John_ChrysostomHow delightful and lovable is our band of young brethren!

For brethren I call you, even now before you have been brought forth, and before your birth I welcome this relationship with you.

For I know, I know clearly, to how great an honour you are about to be led, and to how great a dignity.

[…] For ye are not about to be led to an empty dignity, but to an actual kingdom: and not simply to a kingdom, but to the kingdom of the Heavens itself.

Wherefore I beseech and entreat you that you remember me when you come into that kingdom, and as Joseph said to the chief butler “Remember me when it shall be well with thee” (Gen. 40:1), this also I say now to you, do ye remember me when it is well with you.

I do not ask this in return for interpreting your dreams, as he; for I have not come to interpret dreams for you, but to discourse of matters celestial, and to convey to you glad tidings of such good things as “eye hath not seen, and ear hath not heard and which have entered not into the heart of man, such are the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Cor. 2:9, 10).

Now Joseph indeed said to that chief butler, “yet three days and Pharaoh will restore thee to thy chief butlership.” But I do not say, yet three days and ye shall be set to pour out the wine of a tyrant, but yet thirty days, and not Pharaoh but the king of Heaven shall restore you to the country which is on high, Jerusalem, which is free—to the city which is in the heavens; and he said indeed, “Thou shalt give the cup into the hands of Pharaoh.”

But I say not that you shall give the cup into the hands of the king, but that the king shall give the cup into your hand—that dread cup, full of much power, and more precious than any created thing. The initiated know the virtue of this cup, and you yourselves shall know it a little while hence.

Remember me, therefore, when you come into that kingdom, when you receive the royal robe, when you are girt with the purple dipped in the master’s blood, when you will be crowned with the diadem, which has lustre leaping forth from it on all sides, more brilliant than the rays of the sun.

Such are the gifts of the Bridegroom, greater indeed than your worth, but worthy of his lovingkindness.

John Chrysostom (c.347-407): First Instructions to Catechumens, 1.

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