July 14, 2013
The exaggeration of our difficulties and the need for humility - St. John Chrysostom
“For it is an usual thing with persons in need to relay to others the evils that have beset them, to heighten them and to say something more than is really true, so as to attract those whom they are beseeching….
[The lady with the issue of blood, though,] came to him from behind and touched the end of His garment…. For neither did she have yet the proper and correct opinion concerning the Lord: else she would not have thought to be concealed. And this is the first woman that came unto Him in public, having heard of course that He heals women also, and that He is on His way to the little daughter that was dead.
And she dared not invite Him to her house, although she was wealthy; for, neither did she approach publicly, but secretly with faith she touched His garments.
What does Christ do then? He suffers her not to be hid, but brings her into the midst, and makes her manifest for many purposes.
For what intent then does He bring her forward? In the first place, He puts an end to the woman's fear, lest being pricked by her conscience, as having stolen the gift, she should abide in agony. In the second place, He sets her right, in respect of her thinking to be hid. Thirdly, He exhibits her faith to all, so as to provoke the rest also to emulation; and His staying of the fountains of her blood was no greater sign than He affords in signifying His knowledge of all things.”
Homily 31 on Matthew