Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday in Easter 6: Elected for holiness

Opening Sentence
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1

Collect of the Day
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 119:97-120

Lessons: Leviticus 26:27-42, Ephesians 1:1-10, Matthew 22:41-46

What he means is this: The one through whom he has blessed us is the one through whom he has elected us. . . . Christ chose us to have faith in him before we came into being, indeed even before the world was founded. The word foundation was well chosen, to indicate that it was laid down from some great height. For great and ineffable is the height of God, not in a particular place but rather in his remoteness from nature. So great is the distance between creature and Creator.

"You have been elected," he says, "in order to be holy and unblemished before his face." . . . He himself has made us saints, but we are called to remain saints. A saint is one who lives in faith, is unblemished and leads a blameless life.

Everywhere the purpose or good pleasure means God's antecedent will. Yet there is another will. For God's first [or antecedent] will is that sinners should not perish. His second or consequent will is that those who become evil should perish. Hence he does not chastise them from necessity, but due to their own willing.

John Chyrsostom
Homily on Ephesians

Christ is Made the Sure Foundation