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quod pro nobis traditum est

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

on looking to others

The Gospel for Septuagesima Sunday was St. Matthew 20:1-16, the parable of the householder sending laborers into his vineyard. I am struck by the words of St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) on this text. Here is an excerpt: ". . . For everywhere I can hear such talk as this: such a one owns so many and so many acres of land; this other one has great wealth: this other is putting up great houses. Why always, O Christian, must you look to what is outside? Why look to others? If you must look at others, look to those who are worthy of your regard; men that are just and upright whose whole life is lived according to the law of God, not to those who are breaking it, and live unworthily. For if you look to these last you will draw from them only much that is evil; and fall into indifference to good, and into vanity, and you will be critical of others. But if you turn your attention to those whose lives are worthy; towards humility, towards loving earnestness, to compunction, you will be preparing for yourself a multitude of good things. . . ". . . we shall become more humble, and more earnest, and reach at length to the joy of eternal happiness through the grace and mercy of Our Lord Jesus Christ . . ." - Toal, I, p. 379