Ordinary Time Week 22: Sunday

Antiphon
I call to You all day long, have mercy on me, O Lord. You are good and forgiving, full of love for all who call to you (Psalm 85:3, 5).


Responsorial Psalm
My soul is thirsting for You, O Lord my God. (Psalm 63).


Scripture Excerpts
     “You duped (פָּתָה, pathah) me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped; you were too strong for me, and you triumphed. All the day I am an object of laughter; everyone mocks me.” (Jeremiah 20:7).”
     “From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind (ὀπίσω, opiso) me, Satan (σατανᾶ, Satana)! You are an obstacle (σκάνδαλον, scandalon) to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.. (Matthew 16:21-35).”


Reflection
Jeremiah rightly terms his entrance into ministry as a seduction. Jeremiah sees, hears and senses a life and love that ignites a life within in a way that even he finds hard to explain. He know the pleasure of speaking on God’s behalf (technically what the Hebrew word nabi [prophet] means) yet has not come to grips with the fact that this proclamation of the Word requires some very important lessons, most notably the distinction between message and messenger. The misfortunes, detours and derailments of life are products of a fallen, yet redeemed world. None of us gets a pass. We are in the world and the setbacks - both the unexpected and the ones-seen-coming - are part of life. The person and persons in covenant relationship with the Lord of Life are challenged to learn the lesson that only God has the final word, not the things that go wrong. In time, Jeremiah does learn this lesson and sees in his lifetime that suffering can be redemptive.

Like Jeremiah, Peter still has a ways to go in being formed as the Master’s disciple. Last week’s proclamation saw Jesus Himself rejoicing in the work that His Father was doing in the life of Peter and how Peter was cooperating. Peter has come to faith that Jesus is the Christ. Wonderful. But what exactly does it mean to confess Jesus as the Christ? In what seems to be an instant, Peter reverts to a purely human way of viewing the world. When Jesus speaks about His suffering that will be redemptive, Peter’s knee-jerk reaction is to literally ‘stand in front’ of Jesus and “trip” Him in His journey to Jerusalem. Note carefully the text. When Peter balks at Jesus’s words, Jesus commands Peter to “get behind (ὀπίσω, opiso).” What has happened? Peter lost his sense of where he is to be relative to Jesus. The disciple is always behind the Master. Recall Moses and his incessant plea to God to see the Divine Face. When Moses was eventually permitted to gaze upon God, the choreography was quite clear. Moses was placed in a cleft (a cut out) in the rock, God’s hand covered Moses and withdrew in time to see only the back of God. When the disciple is anywhere except behind the Master, the disciple becomes a scandolon (scandal, obstacle). Scandolon in Jesus’s day was graphically and tragically described as ‘putting a rock in the path of a blind person.’ The horror of that picture fills us with indignation. And yet that is precisely the stinging word that Jesus addresses to Peter.

This background is important to understand Jesus’s address to Peter as “Satan.” There is no soft-pedaling this one. Even from a linguistic point of view, Jesus addressed Peter as Satan (the vocative case in Greek). The difficulty is that when many people hear the word “Satan,” images abound. Some think of the red, hoofed creature wielding a pitch fork against a backdrop of sky and ocean wrapped in fire. Some might think of Satan in terms of the ‘litte bad voice’ on one shoulder competing with the good angel on the other shoulder prompting us to do certain things. Some may recall the 1970's comedian Flip Wilson and his famous quip, "the Devil made me do it” or more recently Dana Carvey’s portrayal of "Church Lady" and her propensity to make Satan responsible for all evil. All of these fall short of the Gospel presentation of Satan as the one who hinders the plan of redemption by attempting to remove the Cross from reality. Sadly, when Satan is confined in our lives to ‘the bad voice,’ Satan actually accomplishes more as the deadly work of twisting our minds and hearts to weaken the Cross and its necessity alters the Christian Gospel and hinders the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God.

Jesus in no way sugar-coats His words to Peter. They are blunt and stinging which probably left Peter thinking, ‘what just happened? I thought I was doing something nice for my friend, wasn’t I?’ Admittedly the Cross is not attractive and its pain is repulsive to life. Yet the Cross does stand in a Christian center. Without the Cross, there can be no transformation because the ‘work’ of the Cross is essentially the first commandment Jesus gives at the start of His Public Ministry, “Be converted (μετανοεῖτε, metanoeite [Mark 1:15]).” The Cross draws one from self to Other, not just in actions but also in words and thoughts. Thinking, speaking and acting gradually become less self-centerred and more focused on the other — AND — as good as this truly is, the Cross of Jesus redeems all. Yes, a world of greater selflessness would be wonderful, but that selflessness can only occur as the fruit of redemption, a redemption won by Christ, Christ crucified. Jesus’ insistance on the Cross is not to create a utopian society but a community of people “bought back” from death to life eternal.


Collect
God of might, giver of every good gift,
put into our hearts the love of Your name,
so that, by deepening our sense of reverence,
You may nurture in us what is good
and, by Your watchful care,
keep safe what You have nurtured.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.





Ordinary Time Week 21: Saturday

“For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (Matthew 25:29)

Saint Gregory the Great offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“And immediately a general thought is added: “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have more than enough; but from everyone who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away from him.” To the one who has, more will be given, and he will have more than enough. Whoever has love receives other gifts as well. Whoever does not have love loses even the gifts he appeared to have received. Hence it is necessary, my friends, that in everything you do, you be vigilant about guarding love. True love is to love your friend in God and your enemy for the sake of God. Whoever does not have this loses every good that he possesses; he is deprived of the talent he received, and according to the Lord’s sentence he is cast into external darkness. External darkness comes as a punishment to one who has fallen voluntarily into internal darkness through his own sin. The one who freely enjoyed pleasurable darkness in this world will be constrained to suffer punishing darkness in the next.” (Forty Gospel Homilies, 9)


Collect
O God,
Who cause the minds of the faithful
to unite in a single purpose,
grant Your people
to love what You command
and to desire what You promise,
that, amid the uncertainties of this world,
our hearts may be fixed on that place
where true gladness is found.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen




— Passion of Saint John the Baptist —
Ordinary Time Week 21: Friday

“Herodias’ own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.” (Mark 6:22)

Saint Ambrose of Milan offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“Note how varied sins are interwoven in this one vicious action! A banquet of death is set out with royal luxury, and when a larger gathering than usual has come together, the daughter of the queen, sent for from within the private apartments, is brought forth to dance in the sight of all. What could she have learned from an adulteress but the loss of modesty? Is anything so conducive to lust as with unseemly movements to expose in nakedness those parts of the body which either nature has hidden or custom has veiled, to sport with looks, to turn the neck, to loosen the hair?” (Concerning Virgins, 3)


Collect
O God,
Who willed that Saint John the Baptist
should go ahead of your Son
both in his birth and in his death,
grant that, as he died a Martyr for truth and justice,
we, too, may fight hard
for the confession of what you teach.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen




— St Augustine, Bishop & Doctor of the Church —
Ordinary Time Week 21: Thursday

“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time?” (Matthew 24:45)

Origen of Alexandria comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

“We should understand the phrase “faithful and wise servant” as referring to a person who is faithful in the customary sense of the term, not as referring to those who are wise or clever by natural endowment. Many who are clever and wise are not at all faithful. For instance, whoever considers the great number of people who fancy themselves Christians will discover many who are faithful and who have great zeal for the faith but are not very wise. He will thus conclude that “the sons of this world are wiser in their own generation,” knowing that “God chose the foolish of the world to confound the wise.” He will also see that others who are thought to be believers are clever and wise enough but of only limited faith. If they are not unfaithful, they are certainly at least less faithful than the “foolish of the world” whom “God chose.” But it is rare for faithfulness and wisdom to coincide in one person to enable him to “give his fellow servants their food at the proper time.” He needs wisdom to give food to the needy “at the proper time” and faith to refrain from keeping the food for himself in time of need.” (Commentary on Matthew, 61)



Collect
Renew in your Church, we pray, O Lord,
the spirit with which you endowed
your Bishop Saint Augustine
that, filled with the same spirit,
we may thirst for you,
the sole fount of true wisdom,
and seek you, the author of heavenly love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen




— Saint Monica —
Ordinary Time Week 21: Wednesday

“Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets; now fill up what your ancestors measured out!” (Matthew 23:32)

In an ancient work known as the Incomplete Work on Matthew, an anonymous Ancient Christian Writer (ACW) offers the following insight on these verses from today’s Gospel:

“Every good deed that is done for God is universally good for everything and everyone. Deeds that are not seen to benefit everything and everyone, however, are done on account of man, as the present matter itself demonstrates. For example, those who build reliquaries and adorn churches seem to be doing good. If they imitate the justice of God, if the poor benefit from their goods and if they do not acquire their goods through violence against others, it is clear that they are building for the glory of God. If they fail to observe God’s justice and if the poor never benefit from their goods and if they acquire their goods from others by means of violence or fraud, who is so foolish not to understand that they are building for human respect rather than for the glory of God? Those who build reliquaries in a just manner ensure that the poor do not suffer as a result of it. For the martyrs do not rejoice when they are honored by gifts for which the poor paid with their tears. What kind of justice is it to give gifts to the dead and to despoil the living or to drain blood from the poor and offer it to God? To do such things is not to offer sacrifice to God but to attempt to make God an accomplice in violence, since whoever knowingly accepts a gift which was acquired by sinful means participates in the sin.” (Incomplete Work on Matthew, «Homily 45»)



Collect
O God,
Who console the sorrowful
and who mercifully accepted
the motherly tears of Saint Monica
for the conversion of her son Augustine,
grant us, through the intercession of them both,
that we may bitterly regret our sins
and find the grace of your pardon.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen





Ordinary Time Week 21: Tuesday

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. [But] these you should have done, without neglecting the others.” (Matthew 23:23)

Origen of Alexandria comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

“Not only among the Jews but among ourselves as well, we find people sinning in these ways. They are swallowing camels. People of this type frequently show off their religion even in the smallest of things. They are rightly called hypocrites for wanting to exploit their religiosity before men but being unwilling to undertake that very faith which God himself has justified. Therefore the imitators of the scribes and Pharisees must be dislodged and sent away from us, lest a woe touches us in the same way it touches them. The scribes could be described as those who valued nothing found in the Scriptures except its plain sense interpreted legalistically. Meanwhile they condemn those who look into the very depths of God himself. Mint and dill and cummin are only spices for food but are not themselves substantial food. What substantive food would mean in conversion would be that which is necessary for the justification of our souls — faith and love — unlike these legalisms, which are more like condiments and flavorings. It is as if a meal might be thought to consist more of condiments and flavorings than the food itself. The seriousness of judgment is neglected while great attention is given to minor matters. Spiritual exercises which in and of themselves are hardly justice are spoken of as justice and compassion and faith. It is lacking in justice to treat these small parts as the whole. When we do not offer to God the observance of all that is necessary for worship, we fail altogether.” (Commentary on Matthew, 19)



Collect
O God,
Who cause the minds of the faithful
to unite in a single purpose,
grant Your people
to love what You command
and to desire what You promise,
that, amid the uncertainties of this world,
our hearts may be fixed on that place
where true gladness is found.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen




Ordinary Time Week 21: Monday

“And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.” (Matthew 23:18)

Origen of Alexandria comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

“Those who work in the fields of the gospel seek the hidden meaning of these passages of Scripture. We are not simply confiscating the higher parts of Scripture but rather looking toward its whole sense. As regards swearing, it is intended as a binding action, seeking to confirm the word concerning which something is sworn.

Consider this analogy. Think of the altar as the heart and the temple as the whole of Scripture. The temple of God’s glory, spiritually understood, is the divinely inspired Scripture. The gold refers to the meanings it conveys. To swear is to witness to the Scriptures, as a validation and confirmation of the word we speak. Therefore we ought to profess the whole sense of Scripture as a confirmation of the sense which we invoke in all of our words.

Gold found outside the temple is not sanctified. Rather, that gold which is found in the temple is the measure of that which is outside it. Similarly the meaning which is found outside of the Scriptures is not holy, but it is contained in the meaning of the Scriptures. Only that sense of Scripture is sanctified which can be seen from within the temple itself, that is, within the whole of Scripture. The temple, that is, the reading of the Scriptures, makes a great and venerable sense, just as consecrated gold is valuable. So we ought not to swear by our own intellects to confirm our beliefs, as if we were creating witnesses that could judge according to the truth. But let us explore further the analogy of the temple, the gold and the altar. The altar is the place where a vow is sanctified. The altar in this passage is the heart of a man. What happens in the heart happens deeply within a person. Vows and gifts placed on the altar are clearly those placed upon the human heart. When you begin to pray, you place the vow of your prayer upon your heart, as if you had placed something upon the altar, so that you might offer your prayer to God.

Suppose you are ready to place an offering of psalms upon your heart, so as to offer to God an offering of psalms, accompanying yourself with a harp. Or suppose you are ready to give alms. You make an offering of alms upon your heart, just as if you had placed something on the altar, as you would offer your alms to God. Suppose you have proposed to fast in order to make an offering of your fasting upon your heart, as if you had placed something upon the altar.

In this way the heart of a man makes vows in a holy and venerable way. It is from the heart, that is, the altar, that the vow is offered to God. Therefore it is not possible for the offering of a man to be more honorable than his heart from which the offering is sent up.” (Commentary on Matthew, 2)


Collect
O God,
Who cause the minds of the faithful
to unite in a single purpose,
grant Your people
to love what You command
and to desire what You promise,
that, amid the uncertainties of this world,
our hearts may be fixed on that place
where true gladness is found.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen




Ordinary Time Week 21: Sunday

Antiphon
Listen, Lord, and answer me. Save Your servant who trusts in You. I call to you all day long, have mercy on, O Lord (Psalm 85:1-3).


Responsorial Psalm
Lord, your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of your hands (Psalm 138).

     “Thus says the LORD to Shebna, master of the palace: “I will thrust you from your office and pull you down from your station. On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah; I will clothe him with your robe, and gird him with your sash, and give over to him your authority” (Isaiah 22:18-20).”
     “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:18-19).”


Reflection
Admittedly Shebna, Eliakim and Hilkiah are not household names. Hopefully these names will not be too difficult for lectors to pronounce properly. But when you hear their names, what goes through your mind? Do you know them? Is it important to know them? While the simple answer to that question is “yes,” it is important to know why we need to know them and their story when it comes to following Jesus Christ. Time for a brief lesson in Old Testament History.

In the first 39 chapters of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, life is very uncertain for many of the Israelites, especially those living in what was known then as the Northern Kingdom. This area bordered Assyria (part of modern day Syria) and tensions ran high between the people of the Northern Kingdom and the people of Assyria. In the context of this uncertainly, the Prophet Isaiah called the people continuously to “trust in God.” It was hard. They could not eyeball God yet they could easily see (and hear!) the might of the Assyrian military machine. Some of Israel's leaders decided to take matters into their own hands and prepare for war and make alliances with others to help when war broke out. Enter Shebna.

Scholars are mixed as to what his exact job was in the empire. Minimally, it was some type of steward or treasury official in the government. No matter the position, Shebna was a powerful person in the empire who answered only to the king. There is some scholarship that suggests Shebna (whose name linguistically appears to be more Egyptian than Hebrew) was attempting an alliance with the Egyptians. Earlier in Isaiah 22, mention is made of a rather ambitious building campaign (including quite an ornate burial place for himself) that results in some type of scandal and betrayal of his master (an EXTREMELY serious offense in the Ancient Near Eastern world), though the text is silent about the scandal's details. The text is quite clear about the consequences of the scandal: “The LORD shall hurl you down headlong, mortal man! He shall grip you firmly and roll you up and toss you like a ball into an open land to perish there, you and the chariots you glory in, you disgrace to your master’s house (Isaiah 22:17-18).” In the portion of the chapter proclaimed this Sunday, we learn of Shebna's public humiliation and the loss of his government position to Eliakim (whose name, interestingly, means “God establishes”).

So what does Old Testament History 101 have to do with this Sunday's Word? The biblical mandate uttered by Isaiah, “trust in God,” is for the good of one's life and the lives of others. Disaster occurs time and time again in Isaiah when leaders, who ought to know better, decide to orchestrate the life of the kingdom based on their own agenda. This agenda, which attempts a ruse of concern for one’s subjects, is nothing more than a ploy for patrimony, power and perpetuity which increases the ego, hurling one deeper and deeper into the abyss of narcissism. Shebna thought he was smart in abandoning the covenant and the Word of God delivered by the prophet. He poured massive resources of Israel's life into shoring up defenses (which really were not all that sound, but apparently benefitted him) and building a marvelous mausoleum as a perpetual testimony to his life, which also backfired in the end. Failure to listen to the prophet results in a loss of profit on so many levels of life.

The ‘rocks’ of Caesarea Philippi including the entrance to a seemingly bottomless pit. In antiquity, rock formations near and on the entrance gave the appearance of foreboding jaws (gate) leading to the nether world. This was also the site of the ancient cult of the pagan god, Pan. Not far from here are the cool, fresh-water springs that combine and form southward flowing streams contributing to the Sea of Galilee. The day my beloved Dad and I visited Hermon Springs was hot (temperature was estimated at 102°F) and very humid. Kneeing down and sipping the spring water was quite a treat.

Contrast all this with Peter. He does no campaigning, not that he would have even known what was coming by responding to a simple question from the Master. He does no manipulating of the crowds, fellow disciples or even Jesus. Out-of-the-blue Jesus declares him “Rock!” and invests him with keys (an Old Testament image used to sum up all civil and religious authority exercised by leaders. In Judaism, the ‘power of the keys’ also referred to the Rabbi’s teaching authority) and solidifying his authority with the power to bind and to loose. As the “key of the house of David” was placed upon Eliakim's shoulders, so Peter is given the Keys of the Kingdom. Peter gets the keys and binding/loosing power precisely because God establishes this, not himself. Peter responds to Jesus’ question in such a way that it is clear Peter is open to the Father’s revelation. Peter, in this context, is an Eliakim. So long as the one called “Rock” lives his ‘Eliakim roots’ he will never become ‘Rocky.’ Peter will come to learn that much vigilance is required as the letter “y” can easily be appended to his stone name (next week’s lesson). A rock that provides a sure foundation can become unstable in the blink of an eye. Ask anyone who has lived through an earthquake. Similarly, life quickly becomes ‘rocky’ when “trust in the Lord” no longer grounds the foundation of life. The laws of physics are quite clear: nature abhors a vacuum. Something or someone is always waiting to pounce and fill a void. “Trust in God” keeps life filled with proper direction, energy and liveliness. Its absence results automatically in “trust in self” along with consequences that never builds-up but only tears-down. Gospel joy and peace await all who allow God to establish life even when times are humanly uncertain and rocky.



Collect
O God,
Who cause the minds of the faithful
to unite in a single purpose,
grant Your people
to love what You command
and to desire what You promise,
that, amid the uncertainties of this world,
our hearts may be fixed on that place
where true gladness is found.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen




Ordinary Time Week 20: Saturday

“As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven.” (Matthew 23:8-9)

Saint Jerome offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“No one should be called teacher or father except God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. He alone is the Father, because all things are from him. He alone is the teacher, because through him are made all things and through him all things are reconciled to God. But one might ask, “Is it against this precept when the apostle calls himself the teacher of the Gentiles? Or when, as in colloquial speech widely found in the monasteries of Egypt and Palestine, they call each other Father?” Remember this distinction. It is one thing to be a father or a teacher by nature, another to be so by generosity. For when we call a man father and reserve the honor of his age, we may thereby be failing to honor the Author of our own lives. One is rightly called a teacher only from his association with the true Teacher. I repeat: The fact that we have one God and one Son of God through nature does not prevent others from being understood as sons of God by adoption. Similarly this does not make the terms father and teacher useless or prevent others from being called father.” (Commentary on Matthew, 4)


Collect
O God,
Who have prepared for those who love You
good things which no eye can see,
fill our hearts, we pray,
with the warmth of Your love,
so that,
loving You in all things and above all things,
we may attain Your promises,
which surpass every human desire.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen




— Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary —
Ordinary Time Week 20: Friday

“... and one of them [a scholar of the law] tested him by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” (Matthew 22:35-36)

Origen of Alexandria comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

“Now let us consider one argument of entrapment: “Teacher,” he says, “what is the greater commandment in the law?” He says “teacher” trying to entrap him, since he offers his thoughts not as a disciple of Christ. This however, will be clearer from an example we now offer. Consider: The father of a son is indeed the father, and no one else is able to call him father except the son; and the mother of a daughter is indeed her mother, and no one else can call her mother except her own daughter. And so the teacher of a disciple is indeed his teacher, and the disciple of a teacher is truly his disciple. As a result, no one is able to say “teacher” properly except a disciple. And see how, on account of this, that not all who call him teacher do so appropriately but only those who have a desire to learn from him. He said to his disciples, “You call me teacher and lord, and rightly so, for so I am.” Therefore disciples of Christ properly indeed address him as teacher, and by this word from the Lord himself his servants rightly call him Lord. Thus the apostle spoke well when he said, “Yet for us there is one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and for whom we exist.” And consider what he says, “It is enough for the disciple to be” not simply like a teacher but “like his teacher.” Therefore if anyone does not learn something from this word or surrender himself with his whole heart, in order to become his delightful dwelling place but still calls him “teacher,” he is brother to the Pharisees attempting to entrap Christ while calling him “teacher.” And so all who say “Our Father who art in heaven” ought not to have “the spirit of slavery in fear but a spirit of the adoption of sons.” However, whoever does not have “the spirit of adoption of sons” and yet says “Our Father who art in heaven” is lying, since he is not a son of God, while calling God his father.” (Commentary on Matthew, 2)



Collect
O God, who made the Mother of your Son
to be our Mother and our Queen,
graciously grant that, sustained by her intercession,
we may attain in the heavenly Kingdom
the glory promised to your children.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen