Sunday, November 19, 2006

33rd Sunday

Here are some excerpts from homilies of the Fathers of the Church for today's readings:

St. John Chrysostom (Archbishop of Constantinople, 4th cent. A.D.): "For God always appears in a cloud, as according to Psalm 92, verse 2: Cloud and darkness are round about him. Hence also the Son of man will come in the clouds as both God and Lord, not humbly, but in the glory befitting the Godhead; accordingly, he adds: with great power and majesty".

St. Cyril of Alexandria (Bishop, 5th cent.): "Great events are to be understood in relation to each other. Just as His First Coming was in lowliness and humility, so His Second shall be in fitting majesty".

St. Gregory the Great (Pope, 6th cent.): "In power and majesty shall they behold Him, to whom when He came in lowliness they turned a deaf ear; so the more sharply will they now feel His power, the more they refused to humble their hard hearts to his clemency".

St. Ambrose (Bishop of Milan, 4th cent.) "The fig tree has a twofold meaning; either as when the hard grows tender, or when sin abounds. Either therefore when the fruit is green on all the trees, and the fig tree branch blooms also; that is, when every tongue doth confess the Lord, confessing also the people of Israel, we must hope for the coming of the Lord, in which, as in summer time, the fruits of the Resurrection shall be gathered in; or, when the son if iniquity shall have put on as a garland, vain and empty boast, the leaves of the synagogic branch, we must then see that the judgment approaches; for the Lord is hastening to reward faith, and to make an end of wrong doing".

St. Gregory: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, etc. as though He were to say: everything that seems to you enduring, shall not endure for eternity; and everything that with Me seems to pass away, will remain immovable and without change. For my speech, which passes away, utters that which shall abide without change".

St. Bede (Priest, 8th cent.): "The heaven that will pass away is not the ethereal, or sidereal, heaven, but the aerial, after which the birds of heaven are named. If, however, the earth shall pass away, how does Ecclesiastes say, the earth standeth for ever. But, it is plain that He means, that the heavens and the earth shall pas away in their present form, but that in their essence they will endure for ever".

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