The Wise Thief

The Wise Thief

 “The Wise Thief,

You made worthy of Paradise,

in a single moment, O Lord.

By the wood of Your Cross

illumine me as well, and save me.”

St. John Chrysostom wrote:

“Master, did you bring a thief into paradise?  Did your Father send Adam out of paradise for a single sin, and did you bring in the thief who was guilty of countless crimes and ten thousand acts?  Did you bring him in with such ease and with a single word?  And Christ says, “Yes, I did. But my Father did not oust Adam by himself and without me, nor did I bring the thief into paradise by myself and without my Father.”   (St. John Chrysostom, ON THE INCOMPREHENSIBLE NATURE OF GOD, p 240)

Holy Friday - The Crucifixion of our Savior

The Crucifixion of God

“He was baptized as man – but He remitted sins as God, not because He needed purificatory rites Himself, but that he might sanctify the element of water. He was tempted as man, but He conquered as God; indeed, he bids us be of good cheer, for he has overcome the world. He hungered, but He fed thousands; indeed, He is the bread that gives life, and that of heaven. He thirsted, but he cried, ‘If  any man thirsts, let him come to Me and drink;’ indeed, He promised that fountains should flow from those who believe. He was wearied, but He is the rest to those who are weary and heavy-laden. He was heavy with sleep, but He walked lightly over to the sea. He rebuked the winds, He made Peter light as he began to sink. He pays tribute, but it is out of a fish; indeed, he is the king of those who demanded it…He weeps, but He causes tears to cease. He asks where Lazarus was laid, for He was man; but He raises Lazarus, for He was God.

He is sold, and very cheap, for it is only thirty pieces of silver; but He redeems the world, and that at a great price, for the price was His own blood. As a sheep He is led to slaughter, but He is the shepherd of Israel, and now of the whole world also. As a lamb He is silent, yet He is the Word, and is proclaimed by the voice of one crying in the wilderness. He is bruised and wounded, but He heals every disease and every infirmity. He is lifted up and nailed to the tree, but by the tree of life He restores us; indeed, He saves even the robber crucified with Him, indeed He wrapped the visible world in darkness. He is given vinegar to drink mingled with gall. Who? He who turned water into wine, who is the destroyer of the bitter taste, Who is sweetness and altogether desired. He lays down His life, but He has power to take it again…He dies, but He gives life, and by His death destroys death. He is buried but He rises again; He goes down into hell, but He brings up the souls.” (St.Gregory of Nazianus in The Bible and the Holy Fathers for Orthodox, pgs. 863-864)