St Clement of Alexandria: Are You Working for Food which Lasts to Eternal Life?

Feast of St Cyprian the Hieromartyr & Bishop of Carthage

Clement_of_Alexandria_Square_3.jpegIF “THE HARVEST is plentiful, the laborers are few” (Matt. 9.37; Lk. 10.2), then it really is appropriate to pray that we may have as many workers as possible. The farming is of two kinds: one uses writing, the other does not. But whichever method the Lord’s worker uses to sow the good grain, to help the stalks to grow, and to reap the harvest, he will be clearly seen as God’s true farmer. “Work,” says the Lord, “for the food which lasts to eternal life, not for the food which perishes” (Jn. 6.27). There is a nourishment taken in food and another in words and thoughts. In very fact, “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matt. 5.9), those who teach a different way to those who are warred upon by ignorance here on earth in a life of error, and who lead them instead towards peace which is found in the logos and the life which follows God, and who nourish those who hunger for righteousness by the distribution of the bread. There are souls too with their own particular diets, some growing through knowledge and scientific understanding, others pastured in accordance with Greek philosophy, though, as with nuts, not all of that is edible. “He who plants and he who waters”—being servants of the One who grants growth—“are one” with respect to their service, “and each will receive his appropriate wages in the light of his own labor. We are fellow workers with God. You are God’s field. You are God’s building.” So the Apostle puts it (1 Cor. 3.8-9).

—St Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis

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