Commentary of the Day

"Jesus will sigh and say… : 'Why does this generation ask for a sign?'"
by Saint Clement of Alexandria (150- c.215), theologian

Are you so foolish as to worship statues of stone worked by your own hands?.. The Maker of the universe alone, the Great Artist and Father, has formed us to be the living image that man is,… [whereas idols]… are the senseless work of human hands. For the image of God is His Word (Heb 1:3)… and the image of the Word is the true man, the mind which is in man, who is therefore said to have been made "in the image and likeness of God," (Gn 1:26) assimilated to the Divine Word by the affections of the soul… Receive, then, the water of the word; wash, you polluted ones; purify yourselves by sprinkling yourselves with the drops of truth. You must ascend pure to heaven. You are man, if we consider that which is universal: so seek your Creator. You are son, if we look to that which is most personal, so acknowledge your Father. But if you still continue in your sins… to whom shall the Lord say, "Yours is the kingdom of heaven?" (Mt 7:13) It is yours, if you will, when your choice is set on God. It is yours if you will only believe, and comply with the brief terms of the message as the Ninevites did. Because they listened to the prophet, they obtained by their sincere repentance the happiness of salvation instead of the destruction that threatened them. (Jon 3) How, then, may I ascend to heaven, people ask? The Lord is the way (Jn 14:6) — a narrow way (Mt 7:13) but coming down from heaven; (Jn 3:13) narrow in truth, but leading back to heaven; narrow and despised on earth; broad, adored in heaven. Someone who has never heard of the Word of God has ignorance as the excuse for his error. But someone whose ears have heard the message but has not listened in his heart carries the responsibility for a willed disobedience. The more aware he is, the more harm his understanding will do him; his own understanding stands as his accuser for not having chosen the better part. For as man, so far as his nature is concerned, he was made for friendship with God.

    dailygospel.org


From: Protreptikos, ch. 10