Voices ever ancient, ever new. Ordinary Time Week 4: Saint Agatha.

“So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.” (Mark 6:5)

In commenting upon this verses from today’s Gospel proclaimed at daily Mass, Origen of Alexandria writes:

“And perhaps, as in the case of metallic substances there exists in some a natural attraction toward some other thing, as in the magnet for iron, and in naphtha for fire, so there is an attraction in such faith toward the divine power according to what Jesus said: “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, ‘Move to another place,’ and it shall be moved.” Matthew and Mark wished to present the all-surpassing value of that divine power as a power that works even in those who do not believe. But they did not deny that grace works even more powerfully among those who have faith. So it seems to me that they accurately said not that the Lord did not do any mighty works because of their unbelief, but that he did not do many there. Mark does not flatly say that he could do no mighty work there at all, and stop at that point, but added, “except that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk and healed them.” Thus the power in him overcame even their unbelief.” (Commentary on Matthew, 10)

May the Virgin Martyr Saint Agatha
implore Your compassion for us, O Lord, we pray,
for she found favor with You
by the courage of her martyrdom
and the merit of her chastity.
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 You Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen!