Inhumanity

by Scott D. Hendricks

Give heed to what is marvelous. He did not remind them of any other work of virtue, only this; although He could have said, “Come you blessed, because you were of sound mind, because you led a virginal life, because you assumed the angelic way of life.” However, He remains silent regarding these, not because they are unworthy of remembrance, but because they are secondary to beneficence. Just as to those whom He placed on His right hand, He revealed how they were granted the Kingdom due to their love for humanity, likewise to those whom He placed on His left hand, He threatened eternal punishment because of their unfruitfulness. “Depart, you cursed, into the outer darkness prepared for the devil and his angels.” Why? For what reason? “For I was hungry and you gave me no food.” He did not say, “Because you committed prostitution, because you committed adultery, because you stole, because you bore false witness, because you violated your oath.” Truly, they are evil, too, and all confess them as such; however they are beneath inhumanity and unmercifulness. But Lord, why do you not bring other roads to mind? “I do not judge the sin,” He says, “but the inhumanity. I do not judge the ones who have sinned, but the ones who did not repent. I judge you severely for your inhumanity, because you disregarded such beneficence, although you had almsgiving as such a great medicine for salvation, by which all sins are blotted out. I reproach, therefore, inhumanity as the root of wickedness and of every impiety. I praise love toward mankind as the root of all goods, and I threaten the inhumane with the eternal fire; to the beneficent I promise the Kingdom of the Heavens.”

~ St. John Chrysostom

Gus George Christo, trans., St. John Chrysostom: On Repentance and Almsgiving (Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, 1998), 108-109.