Thought of the day
Monday, March 6, 2017

Monday of the First week of Lent

Symeon the New Theologian (c.949-1022), Greek monk, saint of the Orthodox churches Practical and theological precepts, § 129, 126, 131 (trans. E. Kadloubovsky & G.E.H. Palmer) "You did it for me"

Monday of the First week of Lent

Commentary of the day 

Symeon the New Theologian (c.949-1022), Greek monk, saint of the Orthodox churches Practical and theological precepts, § 129, 126, 131 (trans. E. Kadloubovsky & G.E.H. Palmer)

"You did it for me"

      If someone gives ninety-nine poor men but reviles, chastises or sends away another one who remains empty handed, to whom do you think he does this? Of course to Christ himself who has said, who continues to say, who never ceases saying and will one day say again: “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me”?... For in all these it is still him whom we feed in every beggar. In the same way, if someone has provided for all the bodily needs of the poor on one day, but, being able to do so on the next day, neglects some of his brethren and leaves them to die of hunger, thirst and cold, then he has neglected and left die him who said: “Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of my brethren, you have done it to me”… 

        If our Lord was pleased to assume the likeness of every poor man and compared himself to every poor man it was in order that none who believe in him should exalt himself over his brother… but should take the poor man in and honor him, and be ready to exhaust all his means in helping him, just as our Lord Jesus Christ exhausted his blood for our salvation… All this may appear too hard to people and they may think it right to say to themselves: “Who can strictly follow all this, satisfying and feeding everyone and leaving no one unsatisfied?” Let them listen to Saint Paul who says clearly: “The love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died” (2Cor 5:14).