What the Fathers Preached

Text: Mark 8:1-9

We must therefore meditate deeply upon the sacred teaching that proceeds from the lips of truth when he says: for some of them came from afar off. For it is such as have nothing to do with the evil doing and carnal corruption who hastened to serve the Omnipotent God. He does not come from afar off who through innocence and integrity of soul was already close to God. Another, free of unchastity, stained by no evil, who has known only marriage, devotes himself to the works of the spirit; neither does he come from afar off: for by reason of his service to God he does not wander far from him after things forbidden. then there are those who after the sins of the flesh, after having given false testimonies, after robberies, after inflicting grievous violence and injury upon others, after committing murders, turned to repentance and become converted to the service of Almighty God. Such as these come to God from afar off. For the more a man has strayed in doing what is evil, the further off he is from God.
Food is therefore given even to those who come from afar off; for the food of holy instruction must be offered to those who are converted from sin, that they may regain in God the strength they lost an evil doing. The Jews however, those of them who believe in Christ, came to him from close at hand; for they have learned of him from the writings of the Law and of the Prophets. They however who believe from the Gentiles did truly come from afar off to Christ; for no sacred pages from the past had prepared them to believe in him. (The Venerable Bede)

From:The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers (4 Volume Set)

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