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10 - See how clearly revealed is the foolishness of pitiless people

from Part II - Shenoute as Pastor and Preacher

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2015

David Brakke
Affiliation:
Ohio State University
Andrew Crislip
Affiliation:
Virginia Commonwealth University
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Summary

A short catechesis early on the Lord's day after the Psalter and the Gospel were read on a feast day, while the crowd wanted to return home in a hurry.

See how clearly revealed is the foolishness of pitiless people and the foolishness of those who worship the works of human hands by what we have heard just now from the scriptures in the Gospel: “There is a rich man whose land was flourishing, and he thought, ‘What will I do, for I have nowhere to gather my crops?’ He said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my storehouses and rebuild them bigger, and I will gather into them all of my grain and my goods, and I will say to my soul, “My soul, you have many goods, laid aside over many years. Rest yourself. Eat, drink, be happy.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool, your soul will be taken from you tonight. These preparations you've made, whose will they be?’” And also in the Psalms, “These idols of the nations are silver and gold; they are the works of human hands.”

As I was speaking from the word of God – while some people were content with a joy of his children who are proper slaves to him, and others were ashamed with a reproach of those who worship empty things, because they themselves are empty – I wished that I had found these gods of silver and gold and copper and bronze, especially the golden image that is sixty cubits high and six wide, and that I had cut it up and chopped them further and given them away and distributed them to my poor brethren, the widows and the orphans, not because God is not able to nourish them, he to whom they are slaves, or because any of them are cut off from Christian charities, but for mockery and laughter at those who think that they are gods.

Blessed are they whose works reveal that they are children of the light, God and his Christ Jesus. Woe to those whose works reveal that they are dark.

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Chapter
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Selected Discourses of Shenoute the Great
Community, Theology, and Social Conflict in Late Antique Egypt
, pp. 132 - 133
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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