— The Holy Guardian Angels —
Ordinary Time Week 26: Thursday

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” (Matthew 18:10)

Saint Chromatius of Aquileia comments on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“For just as the Lord commands that unbelieving and treacherous persons who are a stumbling block to the body of the church should be cut off or plucked out, so he also warns us not to despise any of the little children, that is, humble people in the laity who simply and faithfully believe in the Son of God. For it is not right to despise anyone who believes in Christ. A believer is called not only a servant of God but also a son though the grace of adoption, to whom the kingdom of heaven and the company of the angels is promised. And rightly the Lord adds, “For I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.” How much grace the Lord has toward each one believing in him he himself declares when he shows their angels always beholding the face of the Father who is in heaven. Great is the grace of the angels toward all who believe in Christ. Finally, the angels carry their prayers to heaven. Hence the word of Raphael to Tobias: “When you prayed along with your daughter-in-law Sara, I offered the memory of your prayer in the sight of God.” Around them there is also the strong guard of the angels; they help each of us to be free from the traps of the enemy. For a human in his weakness could not be safe amid so many forceful attacks of that enemy if he were not strengthened by the help of the angels.” (Tractate on Matthew, 57)



Collect
O God,
Who in Your unfathomable providence
are pleased to send Your holy Angels to guard us,
hear our supplication as we cry to You,
that we may always be defended by their protection
and rejoice eternally in their company.
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. Amen.


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 Thérèse of the Child Jesus —
Ordinary Time Week 26: Wednesday

“And to another he said, “Follow me.” But he replied, “[Lord,] let me go first and bury my father.” But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:59-60)

Saint Basil the Great offers the following insight on these verses from today's Gospel:

“Allow me first to go and bury my father.” The Lord replied, “Let the dead bury their dead; but go and preach the kingdom of God.” Another man said, “Let me first arrange my affairs at home.” He rebuked him with a stern threat, saying, “No man, putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” A person who wishes to become the Lord’s disciple must repudiate a human obligation, however honorable it may appear, if it slows us ever so slightly in giving the wholehearted obedience we owe to God.” (Concerning Baptism, 1)



Collect
O God,
Who open your Kingdom
to those who are humble and to little ones,
lead us to follow trustingly
in the little way of Saint Thérèse,
so that through her intercession
we may see your eternal glory revealed.
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 Jerome —
Ordinary Time Week 26: Tuesday

“When the days for his being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:51-53)

Saint Cyril of Alexandria reflects on these verses from today’s Gospel, writes:

“It says, “When the days drew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.” This means that after he would endure his saving passion for us, the time would come when he should ascend to heaven and dwell with God the Father, so he determined to go to Jerusalem. This is, I think, the meaning of his “set his face.”

It would be false to affirm that our Savior did not know what was about to happen, because he knows all things. He knew, of course, that the Samaritans would not receive his messengers. There can be no doubt of this. Why then did he command them to go before him? It was his custom to benefit diligently the holy apostles in every possible way, and because of this, it was his practice sometimes to test them…. On this occasion, he also tested them. He knew that the Samaritans would not receive those who went forward to announce that he would stay with them. He still permitted them to go that this again might be a way of benefiting the holy apostles.

What was the purpose of this occurrence? He was going up to Jerusalem, as the time of his passion was already drawing near. He was about to endure the scorn of the Jews. He was about to be destroyed by the scribes and Pharisees and to suffer those things that they inflicted upon him when they went to accomplish all of violence and wicked boldness. He did not want them to be offended when they saw him suffering. He also wanted them to be patient and not to complain greatly, although people would treat them rudely. He, so to speak, made the Samaritans’ hatred a preparatory exercise in the matter. They had not received the messengers.

For their benefit, he rebuked the disciples and gently restrained the sharpness of their wrath, not permitting them to grumble violently against those who sinned. He rather persuaded them to be patient and to cherish a mind that is unmovable by anything like this.” (Commentary on Luke, «Homily 56»)



Collect
O God,
Who gave the Priest Saint Jerome
a living and tender love for Sacred Scripture,
grant that your people
may be ever more fruitfully nourished by your Word
and find in it the fount of life.
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





Feast of the Archangels
— Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael —
Ordinary Time Week 26: Monday

“And he said to him, “Amen, amen,* I say to you, you will see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:51)

Saint John Chrysostom comments on this verse from today’s Gospel reading:

“Do you see how he leads him up little by little from the earth and causes him no longer to imagine him as merely a man? For one to whom angels minister and on whom angels ascend and descend, how could he be a man? This is why he said, “You shall see greater things than these.” And to prove this, he introduces the ministry of angels. What he means is something like this: Does this, O Nathanael, seem to you a great matter, and have you for this confessed me to be King of Israel? What then will you say when you see “angels ascending and descending on me”? He persuades him by these words to receive him as Lord also of the angels. For on him as on the king’s own son, the royal ministers ascended and descended, once at the season of the crucifixion, again at the time of the resurrection and the ascension, and before this also, when they “came and ministered to him.” They also ascended and descended when they proclaimed the good news of his birth and cried, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace,” when they came to Mary and also when they came to Joseph.

Our Lord made the present a proof of the future. After the powers he had already shown, Nathanael would readily believe that much more would follow. (The Gospel of John, 21)



Collect
O God,
Who dispose in marvelous order
ministries both angelic and human,
graciously grant
that our life on earth may be defended
by those who watch over us
as they minister perpetually to you in heaven.
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. Amen.


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





— The Lord’s Day —
Ordinary Time Week 26: Sunday

“When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.” (Matthew 21:32)

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:

“The Lord’s teaching can be paraphrased as follows: “Even if John had not come to you ‘in the way of righteousness’ but had only preached a baptism of repentance, you should have believed him as priests and wise men who judge impartially and in accordance with the facts, for what relevance is the preacher’s way of life to his student? If he lives wickedly, he alone is damned, but if he teaches truthfully, the benefit redounds to everyone who hears him. Even so, however, John came to you in a ‘way of righteousness’ so clearly manifest that his exemplary conduct and angelic life pierced even the hearts of publicans and prostitutes and converted them with fear and trembling to the faith. Yet he did not affect your hearts at all. You can see then that publicans and prostitutes are rightly said to ‘precede you into the kingdom.’” (Incomplete Work on Matthew, «Homily 40»)



Collect
O God,
Who manifest your almighty power
above all by pardoning and showing mercy,
bestow, we pray, your grace abundantly upon us
and make those hastening to attain your promises
heirs to the treasures of heaven.
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 Vincent de Paul —
Ordinary Time Week 25: Saturday

“Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” (Luke 9:44)

Saint Cyril of Alexandria reflects on this verse from today’s Gospel, writes:

“The mystery of the passion may be seen also in another instance. According to the Mosaic law, two goats were offered. They were not different in any way from one another, but they were alike in size and appearance. Of these, one was called “the lord,” and the other was called “sent-away.” When the lot was cast for the one called “lord,” it was sacrificed. The other one was sent away from the sacrifice, and therefore had the name of “sent-away.” Who was signified by this? The Word, though he was God, was in our likeness and took the form of us sinners, as far as the nature of the flesh was concerned. The male or female goat was sacrificed for sins. Death was our desert, for we had fallen under the divine curse because of sin. When the Savior of all undertook the responsibility, he transferred to himself what was due to us and laid down his life, that we might be sent away from death and destruction..” (Commentary on Luke, «Homily 53»)



Collect
O God,
Who founded all the commands of Your sacred Law
upon love of You and of our neighbor,
grant that, by keeping Your precepts,
we may merit to attain eternal life.
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 25: Friday

“A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” (Ecc 3:4)

Saint Gregory of Nyssa (part 2 of the background of Saint Gregory of Nyssa is found here) offers the following insight on this verse from today’s First Reading:

“Scripture refers the term “mourning” to any person subject to passion and who is grieved inwardly. Similarly, dancing signifies intense joy as we learn from the Gospel: “We piped to you, and you did not dance.” History says that the Israelites mourned Moses’ death while David preceded the ark in dance when the Philistines returned it from captivity. David expressed himself in harmonious songs by striking his harp while his feet and body moved to the rhythm which revealed his disposition. Since man’s nature is two-fold, body and soul, mourning is beneficial for our corporeal existence (there are many occasions for affliction in this existence) because it enables us to prepare our souls for this harmonious dancing [of David]. Although we abhor dejection, the occasions for gladness are certainly more numerous. Continence is confining, humility is sad, suffering is burdensome and sorrow cannot equal these. However, “He who humbles himself shall be exalted,” and he who afflicts himself by poverty will be crowned. The person who subjects himself to violence and proves himself worthy through affliction in everything will rest in the patriarch’s [Abraham] bosom. This is our rightful place through the mercy of him who saved us, Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” (Homilies on Ecclesiastes, 6)


Collect
O God,
Who founded all the commands of Your sacred Law
upon love of You and of our neighbor,
grant that, by keeping Your precepts,
we may merit to attain eternal life.
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 25: Thursday

“All rivers flow to the sea, yet never does the sea become full. To the place where they flow, the rivers continue to flow.” (Ecc 1:7)

Saint Gregory of Nyssa (part 2 of the background of Saint Gregory of Nyssa is found here) offers the following insight on this verse from today’s First Reading:

“The sea is a receptacle for water which tends to flow everywhere; water never ceases to flow while the sea never grows larger. What is the goal of the water’s course which always fills the unquenchable sea? What is this influx of water which never fills the ever-constant sea? Ecclesiastes speaks like this that he may explain the insubstantiality of our frenzied pursuits which result from elements constituting man’s existence. If the sun’s course consists in this, it too has no limit; neither is there any succession between day and night, and the earth is condemned to remain ever unmoved. The rivers also labor in vain, for they are consumed by the insatiable sea which receives this constant inflow to no avail. If this is true, what about man who is subject to such elements? Why are we astonished at the rise and fall of a generation which follows a natural course because a generation of men always succeeds the one before it and so forth? What does Ecclesiastes cry out to the church? That you, oh man, who contemplate the universe, should understand your own nature. The wonders you behold in heaven or on earth, the sun or sea, should help explain your human nature. Sunrise and sunset resemble our human nature because they both have in common the one course [circle] of life. When we come into existence, we later return to our natural place. Once our life sets, our light passes under the earth which then lays hold of it.” (Homilies on Ecclesiastes, 1)

Collect
O God,
Who founded all the commands of Your sacred Law
upon love of You and of our neighbor,
grant that, by keeping Your precepts,
we may merit to attain eternal life.
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 25: Wednesday

“He [Jesus] summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases...” (Luke 9:1)

Saint Cyril of Alexandria reflects on this verse from today’s Gospel, writes:

“The grace bestowed upon the holy apostles is worthy of all admiration. But the bountifulness of the Giver surpasses all praise and admiration. He gives them, as I said, his own glory. They receive authority over the evil spirits. They reduce to nothing the pride of the devil that was so highly exalted and arrogant. They render ineffectual the demon’s wickedness. By the might and efficacy of the Holy Spirit, burning them as if they were on fire, they make the devil come forth with groans and weeping from those whom he had possessed.

He glorified his disciples, therefore, by giving them authority and power over the evil spirits and over sicknesses. Did he honor them without reason and make them famous without any logical cause? How can this be true? It was necessary, most necessary, that they should be able to work miracles, having been publicly appointed ministers of sacred proclamations. By means of their works, they then could convince men that they were the ministers of God and mediators of all beneath the heaven. The apostles then could invite them all to reconciliation and justification by faith and point out the way of salvation and of life that is this justification.” (Commentary on Luke, «Homily 47»)


Collect
O God,
Who founded all the commands of Your sacred Law
upon love of You and of our neighbor,
grant that, by keeping Your precepts,
we may merit to attain eternal life.
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 Pius of Pietrelcina —
Ordinary Time Week 25: Tuesday

“My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.?” (Luke 6:21)

Saint Cyril of Alexandria reflects on this verse from today’s Gospel, writes:

“The present lesson teaches us that obedience and listening to God are the causes of every blessing. Some entered and spoke respectfully about Christ’s holy mother and his brothers. He answered in these words, “My mother and my brothers are they who hear the word of God and do it.

Now do not let any one imagine that Christ scorned the honor due to his mother or contemptuously disregarded the love owed to his brothers. He spoke the law by Moses and clearly said, “Honor your father and your mother, that it may be well with you.” How, I ask, could he have rejected the love due to brothers, who even commanded us to love not merely our brothers but also those who are enemies to us? He says, “Love your enemies.” What does Christ want to teach? His object is to exalt highly his love toward those who are willing to bow the neck to his commands. I will explain the way he does this. The greatest honors and the most complete affection are what we all owe to our mothers and brothers. If he says that they who hear his word and do it are his mother and brothers, is it not plain to every one that he bestows on those who follow him a love thorough and worthy of their acceptance? He would make them readily embrace the desire of yielding themselves to his words and of submitting their mind to his yoke, by means of a complete obedience. ” (Commentary on Luke, «Homily 42»)



Collect
Almighty ever-living God,
Who, by a singular grace,
gave the Priest Saint Pius
a share in the Cross of Your Son and,
by means of his ministry,
renewed the wonders of your mercy,
grant that through his intercession
we may be united constantly
to the sufferings of Christ,
and so brought happily
to the glory of the resurrection.
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