BUT love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Today is the Feast of St John Chrysostom (+407).
In his Sermon on Lowliness of Mind, St John wrote about St Paul’s universal care for everyone, regardless of their faults or weaknesses.
EVERY day therefore he was in anxious thought at one moment for Corinthians, at another for Macedonians; how Philippians, how Cappadocians, how Galatians, how Athenians, how they who inhabited Pontus, how all together were.
But all the same, having had the whole world put into his hands, he continually cared not for entire nations only, but also for each single man; and now indeed he despatched a letter on behalf of Onesimus, and now on behalf of him who among the Corinthians had committed fornication.
For neither used he to regard this — that it was the individual who had sinned and needed advocacy; but that it was a human being; a human being, the living thing most precious to God; and for whose sake the Father had not spared even the Only-begotten.
For do not tell me that this or that man is a runaway slave, or a robber or thief, or laden with countless faults, or that he is a mendicant and abject, or of low value and worthy of no account; but consider that for his sake the Christ died; and this sufficeth thee for a ground for all solicitude.
St John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople (+407), “Concerning Lowliness of Mind” (CCEL).
MY God, long-suffering, loving mankind, full of mercy and pitying, how did you endure slaughter and death on a Tree for the sake of the human race? We glorify your compassion.
You endured blows, crucifixion and abuse, O long-suffering and only Giver of life, wishing to redeem all from the hand of the deceiver, and you bear all things, O supremely Good.
As Shepherd you ascended the Cross and stretched out your hands, crying out, ‘Come to me and be enlightened, mortals darkened by deception. For I am light’. Glory to you, only Giver of light.