Tuesday, September 29, 2009

John Chrysostom: Thief Gives Everyone Hope

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 (around A.D. 347 to around A.D. 407), Sermon 7 on Genesis, in St. John Chrysostom, Eight Sermons on the Book of Genesis, pp. 122-23 (2004), Robert C. Hill translator.