Thought of the day
Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday of Holy Week

“ The poor you always have with you ”

Commentary of the day 
Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407), priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church 
Homily 15 on the Letter to the Romans
“ The poor you always have with you ”

The Father did not spare him for your sake, and this even though he was indeed his Son (Rom 8:32). Yet you do not look at him even when he faints with hunger, and this too when you have only to spend for your own good what is his own! What could be worse than such a breach of law as this? He was given up for you, slain for you; he goes in hunger for you. You have only to give what belongs to him that you yourself might get the gain, and still you do not give! What sort of stone is there besides which these people are not more senseless and who, in spite of such great inducements, continue in this devilish hard-heartedness? For he was not even satisfied with death and the cross alone but also assumed poverty, becoming a stranger and a beggar, naked and cast into prison, undergoing sickness (Mt 25:36) that so at least he might call upon you. If you wilt not requite me, he says, as one who suffered for your sake, show mercy on me for my poverty. And if you are not minded to pity me for my poverty, at least be moved by my diseases, be softened by my imprisonment . And if even these things do not make you charitable then for the easiness of the request comply with me. For it is no costly gift I ask, but bread and lodging and words of comfort... Then I was bound for you, indeed I am so still, so that whether moved on grounds of the former or stirred by the latter, you might be minded to show me some pity. I fasted for your sake and now hunger for you; I thirsted when hanging on the cross and now thirst in the poor, that just as by the former so also by the latter I may draw you to myself and make you charitable for your own salvation... 

Indeed, he  says: “Whoever welcomes a child such as this for my sake welcomes me” (Mk 9:37)...For I am able indeed to crown you even without all these things and yet I would prefer to be your debtor so that the crown may make you feel secure. That is why, although I am able to support myself yet I come begging and stand at your door and stretch out my hand since my wish is to be supported by you. For I love you exceedingly and desire to eat at your table.