτων λέγων, ὅτι καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ οἰκτιρμὸς οὗτος ἐγένετο, οὐ διὰ τὴν αὐτῶν ἀξίαν, ἀλλὰ διὰ τοὺς ὑπ' αὐτῶν ὠφεληθῆναι ὀφείλοντας. Διὰ τοῦτο γὰρ παρεκάλεσεν ἡμᾶς, φησὶν, ἵνα ἡμεῖς ἀλλήλους παρακαλῶμεν. Διὰ τούτου δὲ καὶ τὸ ἀξίωμα δείκνυσι τῶν ἀποστόλων, ἐμφαίνων ὅτι παρακληθεὶς καὶ ἀναπνεύσας, οὐκ ἀναπίπτει καθάπερ ἡμεῖς, ἀλλ' εἰς τὸ ἑτέρους ἀλείφειν πρόεισι καὶ νευροῦν καὶ διεγείρειν. Τινὲς δὲ αὐτὸν καὶ τοῦτο λέγειν φασὶν, ὅτι Ἡ παράκλησις ἡμῶν καὶ ἄλλων παράκλησίς ἐστι. Δοκεῖ δέ μοι καὶ πρὸς τοὺς ψευδαποστόλους τοὺς εἰκῆ καυχωμένους, καὶ οἴκοι καθημένους καὶ τρυφῶντας, ἀποτείνεσθαι διὰ τοῦ προοιμίου. Ἀλλὰ τοῦτο μὲν αἰνιγματωδῶς, καὶ ὡς ἐν παρέργῳ: τὸ δὲ προηγούμενον τοῦτο ἦν, ἀπολογήσασθαι ὑπὲρ τῆς μελλήσεως. Εἰ γὰρ διὰ τοῦτο παρακαλούμεθα, ἵνα καὶ ἄλλους παρακαλῶμεν, μὴ ἐγκαλῆτε ὡς μὴ παραγενομένοις. Εἰς γὰρ τοῦτο ἅπας ἡμῖν ὁ χρόνος ἐτρίβετο, εἰς τὰς ἐπιβουλὰς, εἰς τὰς ἐπαγωγὰς, εἰς τὸ διαλῦσαι τὰ ἐπιόντα δεινά. Ὅτι καθὼς περισσεύει τὰ παθήματα τοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς ἡμᾶς, οὕτω διὰ τοῦ Χριστοῦ περισσεύει καὶ ἡ παράκλησις ἡμῶν. Ἵνα γὰρ μὴ καταβάλῃ τοὺς μαθητὰς τῷ σφόδρα ἐπαίρειν τὰς συμφορὰς, δείκνυσι πάλιν πολλὴν τὴν περιουσίαν καὶ τῆς παρακλήσεως οὖσαν, καὶ ἀνίστησιν αὐτῶν τὴν διάνοιαν, οὐ ταύτῃ μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῷ ἀναμνῆσαι τοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ αὐτοῦ εἰπεῖν εἶναι τὰ παθήματα: καὶ πρὸ τῆς παρακλήσεως ἀπ' αὐτῶν τῶν θλίψεων τὴν παραμυθίαν εἰσάγει. Τί γὰρ ἥδιον τοῦ τῷ Χριστῷ με γίνεσθαι κοινωνὸν, καὶ δι' αὐτὸν ταῦτα πάσχειν; τί ταύτης ἴσον τῆς παρακλήσεως; Οὐκ ἐντεῦθεν δὲ μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἑτέρωθεν ἐπαίρει τὰ φρονήματα τῶν θλιβομένων. Πόθεν ἑτέρωθεν; Ἀπὸ τοῦ εἰπεῖν, ὅτι Περισσεύει. Οὐ γὰρ εἶπεν, ὅτι Καθὼς ἔπεισιν ἡμῖν τὰ παθήματα τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἀλλὰ, Καθὼς περισσεύει: δεικνὺς ὅτι οὐ μόνον τὰ ἐκείνου, ἀλλὰ καὶ πλείονα τούτων ὑπομένουσι πάθη. Οὐ γὰρ ὅσα ἔπαθε, φησὶν, ἐπάθομεν πάθη, ἀλλὰ καὶ περισσά. Σκόπει δέ: Ἠλάθη, ἐδιώχθη ὁ Χριστὸς, ἐμαστιγώθη, ἀπέθανεν. Ἀλλ' ἡμεῖς πλέον τούτων, φησίν: ὅπερ καὶ μόνον ἱκανὸν εἰς παραμυθίαν ἀρκέσειε. Ἀλλὰ μηδεὶς τόλμαν καταγινωσκέτω τοῦ λόγου: καὶ γὰρ καὶ ἀλλαχοῦ φησι: Νῦν χαίρω ἐν τοῖς παθήμασί μου, καὶ ἀνταναπληρῶ τὰ ὑστερήματα τῶν θλίψεων τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐν τῇ σαρκί μου. Ἀλλ' οὐδέτερον τόλμης οὐδὲ ἀπονοίας τινός. Καθάπερ γὰρ μείζονα αὐτοῦ εἰργάσαντο σημεῖα (Ὁ γὰρ πιστεύων, φησὶν, εἰς ἐμὲ, μείζονα τούτων ποιήσει), τὸ δὲ πᾶν αὐτοῦ γίνεται τοῦ ἐνεργοῦντος ἐν αὐτοῖς: οὕτω καὶ πλείονα αὐτοῦ ἔπαθον: τὸ δὲ πᾶν αὐτοῦ πάλιν ἐστὶ τοῦ παρακαλοῦντος αὐτοὺς, καὶ παρασκευάζοντος φέρειν τὰ συμπίπτοντα δεινά. δʹ. Διὸ δὴ καὶ ὁ Παῦλος αἰσθόμενος ἡλίκον ἐφθέγξατο, ὅρα πῶς αὐτὸ συστέλλει πάλιν λέγων: Οὕτω διὰ τοῦ Χριστοῦ περισσεύει καὶ ἡ παράκλησις ἡμῶν: καὶ τὸ πᾶν αὐτῷ ἀνατιθεὶς, καὶ ἀνακηρύττων αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐντεῦθεν τὴν φιλανθρωπίαν. Οὐ γὰρ ὅσον θλιβόμεθα, τοσοῦτον παρακαλούμεθα, φησὶν, ἀλλὰ πολλῷ πλέον. Οὐ γὰρ εἶπεν, Ἀντίῤῥοπος ἡ παράκλησις τῶν παθημάτων, ἀλλὰ, Περισσεύει ἡ παράκλησις: ὡς τὸν καιρὸν τῶν ἀγώνων, ἑτέρων στεφάνων πάλιν εἶναι καιρόν. Τί γὰρ ἴσον, εἰπέ μοι, τοῦ διὰ τὸν Χριστὸν μαστίζεσθαι, καὶ Θεῷ διαλέγεσθαι, καὶ πάντων εἶναι δυνατώτερον, καὶ τῶν ἐλαυνόντων περιγίνεσθαι, καὶ τῇ οἰκουμένῃ ἀχείρωτον εἶναι, καὶ τοιαῦτα προσδοκᾷν ἐντεῦθεν ἀγαθὰ, ἃ μήτε ὀφθαλμὸς εἶδε, μήτε οὖς ἤκουσε, μήτε ἐπὶ καρδίαν ἀνθρώπου ἀνέβη; τί δὲ ἴσον τοῦ θλίβεσθαι δι' εὐσέβειαν, καὶ μυρίων ἀπολαύειν παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ παρακλήσεων, καὶ ἁμαρτημάτων ἀπηλλάχθαι τοσούτων, καὶ Πνεύματος καταξιοῦσθαι καὶ ἁγιασμοῦ καὶ δικαιοσύνης, καὶ μηδένα δεδοικέναι καὶ τρέμειν, καὶ πάντων λαμπρότερον φαίνεσθαι ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ κινδυνεύειν; Μὴ δὴ καταπίπτωμεν ἐν τοῖς πειρασμοῖς. Οὐδεὶς γὰρ κοινωνεῖ τῷ Χριστῷ τρυφῶν καὶ καθεύδων καὶ ἀναπίπτων, οὐδεὶς τῶν τὸν ὑγρὸν τοῦτον καὶ διαλελυμένον ζώντων βίον: ἀλλ' ὁ ἐν θλίψει καὶ πειρασμῷ, οὗτος ἐγγὺς ἕστηκεν ἐκείνου, ὁ τὴν στενὴν ὁδεύων ὁδόν. Καὶ γὰρ καὶ αὐτὸς ταύτην ἐβάδισε: διὸ καὶ ἔλεγεν: Ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἔχει ποῦ τὴν κεφαλὴν κλῖναι. Μὴ τοίνυν ἄλγει θλιβόμενος, ἐννοῶν τίνι κοινωνεῖς, καὶ πῶς ἐκκαθαίρῃ διὰ τῶν πειρασμῶν, καὶ ὅσα κερδαίνεις. Οὐδὲν γάρ ἐστιν ἀνιαρὸν, ἀλλ' ἢ τὸ τῷ Θεῷ προσκρούειν. Τούτου δὲ οὐκ ὄντος, οὐ θλίψεις, οὐκ ἐπιβουλαὶ, οὐκ ἄλλο οὐδὲν δυνατὸν λυπῆσαι τὴν εὖ φρονοῦσαν ψυχήν: ἀλλὰ καθάπερ σπινθῆρα μικρὸν εἰς ἄβυσσον πολλὴν ἐμβαλὼν εὐθέως κατέσβεσας: οὕτω καὶ ἀθυμίας ἁπάσης ὑπερβολὴ εἰς συνειδὸς ἐμπεσοῦσα ἀγαθὸν ἀπόλλυται καὶ ἀφανίζεται ῥᾳδίως. Διὰ δὴ τοῦτο καὶ ὁ Παῦλος ἔχαιρεν ἀεὶ, ἐπειδὴ ἐν τοῖς κατὰ Θεὸν ἐθάῤῥει, καὶ οὐδὲ αἴσθησιν τῶν τοσούτων κακῶν ἐλάμβανεν: ἀλλ' ἤλγει μὲν ὡς ἄνθρωπος, οὐ μὴν κατέπιπτεν. Οὕτω καὶ ὁ πατριάρχης ἐκεῖνος ἐν ἡδονῇ ἦν, πολλὰ παθὼν ὀδυνηρά. Σκόπει δέ: Πατρίδος ἐξέπεσεν, ὁδοιπορίας ὑπέστη μακρὰς καὶ χαλεπὰς, ἐπὶ τῆς ἀλλοτρίας ἐλθὼν οὐδὲ βῆμα εἶχε ποδός. Ἐντεῦθεν πάλιν λιμὸς αὐτὸν διεδέξατο καὶ μετανάστην ἐποίησε, καὶ τὸν λιμὸν διαδέχεται πάλιν ἁρπαγὴ γυναικὸς, καὶ θανάτου φόβος καὶ ἀπαιδία καὶ πόλεμος καὶ κίνδυνοι καὶ ἐπιβουλαὶ, καὶ τὸ τελευταῖον ὁ κολοφὼν τῶν ἄθλων, ἡ τοῦ μονογενοῦς καὶ γνησίου παιδὸς σφαγὴ, ἡ ὀδυνηρὰ ἐκείνη καὶ ἀνήκεστος. Μὴ δὴ γὰρ, ἐπειδὴ εὐκόλως ὑπήκουσε, νομίσῃς αὐτὸν καὶ ἀπαθῶς πάντα ἐκεῖνα ὑφεστηκέναι. Εἰ γὰρ καὶ μυριάκις δίκαιος ἦν, ὥσπερ οὖν καὶ ἦν, ἀλλ' ἄνθρωπος ἦν, καὶ τὰ τῆς φύσεως ἔπασχεν. Ἀλλ' ὅμως οὐδὲν αὐτὸν τούτων κατέβαλεν, ἀλλ' εἱστήκει καθάπερ ἀθλητὴς γενναῖος, καὶ στεφανίτης ἐφ' ἑκάστῳ τούτων ἀνακηρυττόμενος. Οὕτω καὶ ὁ μακάριος Παῦλος νιφάδας πειρασμῶν ὁρῶν καθ' ἑκάστην ἐπιούσας ἡμέραν, ὡς ἐν μέσῳ παραδείσῳ τρυφῶν, οὕτως ἔχαιρε καὶ ἠγάλλετο. Ὥσπερ οὖν ὁ ταύτην χαίρων τὴν χαρὰν οὐκ ἔστιν ἁλώσιμος ἀθυμίᾳ, οὕτως ὁ μὴ ταύτην ἑλόμενος πᾶσίν ἐστιν εὐχείρωτος, καὶ πάσχει ταυτὸν, οἷον εἴ τις ὅπλα ἔχων σαθρὰ, καὶ ὑπὸ τῆς τυχούσης τιτρώσκοιτο πληγῆς. Ἀλλ' οὐχ ὁ καλῶς πάντοθεν περιπεφραγμένος, ἀλλ' ἅπαν ἀκόντιον ἐπιὸν διακρούεται. Καὶ γὰρ ὅπλου παντὸς ἰσχυρότερον ἡ κατὰ Θεὸν ἡδονή: καὶ οὐδὲν τὸν τοιοῦτον ποιῆσαι κατηφῆ καὶ σκυθρωπὸν δύναιτ' ἂν, ἀλλὰ πάντα φέρει γενναίως. Τί γὰρ πυρὸς χεῖρον; τί βασάνων διηνεκῶν ὀδυνηρότερον; Κἂν γὰρ μυρία τις ἀπολέσῃ κτήματα, κἂν παῖδας, κἂν ὁτιοῦν, τοῦτο πάντων τυραννικώτερον εἰς ὀδύνης λόγον ἐστί. Δέρμα γὰρ, φησὶν, ὑπὲρ δέρματος, καὶ πάντα ὅσα ὑπάρχει ἀνθρώπῳ, δώσει ὑπὲρ τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ. Καὶ οὐδὲν ἂν γένοιτο ὀδυνῶν χαλεπώτερον. Ἀλλ' ὅμως καὶ τὰ τῇ ἀκοῇ ἀφόρητα, ταῦτα φορητὰ καὶ ποθεινὰ διὰ τὴν κατὰ Θεὸν ἡδονὴν γίνεται. Κἂν ἀγάγῃς τὸν μάρτυρα ἔτι ἐμπνέοντα μικρὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ ξύλου, ἢ ἀπὸ τῶν τηγάνων, τοσαύτην εὑρήσεις τὴν ἀποκειμένην αὐτῷ χαρὰν, ὅσην οὐδὲ εἰπεῖν ἔνι. Καὶ τί πάθω, φησὶν, ὅτι μαρτυρίου καιρὸς οὐ πάρεστι νῦν; Τί φής; οὐ πάρεστι μαρτυρίου καιρός; Οὐδέποτε μὲν οὖν οὗτος ἄπεστιν, ἀλλ' ἀεὶ πρὸ τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν ἐστι τῶν ἡμετέρων, ἐὰν νήφωμεν. Οὐδὲ γὰρ τὸ ἐπὶ ξύλου κρέμασθαι μόνον, τοῦτο ποιεῖ μάρτυρα: ἐπεὶ εἰ τοῦτο ἦν, ἐκτὸς τῶν στεφάνων τούτων ὁ Ἰὼβ ἦν. Οὔτε γὰρ δικαστηρίῳ παρέστη, οὔτε δικαστοῦ φωνῆς ἤκουσεν, οὐ δήμιον εἶδεν: οὐ γὰρ ἀνηρτημένος ἐπὶ ξύλου καὶ μετέωρος ὢν, κατεξαίνετο τὰς πλευράς: ἀλλ' ὅμως πολλῶν μαρτύρων χαλεπώτερα ἔπαθε, καὶ αἱ φωναὶ τῶν ἐπαλλήλων ἀγγέλων ἐκείνων πάσης πληγῆς δριμύτερον ἔπληττον καὶ ἐκέντουν πάντοθεν αὐτὸν, καὶ μυρίων δημίων πικρότερον τῶν σκωλήκων ἐκείνων τὰ στόματα πάντοθεν αὐτὸν κατήσθιε. εʹ. Τίνος οὖν οὐκ ἂν ἀντάξιος μάρτυρος οὗτος; Μυρίων μὲν οὖν. Καὶ γὰρ διὰ πάντων καὶ ἐπάλαιε καὶ ἐστεφανοῦτο, διὰ χρημάτων, διὰ παίδων, διὰ σώματος, διὰ γυναικὸς, διὰ φίλων, δι' ἐχθρῶν, δι' οἰκετῶν: καὶ γὰρ καὶ οὗτοι εἰς τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἐνέπτυον: διὰ λιμοῦ, δι' ὀνειράτων, δι' ὀδυνῶν, διὰ δυσωδίας. Διὰ δὴ τοῦτο ἔφην, ὅτι οὐχ ἑνὸς καὶ δύο καὶ τριῶν, ἀλλὰ μυρίων ἀντάξιος ἂν εἴη μαρτύρων. Μετὰ γὰρ τῶν εἰρημένων καὶ ὁ χρόνος πολλὴν δίδωσιν αὐτοῦ τοῖς στεφάνοις προσθήκην: οἷον τὸ πρὸ τοῦ νόμου, πρὸ τῆς χάριτος ταῦτα παθεῖν, καὶ μῆνας πολλοὺς, καὶ πάντα μεθ' ὑπερβολῆς, καὶ τὸ πάντα ὁμοῦ ἐπιθέσθαι αὐτῷ τὰ δεινά: καίτοι καὶ καθ' ἑαυτὸ ἕκαστον αὐτῶν ἀφόρητον, καὶ τὸ δοκοῦν φορητότερον εἶναι, ἡ τῶν χρημάτων ζημία. Πολλοὶ γοῦν πληγὰς μὲν ἤνεγκαν, ζημίαν δὲ χρημάτων οὐκ ἤνεγκαν, ἀλλὰ καὶ μαστίζεσθαι ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν εἵλοντο, καὶ μυρία πάσχειν δεινὰ μᾶλλον ἢ ἐκείνων τι προέσθαι: καὶ μείζων αὐτοῖς ἐφάνη ἡ πληγὴ αὕτη, ἡ τῆς ζημίας τῶν χρημάτων. Ὥστε καὶ οὗτος ἕτερος πάλιν μαρτυρίου τρόπος τῷ φέροντι γενναίως τὴν τούτων ἀπώλειαν. Καὶ πῶς οἴσομεν γενναίως, φησίν; Ὅταν μάθῃς ὅτι πλείονα κερδανεῖς ὧν ἀπώλεσας δι' ἑνὸς ῥήματος τοῦ τῆς εὐχαριστίας. Ἂν γὰρ ἀκούσαντες τὴν ἀπώλειαν μὴ ταραχθῶμεν, ἀλλ' εἴπωμεν, Εὐλογητὸς ὁ Θεός: πολλῷ πλείονα πλοῦτον εὑρήκαμεν. Οὐ γὰρ δὴ τοσαῦτα καρπώσῃ, τὸν πλοῦτον ἀναλίσκων εἰς τοὺς δεομένους, καὶ περιιὼν, καὶ πένητας ἐπιζητῶν, καὶ σκορπίζων τὰ ὄντα τοῖς πεινῶσιν: ὅσα διὰ τούτου τοῦ ῥήματος κερδανεῖς. Ἐπεὶ καὶ τὸν Ἰὼβ οὐχ οὕτω θαυμάζω τὴν οἰκίαν ἀνοίγοντα τοῖς δεομένοις, ὡς ἐκπλήττομαι, καὶ ἀνακηρύττω τὴν ἁρπαγὴν τῶν χρημάτων εὐχαρίστως φέροντα. Τὸ αὐτὸ δὲ τοῦτο καὶ ἐπὶ παίδων ἀποβολῆς ἔστι συμβαῖνον ἰδεῖν. Οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐνταῦθα ἐλάττονα λήψῃ μισθὸν τοῦ τὸν υἱὸν ἀναγαγόντος καὶ καταθύσαντος, εἰ τελευτῶντα ἰδὼν ηὐχαρίστησας τῷ φιλανθρώπῳ Θεῷ. Τί γὰρ ὁ τοιοῦτος τοῦ Ἀβραὰμ ἔσται χείρων; Ἐκεῖνος γὰρ οὐκ εἶδε κείμενον νεκρὸν, ἀλλὰ προσεδόκησε μόνον: ὥστε εἰ πλεονεκτεῖ τῷ μέλλειν καταθύειν, καὶ τὴν χεῖρα ἐκτείνας τὴν μάχαιραν ἁρπάσαι, πλεονεκτεῖται τῷ κεῖσθαι τὸ παιδίον νεκρὸν ἐνταῦθα. Καὶ ἄλλως δὲ, ἐκείνῳ μὲν ἡ τοῦ κατορθώματος ἐλπὶς ἔφερε παραμυθίαν, καὶ τὸ τῆς ἰδίας ἀνδρείας ἔργον εἶναι τὴν ἀριστείαν ἐκείνην, καὶ τὸ φωνῆς ἄνωθεν φερομένης ἀκοῦσαι προθυμότερον ἐποίει: ἐνταῦθα δὲ οὐδὲν τοιοῦτόν ἐστιν. Ὅθεν ἀδαμαντίνης δεῖ ψυχῆς τῷ μονογενῆ παῖδα, καὶ ἐν πλούτῳ τραφέντα, καὶ χρηστὰς ὑποφαίνοντα ἐλπίδας, ἐπὶ τοῦ βόθρου κείμενον ὁρῶντι καὶ τεταμένον, ὥστε πράως ἐνεγκεῖν τὸ συμβάν. Ὁ τοιοῦτος ἂν δυνηθῇ, τῆς φύσεως τὰ κύματα κατευνάσας, εἰπεῖν τὸ τοῦ Ἰὼβ ἀδακρυτὶ, Ὁ Κύριος ἔδωκεν, ὁ Κύριος ἀφείλετο, μετὰ τοῦ Ἀβραὰμ αὐτοῦ στήσεται, μετὰ τοῦ Ἰὼβ ἀνακηρυχθήσεται ἀπὸ τοῦ ῥήματος τούτου μόνον. Κἂν τοὺς κωκυτοὺς τῶν γυναικῶν παύσας, καὶ τοὺς χοροὺς τῶν θρηνουσῶν διαλύσας, εἰς δοξολογίαν ἅπαντας διεγείρῃ, μυρία ἄνωθεν, μυρία κάτωθεν δέξεται τὰ βραβεῖα, ἀνθρώπων αὐτὸν θαυμαζόντων, ἀγγέλων κροτούντων, τοῦ Θεοῦ στεφανοῦντος. Ϛʹ. Καὶ πῶς δυνατὸν μὴ πενθεῖν ἄνθρωπον ὄντα, φησίν; Ἂν ἐννοήσῃς πῶς ὁ πατριάρχης, πῶς ὁ Ἰὼβ, ἄνθρωποι ὄντες οἱ ἀμφότεροι, οὐδὲν τοιοῦτον ἔπαθον, καὶ ταῦτα πρὸ νόμου καὶ χάριτος καὶ τῆς τοσαύτης τῶν νόμων φιλοσοφίας ἑκάτερος αὐτῶν γενόμενος, ἂν λογίσῃ, ὅτι εἰς βελτίονα χώραν μετέστη, καὶ πρὸς ἀμείνω λῆξιν ἀπεπήδησεν ὁ τελευτήσας, καὶ οὐκ ἀπώλεσας τὸν υἱὸν, ἀλλ' ἐν ἀσύλῳ λοιπὸν ἀπέθου χωρίῳ. Μὴ τοίνυν λέγε, ὅτι Οὐκέτι καλοῦμαι πατήρ. Διὰ τί γὰρ οὐκέτι καλῇ τοῦ υἱοῦ μένοντος; μὴ γὰρ ἀπέβαλες τὸ παιδίον; μὴ γὰρ ἀπώλεσας τὸν υἱόν; Μᾶλλον ἐκτήσω, καὶ ἀσφαλέστερον ἔσχες. Διὰ τοῦτο οὐκέτι ἐνταῦθα μόνον καλῇ πατὴρ, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ: ὥστε οὐ τὸ πατὴρ καλεῖσθαι ἀπώλεσας, ἀλλὰ τὸ μειζόνως καλεῖσθαι προσέλαβες: οὐ γὰρ θνητοῦ παιδίου λοιπὸν, ἀλλ' ἀθανάτου κληθήσῃ πατὴρ, στρατιώτου γενναίου, καὶ ἔνδον ἑστῶτος διηνεκῶς. Μὴ γὰρ, ἐπειδὴ μὴ πάρεστι, καὶ ἀπολωλέναι αὐτὸν νόμιζε. Οὐδὲ γὰρ, εἰ ἀποδημῶν ἐτύγχανεν, ἀπέστη ἄν σου καὶ τοὔνομα τῆς συγγενείας μετὰ τοῦ σώματος. Μὴ δὴ τῇ ὄψει τοῦ κειμένου πρόσεχε, ἐπεὶ ἀναῤῥιπίζεις τὸ πάθος, ἀλλ' ἄπαγε τὴν διάνοιαν ἀπὸ τοῦ κειμένου πρὸς τὸν οὐρανόν. Οὐχ οὗτός ἐστι τὸ παιδίον τὸ κείμενον, ἀλλ' ἐκεῖνος ὁ ἀποπτὰς καὶ ἀναδραμὼν εἰς ὕψος ἄπειρον. Ὅταν τοίνυν ἴδῃς τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς καθῃρημένους, καὶ τὸ στόμα συνῃρημένον, καὶ τὸ σῶμα ἀκίνητον, μὴ τοῦτο ἐννόει, ὅτι τοῦτο τὸ στόμα οὐκέτι φθέγγεται, οὗτοι οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ οὐκέτι βλέπουσιν, οὗτοι οἱ πόδες οὐκέτι βαδίζουσιν, ἀλλ' εἰς φθορὰν πάντα οἴχεται: μὴ ταῦτα λέγε, ἀλλὰ τἀναντία τούτων, ὅτι Τοῦτο μὲν τὸ στόμα ἄμεινον φθέγξεται, καὶ οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ μείζονα ὄψονται, καὶ οἱ πόδες ἐπὶ νεφελῶν ἀρθήσονται, καὶ τὸ διαφθειρόμενον τοῦτο σῶμα ἀθανασίαν ἐνδύσεται, καὶ λαμπρότερον τὸν υἱὸν ἀπολήψομαι. Εἰ δὲ λυπεῖ σε τὰ ὁρώμενα, τέως εἰπὲ πρὸς ἑαυτόν: Ἱμάτιον τοῦτό ἐστι, καὶ ἀπεδύσατο, ὥστε αὐτὸ πολυτελέστερον ἀπολαβεῖν: οἰκία αὕτη ἐστὶ, καὶ καθῃρέθη, ὥστε γενέσθαι αὐτὴν φαιδροτέραν. Καθάπερ γὰρ ἡμεῖς, ἐπειδὰν μέλλωμεν καθαιρεῖν οἰκίας, οὐκ ἀφίεμεν τοὺς ἔνδον οἰκοῦντας μένειν, ἀλλ' ὥστε ἀπαλλαγῆναι τῆς κόνεως καὶ τοῦ θορύβου, [ἀλλὰ] κελεύσαντες πρὸς βραχὺ μεταστῆναι, ἐπειδὰν κατασκευάσωμεν ἀσφαλὲς τὸ δωμάτιον, τότε αὐτοὺς μετὰ ἀδείας εἰσάγομεν: οὕτω καὶ ὁ Θεὸς ποιεῖ, καθελὼν αὐτοῦ τὴν σαθρὰν σκηνὴν, τέως εἰς τὴν πατρικὴν αὐτὸν ἔλαβεν οἰκίαν καὶ πρὸς ἑαυτὸν, ἵν' ὅταν καθαιρεθῇ αὕτη καὶ οἰκοδομηθῇ, λαμπροτέραν αὐτὴν τότε αὐτῷ ἀποδῷ. Μὴ τοίνυν εἴπῃς, ὅτι Ἀπόλωλε καὶ οὐκέτι ἔσται: καὶ γὰρ ἀπίστων τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα: ἀλλ' εἰπὲ, Καθεύδει καὶ ἀναστήσεται, ἀπεδήμησε καὶ ἥξει μετὰ τοῦ Βασιλέως. Τίς ταῦτά φησιν; Ὁ τὸν Χριστὸν ἔχων ἐν ἑαυτῷ λαλοῦντα. Εἰ γὰρ πιστεύομεν, φησὶν, ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ἀπέθανε καὶ ἀνέστη καὶ ἔζησεν, οὕτως ὁ Θεὸς καὶ τοὺς κοιμηθέντας διὰ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἄξει σὺν αὐτῷ. Εἰ τοίνυν ζητεῖς τὸν υἱὸν, ἐκεῖ ζήτει ἔνθα ὁ Βασιλεὺς, ἔνθα τὸ τῶν ἀγγέλων στρατόπεδον: μὴ ἐν τῷ τάφῳ μηδὲ ἐν τῇ γῇ, ἵνα μὴ, ἐκείνου τοσοῦτον ὑψωθέντος, αὐτὸς μένῃς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς συρόμενος. Ἂν τοίνυν οὕτω φιλοσοφῶμεν, πᾶσαν τοιαύτην ὀδύνην εὐκόλως διακρουσόμεθα. Ὁ δὲ Θεὸς τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν καὶ Πατὴρ πάσης παρακλήσεως, παρακαλέσει τὰς καρδίας πάντων ἡμῶν, καὶ τῶν τὰ τοιαῦτα ὀδυνωμένων, καὶ τῶν ἑτέρᾳ λύπῃ κατεχομένων, καὶ ἀθυμίας ἀπαλλαγῆναι δῴη πάσης, καὶ πνευματικὴν καρπώσασθαι χαρὰν, καὶ τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν ἐπιτυχεῖν: ὧν γένοιτο πάντας ἡμᾶς ἐπιτυχεῖν, χάριτι καὶ φιλανθρωπίᾳ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, μεθ' οὗ τῷ Πατρὶ ἅμα τῷ ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι δόξα, κράτος, τιμὴ, νῦν καὶ ἀεὶ, καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. Ἀμήν.