Thought of the day
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time
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"He goes and sells all that he has"

Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407), priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church 
Homily 18 on the Letter to the Hebrews
"He goes and sells all that he has"

"Poverty" (it is said) "humbles a man." (Prv 10,4, LXX) And again, Christ says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit." (Mt 5,3)… But will you hear the praises of poverty? Christ sought after it, and says, "The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." (Mt 8,20) And again he said to his disciples: "Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor two coats." (Mt 10,9f.) And his apostle Paul said: "As having nothing and yet possessing all things." (2 Cor 6,10)  And Peter said to him who was lame from his birth: "Silver and gold have I none." (Acts 3,6)… Let no man therefore esteem poverty a cause of disgrace. For if poverty be a virtue, all the wealth of the world is not worth a straw or fleck of dust by comparison with it. If, then, we would enter the kingdom of heaven, let us love poverty. For, he says: "Sell what you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven." (Mt 19,21)…

Whoever chooses poverty of his own accord is richer even than the king himself. For kings need many things and are in anxiety, but the poor man has enough of everything, and fears about nothing. Who then, tell me, is rich? He who is daily asking, and earnestly laboring to gather much together… or he who enjoys little as though it were great abundance?... For money enslaves. For it is said: "Gifts and presents blind the eyes of the wise" (Si 20,29)… Give away your possessions to the poor, then, follow Christ, and you shall be such as he is... You will hear on that day that blessed voice, saying: "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."

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