Ordinary Time Week 24: Friday

“... Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.” (Luke 8:3)

Saint Augustine of Hippo comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

If anyone does not believe that wherever they preached the gospel the apostles brought women of holy life with them, so that these women might minister the necessities of life to them from their abundance, let him hear the Gospel and realize that the apostles did this by the example of our Lord himself. (The Work of Monks, 5)


Collect
Look upon us, O God,
Creator and ruler of all things,
and, that we may feel the working of your mercy,
grant that we may serve you with all our heart.
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 24: Thursday

“... she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.” (Luke 7:38)

Saint Peter Chrysologus comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at today’s Mass:

“With her hands of good works, she holds the feet of those who preach his kingdom. She washes them with tears of charity, kisses them with praising lips, and pours out the whole ointment of mercy, until he will turn her. This means that he will come back to her and say to Simon, to the Pharisees, to those who deny, to the nation of the Jews, “I came into your house. You gave me no water for my feet.”

When will he speak these words? He will speak them when he will come in the majesty of his Father and separate the righteous from the unrighteous like a shepherd who separates the sheep from the goats. He will say, “I was hungry, and you did not give me to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink. I was a stranger, and you did not take me in.”11 This is equivalent to saying, “But this woman, while she was bathing my feet, anointing them and kissing them, did to the servants what you did not do for the Master.” She did for the feet what you refused to the Head. She expended upon the lowliest members what you refused to your Creator. Then he will say to the church, “Your sins, many as they are, are forgiven you because you have loved much.”” (Sermon 95)


Collect
Look upon us, O God,
Creator and ruler of all things,
and, that we may feel the working of your mercy,
grant that we may serve you with all our heart.
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 24: Wednesday

“But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.” (Luke 7:35)

Saint Augustine of Hippo comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

The Lord made a truly necessary addition to these words when he said, “And wisdom is justified by her children.” If you ask who those children are, read what is written, “The sons of wisdom are the church of the just. (Letter 36)


Collect
Look upon us, O God,
Creator and ruler of all things,
and, that we may feel the working of your mercy,
grant that we may serve you with all our heart.
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





— Saints Cornelius and Cyprian —
Ordinary Time Week 24: Tuesday

“When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, “Do not weep.”” (Luke 7:13)

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

“Although there is grave sin that you cannot wash away yourself with the tears of your penitence, let the mother of the church weep for you. She who intercedes for all as a widowed mother for only sons is she who suffers with the spiritual grief of nature when she perceives her children urged on to death by mortal sins. We are heart of her heart, for there is also a spiritual heart that Paul has, saying, “Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.” We are the heart of the church, since we are members of his Body, of his flesh and of his bones.6 Let the pious mother grieve, let the crowd, too, help. Let not only the crowd but also a multitude feel pity for a good parent. Already at the funeral you will arise, already will you be released from the sepulcher; the attendants at your funeral will stand still, you will begin to speak words of life, all will be afraid; for very many are corrected by the example of one. They will praise God, who has bestowed upon us such great help for the avoidance of death.” (Exposition of the Gospel of Luke, 5)


Collect
O God, Who gave
Saints Cornelius and Cyprian to your people
as diligent shepherds and valiant Martyrs,
grant that through their intercession
we may be strengthened in faith and constancy
and spend ourselves without reserve
for the unity of the Church.
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





Our Lady of Sorrows
Ordinary Time Week 24: Monday

“Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.” (John 19:25)

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

“Mary, the mother of the Lord, stood by her Son’s cross. No one has taught me this but the holy Evangelist John. Others have related how the earth was shaken at the Lord’s passion, the sky was covered with darkness, the sun withdrew itself and how the thief was, after a faithful confession, received into paradise. John tells us what the others have not told, how the Lord while fixed on the cross called to his mother. He thought it was more important that, victorious over his sufferings, Jesus gave her the offices of piety than that he gave her a heavenly kingdom. For if it is the mark of religion to grant pardon to the thief, it is a mark of much greater piety that a mother is honored with such affection by her Son. “Behold,” he says, “your son.” “Behold your mother.” Christ testified from the cross and divided the offices of piety between the mother and the disciple.

Nor was Mary below what was becoming the mother of Christ. When the apostles fled, she stood at the cross and with pious eyes beheld her Son’s wounds. For she did not look to the death of her offspring but to the salvation of the world. Or perhaps, because that “royal hall” knew that the redemption of the world would be through the death of her Son, she thought that by her death she also might add something to that universal gift. But Jesus did not need a helper for the redemption of all, who saved all without a helper. This is why he says, “I am counted among those who go down to the pit. I am like those who have no help.” He received indeed the affection of his mother but sought not another’s help. Imitate her, holy mothers, who in her only dearly beloved Son set forth so great an example of maternal virtue. For neither have you sweeter children, nor did the Virgin seek the consolation of being able to bear another son” (Letter 63)


Collect
O God, who willed
that, when your Son
was lifted high on the Cross,
his Mother should stand close by
and share his suffering,
grant that your Church,
participating with the Virgin Mary
in the Passion of Christ,
may merit a share in his Resurrection.
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 Exaltation of the Holy Cross —

“And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up ...” (John 3:14)

In commenting on this verse from the Gospel according to Saint John from today’s Mass Readings, Saint Justin writes:

“It seems that the type and sign that was erected to counteract the serpents that bit Israel was intended for the salvation of those who believe that death was declared to come thereafter on the serpent through him who would be crucified. But salvation was to come to those who had been bitten by him and had committed themselves to him who sent his Son into the world to be crucified. For the Spirit of prophecy by Moses did not teach us to believe in the serpent, since it shows us that he was cursed by God from the beginning. And in Isaiah he tells us that he shall be put to death as an enemy by the mighty sword, which is Christ.

By this [lifting up of the serpent], he proclaimed the mystery where he declared that he would break the power of the serpent, which occasioned the transgression of Adam. He [would bring] salvation to those who believe on him because of this sign (i.e., his crucifixion) — salvation from the fangs of the serpent, which are wicked deeds, idolatries and other unrighteous acts. . . . Just as God commanded the sign to be made by the brazen serpent—and yet he is blameless — even so, though a curse lies in the law against persons who are crucified, yet no curse lies on the Christ of God, by whom all that have committed things worthy of a curse are saved.” (Dialogue with Trypho,, 94.)



Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. Pope Benedict XVI reflected on this Feast during the Angelus of 11 September 2005.

An excerpt from a discourse on the Exaltation of the Cross by Saint Andrew of Crete appears in today’s Liturgy of the Hours, Office of Readings.




Collect
O God,
Who willed that your Only Begotten Son
should undergo the Cross to save the human race,
grant, we pray,
that we, who have known his mystery on earth,
may merit the grace of his redemption 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.


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 John Chrysostom —
Bishop and Father of the Church
Ordinary Time Week 23: Saturday

“A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.” (Luke 6:43)

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

“The good tree” is the Holy Spirit. The “bad tree” is the devil and his underlings. The person who has the Holy Spirit manifests the fruits of the Spirit, which the apostle describes when he says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.” The one who has the opposing power brings forth briars and thistles, the passions of dishonor.” (Fragments on Luke, 112)



Collect
O God,
strength of those who hope in you,
who willed that the Bishop Saint John Chrysostom
should be illustrious by his wonderful eloquence
and his experience of suffering,
grant us, we pray,
that, instructed by his teachings,
we may be strengthened through the example
of his invincible patience.
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 23: Friday

“And he told them a parable, “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit?” (Luke 6:39)

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

“This parable he added as a most necessary attachment to what had been said. The blessed disciples were about to be the initiators and teachers of the world. It was necessary for them therefore to prove themselves possessed of everything piety requires. They must know the pathway of the evangelic mode of life and be workmen ready for every good work. They must be able to bestow upon well-instructed hearers such correct and saving teaching as exactly represents the truth. This they must do, as having already first received their sight and a mind illuminated with the divine light, lest they should be blind leaders of the blind. It is not possible for those enveloped in the darkness of ignorance to guide those who are afflicted in the same way into the knowledge of the truth. Should they attempt it, they will both roll into the ditch of carelessness.

He overthrew the bragging passion of boastfulness, which most give way, that they may not enviously strive to surpass their teachers in honor. He added, “The disciple is not above his teacher.” Even if some make such progress, as to attain to a virtue that rivals that of their teachers, they will range themselves no higher than their level and be their imitators. Paul shall again support us. He says, “Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ.” (Commentary on Luke, «Homily 29»)


Collect
O God,
by Whom we are redeemed and receive adoption,
look graciously
upon Your beloved sons and daughters,
that those who believe in Christ
may receive true freedom
and an everlasting inheritance.
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 23: Thursday

“Be merciful, just as [also] your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:26)

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

“The traces of the divine image are clearly recognized not through the likeness of the body, which undergoes corruption, but through the intelligence of the soul. We see the divine image in its righteousness, temperance, courage, wisdom, discipline, and through the entire chorus of virtues that are present essentially in God. These can be in people through effort and the imitation of God, as also the Lord points out in the Gospel when he says, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” and “Be perfect, as your Father is perfect.” (On First Principles, 4)



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 23: Wednesday

“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man.” (Luke 6:23)

Saint Gregory of Nyssa offers the following insight on this verse from today's Gospel:

“The Christian who has advanced by means of good discipline and the gift of the Spirit to the measure of the age of reason experiences glory and pleasure and enjoyment that is greater than any human pleasure. These come to one after grace is given to him, after being hated because of Christ, being driven, and enduring every insult and shame in behalf of his faith in God. For such a person, whose entire life centers on the resurrection and future blessings, every insult and scourging and persecution and the other sufferings leading up to the cross are all pleasure and refreshment and surety of heavenly treasures. For Jesus says, “Blessed are you when men reproach you and persecute you and, speaking falsely, say all manner of evil against you; for my sake rejoice and exult because your reward is great in heaven.” (On the Christian Mode of Life)


Collect
O God,
by Whom we are redeemed and receive adoption,
look graciously
upon Your beloved sons and daughters,
that those who believe in Christ
may receive true freedom
and an everlasting inheritance.
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