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Delivered By
The Venerable Dr. Christopher A. Brown
Delivered On
March 10, 2013
Central Passage
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
When he came to himself, he said, “How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father.”

ome there are who live a perfectly honorable and consistent life, practicing every kind of virtuous action, and abstaining from everything disapproved by the law of God, and crowning themselves with perfect praises in the sight of God and of men: while another is perhaps weak and trodden down, and humbled unto every kind of wickedness, guilty of base deeds, loving impurity, given to covetousness, and stained with all evil. And yet such a one often…turns to God, and asks the forgiveness of his former offences: he prays for mercy, and putting away from him his readiness to fall into sin, sets his affection on virtuous deeds…[and] is admitted to divine baptism, and puts away his offences, God being merciful unto him.

Sometimes persons are indignant at this, and even say, “This man, who has been guilty of such and such actions, and…has been counted worthy of a grace thus noble and admirable”….Such complaints men sometimes give utterance to from an empty narrowness of mind, not conforming to the purpose of the universal Father. For He greatly rejoices when He sees those who were lost obtaining salvation, and raises them up again to that which they were in the beginning, giving them the dress of freedom, and adorning them with the chief robe, and putting a ring upon their hand, even the orderly behavior which is pleasing to God and suitable to the free.

~Cyril of Alexandria, 376 – 444