— Saint Agnes —
Ordinary Time Week 2: Wednesday

“Without father, mother, or ancestry, without beginning of days or end of life, thus made to resemble the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.” (Hebrews 7:3)

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

Let no one claim Divinity resides in an order established by human beings when he encounters such an order. For the church does not consider even Melchizedek, by whose office Abraham offered sacrifice, an angel. It rather considers him a holy man and priest of God who, prefiguring our Lord, is described as “without father or mother, without history of his descent, without beginning and without end.” It does this in order to show beforehand the coming into this world of the eternal Son of God who was likewise incarnate and then brought forth without any father, begotten as God without mother, and was without his tory of descent. For it is written: “Who shall declare his generation?”

This Melchizedek, then, we have received as a priest of God based upon the model of Christ. However, the one we regard as the type, the other as the original. Now, a type is a shadow of the truth. We have accepted the royalty of the one [Melchizedek] in the name of a single city [Jerusalem], but that of the other [Jesus] as shown in the reconciliation of the whole world. For it is written: “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself,” that is to say, the eternal Godhead was in Christ. Or, if the Father is in the Son, even as the Son is in the Father, then their unity in both nature and operation is plainly not denied.” (On the Christian Faith, 3)

Almighty ever-living God,
Who choose what is weak in the world
to confound the strong,
mercifully grant, that we,
who celebrate the heavenly birthday
of Your Martyr Saint Agnes,
may follow her constancy in the faith.
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