Voices ever ancient, ever new. Lent, Week 3: Monday

“Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land.” (Luke 4:25)

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

“The Savior deliberately explains why he performed no miracles of virtue in his own country, to prevent someone from thinking that we should value affection for our country very little. He who loved all could not but love his fellow citizens. But those who envy his country deprive themselves of love, for “love does not envy, it is not puffed up.” Yet his country does not lack divine blessings. Isn’t it a greater miracle that Christ was born there? So, you see what measure of evil envy brings. His country is found unworthy because of envy, the country in which he toiled as a citizen, which was worthy that the Son of God be born there.” (Exposition of the Gospel of Luke, 4)

May your unfailing compassion, O Lord,
cleanse and protect your Church,
and, since without you she cannot stand secure,
may she be always governed by your grace.
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.