Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Theodoret of Cyrus: Free Will Response to Gospel

Finally, pray for us, brethren, that the word of the Lord may advance and be glorified, as it has among you, too, and that you may be rescued from perverse and evil people (vv.1-2). While the request seems two-fold, it is nonetheless one: with evil people overcome, the preached word will advance unhindered. Not all, you see, have faith. He said this elsewhere as well, "Persuasion does not come from the one who calls:" calling belongs to God, responding to you. The Lord spoke this way also in the sacred Gospels, "If anyone is thirsty, let them come to me and drink," and "If anyone wishes to come after me, let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me." In other words, he does not exercise pressure: he looks for free will.

- Theodoret of Cyrus (around A.D. 393 to around A.D. 457), Commentary on the Second Letter to the Thessalonians, Chapter 3, in Theodoret of Cyrus, Commentary on the Letters of St. Paul, Volume 2, p. 131 (2001), Robert C. Hill translator.