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Thought of the day
Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wednesday of the Fifth week of Lent

Philoxenes of Mabbug (?-c.523), Bishop in Syria Homily no. 4, On simplicity, 75-76 (cf SC 44) "If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works of Abraham"

Wednesday of the Fifth week of Lent

Commentary of the day 

Philoxenes of Mabbug (?-c.523), Bishop in Syria Homily no. 4, On simplicity, 75-76 (cf SC 44)

"If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works of Abraham"

Abraham followed God the first time he was called. He did not make himself a judge of the word addressed to him. His attachments to his family and relatives did not hold him back, nor love of his country and friends or any other human bond. But as soon as he heard the word and knew it was of God, he listened to it with simplicity and his faith held it as true. Despising everything else he set out with the innocence of a nature that does not seek to deceive or do evil. He ran towards God’s word like a child to its father… 

God had said to him: “Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and your father’s house to a land that I will show you” (Gn 12:1). It was to bring about the triumph of Abraham’s faith and make his simplicity shine that God did not reveal to him to which land he was calling him. He seemed to be leading him towards Canaan and yet the promise spoke of another country, of that life which is in the heavens. Saint Paul attests of it: “He was looking forward to the city with firm foundations, whose architect and makes is God” (Heb 11:10)… Better still, in order to show us more clearly that this promise did not concern an earthly homeland, God, after bringing out Abraham from his own homeland in Ur of the Chaldeans, did not immediately lead him into the land of Canaan but made him first dwell at Haran. Nor did he reveal to him straight away the name of the country to which he was leading him and thus Abraham did not leave Chaldea drawn merely by a reward. 

Therefore, O disciple, consider Abraham’s going forth and that your own resembles his! Do not delay to answer the living voice of Christ calling you. In former days he spoke only to Abraham; today, through the Gospel, he calls all those who wish, inviting them to go out after him, for his call applies to all… Formerly he chose Abraham alone; today he asks everyone to imitate Abraham.

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