— St Augustine, Bishop & Doctor of the Church —
Ordinary Time Week 21: Thursday

“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time?” (Matthew 24:45)

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

“We should understand the phrase “faithful and wise servant” as referring to a person who is faithful in the customary sense of the term, not as referring to those who are wise or clever by natural endowment. Many who are clever and wise are not at all faithful. For instance, whoever considers the great number of people who fancy themselves Christians will discover many who are faithful and who have great zeal for the faith but are not very wise. He will thus conclude that “the sons of this world are wiser in their own generation,” knowing that “God chose the foolish of the world to confound the wise.” He will also see that others who are thought to be believers are clever and wise enough but of only limited faith. If they are not unfaithful, they are certainly at least less faithful than the “foolish of the world” whom “God chose.” But it is rare for faithfulness and wisdom to coincide in one person to enable him to “give his fellow servants their food at the proper time.” He needs wisdom to give food to the needy “at the proper time” and faith to refrain from keeping the food for himself in time of need.” (Commentary on Matthew, 61)

Renew in your Church, we pray, O Lord,
the spirit with which you endowed
your Bishop Saint Augustine
that, filled with the same spirit,
we may thirst for you,
the sole fount of true wisdom,
and seek you, the author of heavenly love.
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

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