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HOMILIES 23 from it in future. Rather, we shall enjoy no benefit at all from it here. For, when we live in luxury but with an evil conscience , is not this a punishment and chastisement? Let us, then, love justice and let us at no time transgress this Law. Indeed, what fruit shall we be able to enjoy from the present life, if we depart from it without having acquired virtue? And what will plead for us there? Friendship or kinship or the favor of such a one? Yet why do I mention the favor of this or that man? Even if we have Noe or Job or Daniel as our father, that fact will not help us at all if we are betrayed by our own deeds. One thing, however, we do need: virtue in our soul. This will be able to save us, and free us from the everlasting fire. This will send us to the kingdom of heaven. Mayall of us obtain this boon by the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him and with Him glory be to the Father, together with the Holy Spirit, now and always, and forever and ever. Amen. Homily 50 (John 7.25-36) 'Many therefore of the people of Jerusalem were saying: "Is not this the man they seek to kill? And behold, he speaks openly and they say nothing to him. Can it be that the rulers have really come to know that this is really the Christ? Yet we know where this man is from." '1 In the divine Scriptures there is not a word which has no purpose, for they have been completely inspired by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, let us examine every word with care. I say this, for it is sometimes possible to discover the entire meaning of the passage from a single expression, as we may do, to be sure, in the text now lying before us. I John 7.25-27. 24 SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM 'Many therefore of the people of Jerusalem were saying, "Is not this the man they seek to kill? And behold, he speaks openly and they say nothing to him.'" Now, why in the world did the Evangelist specify the people of Jerusalem? He was pointing out that, since they in particular had enjoyed the benefit of great miracles, they were most pitiable of all, because, though they had beheld a most convincing proof of His divinity, they were still entrusting this question entirely to the judgment of their rulers2 who were utterly corrupt. Indeed, was it not a great miracle that those madmen and murderers, who were surrounding Him, and seeking to kill Him, and actually held Him in their power, suddenly grew calm? What man, in truth, could have accomplished this? Who could have snuffed out their raging fury so completely? Nevertheless, even after such great miracles, see their madness and their folly. 'Is not this the man they seek to kill?' See how they incriminated themselves. 'The man they seek to kill,' they asserted, 'and they say nothing to him.' Further, not merely did they say nothing to Him, but that, even though He spoke openly. For, a man who was speaking openly and with entire freedom would be a greater source of irritation to them; yet they did nothing. 'Can it be that they have come to know that this is the Christ?' But what do you think? What opinion of Him have you? 'The opposite one,' they declared. That is why they were saying: 'Yet we know where this man is from.' Oh, what wickedness! Oh, what perversity! They did not even follow the opinion of the rul~rs, but produced another, a completely corrupt one, worthy of their own stupidity. 2 That is, to the chief priests, who as members of the Sanhedrin may be called rulers, since they were the leaders of Judaism. HOMILIES 25 'We know where he is from; but when the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.' Yet your rulers, when asked, said that He was born in Bethlehem.3 Again, still others said: 'We know that God spoke to Moses; but as for this man, we do not know where he is from.'4 Listen to the words of drunkards! And once more: 'Can the Christ come from Galilee? Is it not from the village of Bethlehem [that He will comeJ?'5 Do you see that their reasoning is that of...


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