Ordinary Time Week 3: Tuesday

“Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come,* and not the very image of them, it can never make perfect those who come to worship by the same sacrifices that they offer continually each year.” (Hebrews 10:1)

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

“The way which seems right to us for understanding the Scriptures and the investigation of their meaning, we consider to be the following: we are instructed by Scripture itself regarding the ideas that we ought to form of it. In the Proverbs of Solomon we find just such instruction for the examination of holy Scripture. “For your part,” he says, “describe these things to yourself in a threefold manner in counsel and knowledge, that you may answer words of truth to those who question you.” Each one, then, ought to describe in his own mind, in a threefold manner, the understanding of the divine letters, that is, so that the simple may be edified, so to speak, by the very body of Scripture; for that is what we call the common and historical meaning. But if some have begun to make considerable progress and are able to see something more than that, they may be edified by the very soul of Scripture. And those who are perfect and resemble those of whom the apostle says, “We speak wisdom among them that are perfect, but not the wisdom of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, who are doomed to pass away. But we speak the wisdom of God, hidden in a mystery, which God has decreed before the ages for our glorification.” Such people may be edified by the spiritual law which has a shadow of the good things to come, edified as if by the Spirit. For just as man is said to consist of body, and soul and spirit, so also does sacred Scripture, which has been granted by God’s gracious dispensation for the salvation of man.” (On First Principles, 4)

Almighty ever-living God,
direct our actions
according to your good pleasure,
that in the name of your beloved Son
we may abound in good works.
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 the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen