Thursday, December 18, 2008

Homily 6

Acts 2:22-36

"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know--

"Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;

"whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.

"For David says concening Him:

'I foresaw the Lord always before my face,
'For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.

'Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;
'Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.

'For You will not leave my soul in Hades,
'Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.

'You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of joy in Your presence.'

"Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

"Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.

"For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself:

'The Lord said to my Lord,
"Sit at My right hand,

"Till I make Your enemies Your footstool." '

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."


Peter speaks directly to the Jews, saying that they have put Christ to death- point-blank saying "you have done this."

He looks back to the Psalms, showing that David could not have been speaking about himself because the Psalms speak of an incorruptible one, whereas the tomb of David is well-known. Therefore, says Peter, these Psalms are a prophecy about Christ.


Chrysostom begins by pointing out the softness of Peter's speech-- he does not immediately proclaim the divinity of Christ Jesus, nor does he "say, 'Do as I bid you,' but, Hear; as being not at all exacting." (37) And Peter also claims the Jews as witnesses, saying that God wrought signs by Christ "in the midst of you." (38) Then he brings David in as another witness-- "an authority which sets aside all human reasoning." (39) "Now if he be David's Lord," says Chrysostom, "much more shall [the Jews] not disdain Him." (41)

Chrysostom moves on to a sermon about wrath and virtue:

God promises a Kingdom, and is despised: the Devil helps us to hell, and he is honored! (42)

The long-suffering and meek, he says, can quench the heat of a passionate man in a moment, faster even than "iron, made red-hot and dipped into water, so quickly parts with its heat." (43)

Nothing worse than anger, my beloved, nothing worse than unseasonable wrath... Many a time has a mere word been blurted out in anger, which needs for its curing a whole lifetime, and a deed has been done which was the ruin of the man for life. (43)