Chapter III.—Simons Flight.
Thereupon Peter was greatly delighted, and praised the brethren, and blessed them, and requested them to remain with him. Then, when he had bathed in the sea, and had taken food, he went to sleep in the evening; and rising, as usual, at cock-crow, while the evening light was still burning, he found us all awake. Now there were in all sixteen of us, viz. Peter and I, Clement, Niceta and Aquila, and those twelve who had preceded us. 720 Saluting us, then, as was his wont, Peter said: “Since we are not taken up with others to-day, let us be taken up with ourselves. I shall tell you what took place at Cæsarea after your departure, and you shall tell us of the doings of Simon here.” And while the conversation was going on on these subjects, at daybreak some of the members of the family came in and told Peter that Simon, when he heard of Peters arrival, departed in the night, on the way to Syria. They also stated that the crowds thought that the day which he had said was to intervene was a very long time for their affection, and that they were standing in impatience before the gate, conversing among themselves about those things which they wished to hear, and that they hoped that they should by all means see him before the time appointed; and that as the day became lighter the multitudes were increasing, and that they were trusting confidently, whatever they might be presuming upon, that they should hear a discourse from him. “Now then,” said they, “instruct us to tell them what seems good to you; for it is absurd that so great a multitude should have come together, and should depart with sadness, through no answer being returned to them. For they will not consider that it is they that have not waited for the appointed day but rather they will think that you are slighting them.”
[Comp. Homily VIII. 3.—R.]