Rorate Caeli

Lætare, Ierusalem

conventum facite omnes qui diligitis eam: gaudete cum lætitia, quia in tristitia fuistis: ut exsultetis, et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestræ. Ps. Lætatus sum in his, quæ dicta sunt mihi: in domum Domini ibimus.

[Gospel for the Sunday: St. John, vi, 1-15] v. 15: "Jesus therefore, when He knew that they would come to take Him by force and make Him king, fled again into the mountain, Himself alone."

Wonderful! How great is the tyranny of gluttony, how great the fickleness of men's minds! No longer do they vindicate the Law, no longer do they care for the violation of the Sabbath, no longer are they zealous for God; all such considerations are thrown aside, when their bellies have been filled; He was a prophet in their eyes, and they were about to choose Him for a king. But Christ fleeth. "Wherefore?" To teach us to despise worldly dignities, and to show us that He needed nothing on earth. For He who chose all things mean, both mother and house and city and nurture and attire would not afterwards be made illustrious by things on earth. The things which He had from heaven were glorious and great, angels, a star, His Father loudly speaking, the Spirit testifying, and Prophets proclaiming Him from afar; those on earth were all mean, that thus His power might the more appear.

He came also to teach us to despise the things of the world, and not be amazed or astonished by the splendors of this life, but to laugh them all to scorn, and to desire those which are to come. For he who admires things which are here, will not admire those in the heavens. Wherefore also He saith to Pilate, "My Kingdom is not of this world" (c. xviii, 36), that He may not afterwards appear to have employed mere human terror or dominion for the purpose of persuasion. Why then saith the Prophet, "Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass"(Zach, ix, 9)? He spoke of that Kingdom which is in the heavens, but not of this on earth; and on this account Christ saith, "I receive not honor from men." (v. 41).

Learn we then, beloved, to despise and not to desire the honor which is from meal for we have been honored with the greatest of honors, compared with which that other is verily insult, ridicule, and mockery. And as the riches of this world compared with the riches of that are poverty, as this life apart from that is deadness, (for "let the dead bury their dead"-St.Matthew, viii, 28) so this honor compared with that is shame and ridicule.


Saint John Chrysostom

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