2 Thessalonians 3:18

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
But the Lord, he says, be with you. This prayer also we may offer for ourselves, if we do the things of the Lord. For hear Christ saying to His disciples, Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Matthew 28:19-20 If you do these things, assuredly. For that the promise is not made to them only, but to those also who walk in their steps, is manifest from His saying to the end of the world. What then does He say to those who are not teachers? Each of you, if he will, is a teacher, although not of another, yet of himself. Teach yourself first. If you teach to observe all things whatsoever He commanded, even by this means you will have many emulating you. For as a lamp, when it is shining, is able to light ten thousand others, but being extinguished will not give light even to itself, nor can it lighten other lamps; so also in the case of a pure life, if the light that is in us be shining, we shall make both disciples and teachers numberless, being set before them as a pattern to copy. For neither will the words proceeding from me be able so to benefit the hearers, as your life. For let a man, tell me, be dear to God, and shining in virtue, and having a wife; (for it is possible for a man having a wife and children and servants and friends to please God;) will he not be able much more than I to benefit them all? For me they will hear once or twice in a month, or not even once, and even though they have kept what they have heard as far as the threshold of the Church, they presently let it drop away from them: but seeing the life of that man constantly, they receive great advantage. For when being insulted he insults not again, does he not almost instill and engrave upon the soul of the insulter the reverence of his meekness? And though he does not immediately confess the benefit, being ashamed from anger, or put to confusion, yet nevertheless he immediately is made sensible of it. And it is impossible for a man that is insolent, though he be a very beast, to associate with one who is patient of evil, without going away much benefited. For although we do not what is good, we however all praise it and admire it. Again, the wife, if she see her husband gentle, being always with him receives great advantage, and the child also. It is therefore in the power of every one to be a teacher. For he says, Build each other up, even as also you do. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 For tell me, has any loss befallen the family? The wife is disturbed, as being weaker, and more extravagant, and fond of ornament; the man if he be a philosopher, and a derider of loss, both consoles her, and persuades her to bear it with fortitude. Tell me, then, will he not benefit her much more than our words? For it is easy to talk, but to act, when we are reduced to the necessity, is in every way difficult. On this account human nature is wont rather to be regulated by deeds. And such is the superiority of virtue, that even a slave often benefits a whole family together with the master. For not in vain, nor without reason, does Paul constantly command them to practice virtue, and to be obedient to their master, not so much regarding the service of their masters, as that the word of God and the doctrine be not blasphemed. But when it is not blasphemed, it will soon also be admired. And I know of many families, that they have greatly benefited by the virtue of their slaves. But if a servant placed under authority can improve his master, much more can the master his servants. Divide then with me, I beseech you, this ministry. I address all generally, do you each individual privately and let each charge himself with the salvation of his neighbors. For that it becomes one to preside over those of his household in these matters, hear where Paul sends women for instruction; And if they would learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home 1 Corinthians 14:35; and he does not lead them to the Teacher. For as in the schools of learning, there are teachers even among the disciples, so also in the Church. For he wishes the Teacher not to be troubled by all. Wherefore? Because then there will be great advantages, not only that the labor will be light to the Teacher, but that each of the disciples also, having taken pains, is soon able to become a teacher, making this his concern. For see how great a service the wife contributes. She keeps the house, and takes care of all things in the house, she presides over her handmaids, she clothes them with her own hands, she causes you to be called the father of children, she delivers you from brothels, she aids you to live chastely, she puts a stop to the strong desire of nature. And do thou also benefit her. How? In spiritual things stretch forth your hand. Whatever useful things you have heard, these, like the swallows, bearing off in your mouth, carry away and place them in the mouth of the mother and the young ones. For how is it not absurd, in other things to think yourself worthy of the preeminence, and to occupy the place of the head, but in teaching to quit your station. The ruler ought not to excel the ruled in honors, so much as in virtues. For this is the duty of a ruler, for the other is the part of the ruled, but this is the achievement of the ruler himself. If you enjoy much honor, it is nothing to you, for you received it from others. If you shine in much virtue, this is all your own. You are the head of the woman, let then the head regulate the rest of the body. Do you not see that it is not so much above the rest of the body in situation, as in forethought, directing like a steersman the whole of it? For in the head are the eyes both of the body, and of the soul. Hence flows to them both the faculty of seeing, and the power of directing. And the rest of the body is appointed for service, but this is set to command. All the senses have thence their origin and their source. Thence are sent forth the organs of speech, the power of seeing, and of smelling, and all touch. For thence is derived the root of the nerves and of the bones. Do you see not that it is superior in forethought more than in honor? So let us rule the women; let us surpass them, not by seeking greater honor from them, but by their being more benefited by us. I have shown that they afford us no little benefit, but if we are willing to make them a return in spiritual things, we surpass them. For it is not possible in bodily things to offer an equivalent. For what? Do you contribute much wealth? But it is she who preserves it, and this care of hers is an equivalent, and thus there is need of her, because many, who had great possessions, have lost all because they had not one to take care of them. But as for the children, you both communicate, and the benefit from each is equal. She indeed in these things rather has the more laborious service, always bearing the offspring, and being afflicted with the pains of childbirth; so that in spiritual things only will you be able to surpass her. Let us not therefore regard how we shall have wealth, but how we shall present with confidence to God the souls with which we are entrusted. For by regulating them we shall also most highly benefit ourselves. For he who teaches another, although he does nothing else, yet in speaking is affected with compunction, when he sees himself responsible for those things, on account of which he reproves others. Since therefore we benefit both ourselves and them, and through them the household, and this is preëminently pleasing to God; let us not be weary of taking care both of our own souls and of those who minister to us, that for all we may receive a recompense, and with much riches may arrive at the holy City our mother, the Jerusalem that is above, from which God grant that we may never fall, but that having shone in the most excellent course of life, we may be thought worthy with much confidence to see our Lord Jesus Christ; with whom to the Father, together with the Holy Ghost, be glory, power, and honor, now and ever, and world without end. Amen.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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