15 February, 2011

Chrysostom on the Thief on the Cross II

Now, I said this lest you think you have been badly affected by the first human beings. The devil expelled Adam, Christ welcomed the brigand: consider the difference. The former expelled the human being, though he had no sin except one blemish of disobedience; Christ welcomed a brigand into paradise though he was carrying countless burdens of sins. Surely this fact, that he welcomed a brigand into paradise, is not the only marvel, and nothing further? There is also something greater to mention: it is not that He welcomed a brigand, but did so before all the world, including the apostles, to prevent anyone despairing of a welcome or giving up hope of their salvation, once they see the one saddled with countless vices inhabiting the royal courts.

John Chrysostom, Sermon 7 on Genesis, in St. John Chrysostom, Eight Sermons on the Book of Genesis, pp. 122-23 (Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2004), Robert C. Hill translator.
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