UNBORN WORD of the day

September 12, 2007, 11:48 pm
Filed under: Fathers of the Church


Today, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007 is the feast day of St. John Chrysostom (died 407 A.D.). He was famous for his eloquent preaching. In those early centuries of the Church various forms of Gnosticism ebbed and flowed throughout the known world. Part of the Gnostic message claimed that Christ did not have a real physical body like you and I. The early Church battled this heresy for centuries. In the following excerpt from one of John’s homilies on the Gospel of Matthew, we see John defending the Church’s understanding of Jesus Christ as fully God and fully man.


“Nor think that thou hast learnt all, by hearing “of the Spirit;” nay, for we are ignorant of many things, even when we have learnt this; as, for instance, how the Infinite is in a womb, how He that contains all things is carried, as unborn, by a woman; how the Virgin bears, and continues a virgin. How, I pray thee, did the Spirit frame that Temple? how did He take not all the flesh from the womb, but a part thereof, and increased it, and fashioned it?

For that He did come forth of the Virgin’s flesh, He hath declared by speaking of “that which was conceived in her;” (Mt 1:20) and Paul, by saying, “made of a woman;” (Gal 4:4) whereby he stops the mouths of them that say, Christ came among us as through some conduit. For, if this were so, what need of the womb? If this were so, He hath nothing in common with us, but that flesh is of some other kind, and not of the mass which belongs to us. How then was He of the root of Jesse? How was He a rod? how Son of man? how was Mary His mother? how was He of David’s seed? how did he “take the form of a servant?” (Phil 2:7) how “was the Word made flesh?”(Jn 1:14) and how saith Paul to the Romans, “Of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is God over all?”(Rom 9:5)

Therefore that He was of us, and of our substance, and of the Virgin’s womb, is manifest from these things, and from others beside; but how, is not also manifest. Do not either thou then inquire; but receive what is revealed, and be not curious about what is kept secret.”

Homilies on the Gospel of Matthew Homily IV Matthew 1, 17

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