How to approach the New Testament

If you wish to explore the Holy Scripture, and you overcome your laziness and apply yourself, thirsting for the knowledge, then every good thing will be yours. You will fill your mind with the divine light. Then, when you apply that light to the doctrines of the Church, you will very easily recognize everything that is true and unadulterated, and lay it up in the hidden treasures of your soul.

Then you will rejoice as much in having the knowledge you desire as others who are worldly do when they insatiably accumulate Indian gems or gold. In fact, you will rejoice even more, “for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her,” as it is written (Proverbs 8:11).

We are on the point of entering (if God permits it) a city of gold, and more precious than any gold. Let us mark her foundations, and her gates of sapphire and pearl—for we have an excellent guide in Matthew. His is the gate through which we shall now enter, and we need to be very diligent. For if he sees anyone not paying attention, he throws him out of the city.

Yes, for the city is most royal and glorious—not like the cities among us, where there’s a marketplace and royal courts, for there everything is the court of the King. So let us open the gates of our mind. Let us open our ears, and—with great trembling—as we are about to set foot on the threshold, let us worship the King who is in it.

Based on Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Saint John Chrysostom

A deacon from Vatopedi holding the Gospel

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