— Saint John Bosco —
Ordinary Time Week 3: Saturday

“So it was that there came forth from one man, himself as good as dead, descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore.” (Hebrews 11:12)

Saint Gregory of Nyssa (part 2 of the background of Saint Gregory of Nyssa is found here) offers the following insight on this verse from today’s First Reading:

“Let [the one who is waiting for the Lord’s second coming] therefore wait for that time then which is, necessarily, in the same time frame as the development of humanity. For even while Abraham and the patriarchs desired to see the promised better things, they did not stop seeking the heavenly country. This is what the apostle says when he declares that even now they are in a condition of hoping for that grace: “God having provided some better thing for us,” according to the words of Paul, “that they without us should not be made perfect.” If those then, who by faith alone and by hope saw the good things “afar off ” and “embraced them”—if they bear the delay as the apostle bears witness, and if they place the certainty that they will enjoy the things for which they hoped in the fact that they “judged him faithful who has promised,” what should the rest of us do who perhaps do not have a grasp of that better hope from the character of our own lives?

Even the prophet’s soul fainted with desire, and in his psalm he confesses this passionate love, saying that his “soul has a desire and longing to be in the courts of the Lord.” [He still has this desire] even if he has to be demoted to a place amongst the lowest, since it is a greater and more desirable thing to be last there than to be first among the ungodly tents of this life. Nevertheless he was patient during the delay, considering, indeed, the life there blessed, and accounting a brief participation in it more desirable than “thousands”[of days] of time. For, he says, “one day in your courts is better than thousands.” And yet, he did not become dejected at the necessary dispensation concerning existing things. He thought it was sufficient bliss for a person to have those good things even by way of hope. This is why he says at the end of the psalm, “O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that hopes in you.” (On the Making of Man, 22)

O God,
who raised up the Priest Saint John Bosco
as a father and teacher of the young,
grant, we pray,
that, aflame with the same fire of love,
we may seek out souls and serve you alone.
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