Voices ever ancient, ever new. Our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe

Saint Ephrem the Syrian
“Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.”” (Luke 23:39)

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

“One robber said, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us with you!” The Lord however did not take him down from the cross as he asked, in order to exalt the other robber on the right of the cross and who was believing in the crucified Savior. It would have been easy for him to use a miracle to conquer anyone as a disciple. He produced a more powerful miracle when he forced the scoffer of truth to adore him. That is why the apostle said, “That which is the weakness of God is stronger than human beings.” He submitted all peoples to the weakness of the cross. Stretch out your arms toward the cross, so that the crucified Lord may stretch out his arms toward you. The one who does not stretch out his hand toward the cross cannot approach his table either. He will deprive of his table the guests who should have come to him hungry but instead came full. Do not fill yourself before going to the table of the Son. He might then make you leave the table while you are still hungry." (Commentary on Tatian's Diatessaron, 20)

Almighty ever-living God,
Whose will is to restore all things
in your beloved Son, the King of the universe,
grant, we pray, that the whole creation,
set free from slavery,
may render your majesty service and
ceaselessly proclaim your praise.
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 You Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia!