September 14 Epistle Reading

I Cor. 1: 18-24

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

St. John Chrysostom in his Homily IV on I Cor. I said:

To the sick and gasping even wholesome meats are unpleasant, friends and relations burdensome, who are oftentimes not even recognized, but are rather accounted intruders. Much like this often is the case of those who are perishing in their souls. For the things which tend to salvation they do not know; and those who are careful about them they consider to be troublesome. Now this does not ensue from the nature of the thing, but from their disease. And just what the insane do, hating those who take care of them and reviling them, the same is the case with unbelievers also… This is the nature of the thing, that its power is not recognized by those who perish. For they are beside themselves… But what do you say, O man? Christ became a slave for you, ‘having taken the form of a slave,’ (Phil. 2:7) and was crucified, and rose again. And when you ought for this reason to adore Him risen and admire His lovingkindness, because what neither father, nor friend, nor son did for you, all this the Lord wrought for you. For suppose a man, wished to make out all things by reasoning, let him try by your discourse to convince himself how we see the light…No, you cannot… Therefore, leaving this to God’s power and boundless wisdom, let us be silent. Just so with regard to the things of God; should we desire to explain them by the wisdom which is from without, great derision will ensue…from the folly of men. For the greatest things of all no language can explain…

Do not say then, Why did He not help Himself on the Cross? for He was hastening on to close conflict with death himself. He did not descend from the Cross, not because He could not, but because He would not. For Him Whom the tyranny of death did not restrain, how could the nails of the Cross restrain?… What sort of philosopher, among those who have studied logic, of those knowledgable in Jewish matters, has saved us and made known the truth? Not one. It was the fisherman’s work, the whole of it… But how did He ‘destroy wisdom?’ Being made known to us by Paul and others like him, He showed it to be unprofitable… For he means to say how by contraries God has overcome, and how the Gospel is not of man.

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