Having received divine grace from heaven,
with your mouth you teach all men to worship the Triune God.
All-blest and venerable John Chrysostom ,
we worthily praise you, for you are our teacher, revealing things divine!
The memory of the righteous is with praise and the blessing of the Lord is upon his head. Blessed is the man who has found wisdom and the mortal who has understanding. For it is better to purchase her than treasuries of gold and silver. She is more precious than precious stones and all that is precious is unworthy of her. For length of days and years of life are in her right hand; and in her left hand are riches and glory. Out of her mouth proceeds righteousness and she bears law and mercy upon her tongue.
Hear me, O child, for I will speak noble things. Blessed is the man who keeps my ways, for my ways are the way of life, and in them is prepared favor from the Lord. Therefore, I pray you, and utter my voice to the sons of men: For I, wisdom, have dwelt with counsel and knowledge and I have called upon understanding. Counsel and safety are mine, understanding and strength are mine. I love those who love me and those seeking me shall find grace.
Understand craftiness, O you who are simple, and imbibe knowledge, you who are untaught. Hear me again, for I will speak noble things: I will open my mouth and from my lips shall come what is right. For my throat shall meditate truth; false lips are an abomination before me. All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing in them that is twisted or perverse. They are all straight to him who understands and right to those who find knowledge.
I shall instruct you in truth, so that your hope will be in the Lord and you shall be filled with the Spirit.
The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom; the lips of the wise man know grace. The mouth of the wise speaks wisdom, and the truth delivers them from death. If a righteous man dies, hope is not, for the son of the righteous is born to life, and in his own good things he acquires the fruit of righteousness. There is always light for the righteous and they obtain grace and glory from the Lord. The tongue of the wise is a good sister-in-law, and in their hearts rests wisdom. The Lord loves the hearts of the holy, and acceptable to Him are all the undefiled in the way.
The wisdom of the Lord illumines the faces of the wise. For she takes hold of those desiring her by making herself first known to them. She is easily seen by those who love her. He who rises early to seek her shall have no difficulty, and those keeping vigil for the sake of her shall quickly be without sorrows. For she goes about seeking those worthy of her, and graciously reveals herself in the pathways. Against wisdom evil does not prevail.
Therefore I was a lover of her beauty; I loved her and sought her out from my youth. I desired to make her my bride, and even the Master of All loved her. For she is an initiate in the knowledge of God, and a discoverer of His works. Her labors are virtues, for she teaches temperance and prudence, justice and courage; nothing in life is more necessary for men than these. And if anyone desires much knowledge, she knows the things of old, and beholds things to come; she understands turns of speech and the solution of riddles; she has foreknowledge of signs and wonders and the outcome of times and seasons. She is a mediator of good things for all, for immortality is in her, and glory in the company of her words.
Therefore I appealed to the Lord and prayed to Him, and said to Him with all my heart: "O God of my fathers and Lord of mercy, Who hast made all things by Thy word, and by Thy wisdom hast fashioned man that he should have dominion over the creatures made by Thee, that he should rule the world in holiness and righteusness: Give me wisdom that sits by Thy throne, and cast me not away from among Thy children, for I am Thy servant and the son of Thy handmaid. Send her forth from the heavens, from Thy holy abode, and from the throne of Thy glory, that she may be with me, in understanding, and preserve me in her glory. For the thoughts of mortals are miserable, and their intentions likely to fail."
When the righteous is praised, the people rejoice: For his memory is immortality, since it is known both by the Lord and by men, for his soul was pleasing to the Lord. Therefore love wisdom, O men, and live. Desire her and be instructed: For her beginning is love and the keeping of her laws. Honor wisdom that you may reign forever.
I will tell you and not hide the mysteries of God from you. For He is the Guide of wisdom, the Corrector of the wise and the Artisan of all thoughts and deeds. Wisdom will teach with all understanding: For in her is a Spirit, intelligent and holy, the Radiance of the Everlasting Light and the Image of the Grace of God.
She fashions friends of God and prophets. For she is more beautiful than the sun and above all the order of the stars. Compared with the light she is found to be first. She delivered from infirmities those pleasing her and guided them on the paths of righteousness. She gave to them understanding to be holy and to preserve them from those who would ensnare them, and she granted them strength in struggles, so that all might understand that the most powerful of all is piety, and that evil might not prevail against wisdom, nor judgment pass away without convicting the wicked.
Having reasoned unrighteously, they said to themselves, "Let us oppress the righteous man and not spare his venerableness, nor let us be ashamed of the gray hairs of the old man of many years. But let our might be our law and let us seize the righteous, because he is inconvenient to us and is opposed to our deeds; he reproaches us for apostasy against the law and divulges the sins of our training.
"He declares to us to have knowledge of God and calls himself a child of the Lord. He became to us a reproof of our thoughts; the very sight of him is a burden to us, because his life is unlike that of others, and his ways are very different. We are considered by him to be an insult, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the end of the righteous blessed.
"Let us see if his words are true; let us test him to see what will happen to him. Let us torment him with revilement and tortures, that we may understand his meekness and test his guilelessness. Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to his own words, he shall be respected."
Thus they reasoned, but were deceived, for their wickedness blinded them. They did not know the mysteries of God, nor did they discern that Thou alone art God, having the power of life and death: Who savest in times of affliction and delivereth from every evil; Who art compassionate and merciful, granting Grace to His venerable ones, and opposing the proud with His arm.
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.
Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.
Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.