Translation From the Holy Gospel According to Matthew
At that time Jesus spoke to the multitudes this parable: The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field: which is the least indeed of all seeds: but when it is grown up, it is greater than all herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and dwell in the branches thereof. Another parable He spoke to them: The kingdom of heaven is like to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened. All these things Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes: and without parables He did not speak to them: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet, saying: I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.
A Message From St. Cyril of Jerusalem’s Catechetical Lectures: Of Faith (No. 5.)
Nay, even if thou be faithless, or of little faith, the Lord is loving unto man; He condescends to thee on thy repentance: only on thy part say with honest mind, Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief. But if thou thinkest that thou really art faithful, but hast not yet the fulness of faith, thou too hast need to say like the Apostles, Lord, increase our faith: for some part thou hast of thyself, but the greater part thou receivest from Him.
For the name of Faith is in the form of speech one, but has two distinct senses. For there is one kind of faith, the dogmatic, involving an assent of the soul on some particular point: and it is profitable to the soul, as the Lord saith: (He that heareth My words, and believeth Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and cometh not into judgment: and again, (He that believeth in the Son is not judged, but hath passed from death unto life. Oh the great loving-kindness of God! For the righteous were many years in pleasing Him: but what they succeeded in gaining by many years of well-pleasing, this Jesus now bestows on thee in a single hour. For if thou shalt believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved, and shalt be transported into Paradise by Him who brought in thither the robber. And doubt not whether it is possible; for He who on this sacred Golgotha saved the robber after one single hour of belief, the same shall save thee also on thy believing.
But there is a second kind of faith, which is bestowed by Christ as a gift of grace. For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit: to another faith, by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing. This faith then which is given of grace from the Spirit is not merely doctrinal, but also worketh things above man’s power. For whosoever hath this faith, shall say to this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove. For whenever any one shall say this in faith, believing that it cometh to pass, and shall not doubt in his heart, then receiveth he the grace.
And of this faith it is said, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed. For just as the grain of mustard seed is small in size, but fiery in its operation, and though sown in a small space has a circle of great branches, and when grown up is able even to shelter the fowls; so, likewise, faith in the swiftest moment works the greatest effects in the soul. For, when enlightened by faith, the soul hath visions of God, and as far as is possible beholds God, and ranges round the bounds of the universe, and before the end of this world already beholds the Judgment, and the payment of the promised rewards. Have thou therefore that faith in Him which cometh from thine own self, that thou mayest also receive from Him that faith which worketh things above man.
But in learning the Faith and in professing it, acquire and keep that only, which is now delivered to thee by the Church, and which has been built up strongly out of all the Scriptures. For since all cannot read the Scriptures, some being hindered as to the knowledge of them by want of learning, and others by a want of leisure, in order that the soul may not perish from ignorance, we comprise the whole doctrine of the Faith in a few lines. This summary I wish you both to commit to memory when I recite it, and to rehearse it with all diligence among yourselves, not writing it out on paper, but engraving it by the memory upon your heart, taking care while you rehearse it that no Catechumen chance to overhear the things which have been delivered to you. I wish you also to keep this as a provision through the whole course of your life, and beside this to receive no other, neither if we ourselves should change and contradict our present teaching, nor if an adverse angel, transformed into an angel of light should wish to lead you astray). For though we or an angel from heaven preach to you any other gospel than that ye have received, let him be to you anathema. So for the present listen while I simply say the Creed, and commit it to memory; but at the proper season expect the confirmation out of Holy Scripture of each part of the contents. For the articles of the Faith were not composed as seemed good to men; but the most important points collected out of all the Scripture make up one complete teaching of the Faith. And just as the mustard seed in one small grain contains many branches, so also this Faith has embraced in few words all the knowledge of godliness in the Old and New Testaments. Take heed then, brethren, and hold fast the traditions which ye now receive, and write them on the table of your heart.
Guard them with reverence, lest per chance the enemy despoil any who have grown slack; or lest some heretic pervert any of the truths delivered to you. For faith is like putting money into the bank, even as we have now done; but from you God requires the accounts of the deposit. I charge you, as the Apostle saith, before God, who quickeneth all things, and Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession, that ye keep this faith which is committed to you, without spot, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. A treasure of life has now been committed to thee, and the Master demandeth the deposit at His appearing, which in His own times He shall shew, Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in light which no man can approach unto; Whom no man hath seen nor can see. To Whom be glory, honour, and power for ever and ever. Amen.