— The Lord’s Day —
Lent: Sunday of the Fourth Week

“But how could we sing a song of the LORD in a foreign land?” (Psalms 137:4)

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus reflects on this verse from today’s Psalm:

“Certainly not, friends and brethren — I still call you “brethren,” though your attitude is not brotherly — do not let us accept such a view. We must not be like fiery, unruly horses, throwing reason our rider and spitting out the bit of discretion that so usefully restrains us, and running wide of the turning post. Let us conduct our debates within our fron tiers and not be carried away to Egypt or dragged off to Assyria. Let us not “sing the song of the Lord in a foreign land,” by which I mean before any and every audience, heathen or Christian, friend or foe, sympathetic or hostile: these keep all too close a watch on us, and they would wish that the spark of our dissensions might become a conflagration; they kindle it, they fan it, by means of its own draught they raise it to the skies, and without our knowing what they are up to, they make it higher than the flames of Babylon that blazed all around. Having no strength in their own teaching, they hunt for it in our weakness, and for this reason like flies settling on wounds, they settle on our misfortune — or should I say our mistakes? Let us be blind to our doings no longer, and let us not neglect the proprieties in these matters. If we cannot resolve our disputes outright, let us at least make this mutual concession, to utter spiritual truths with the restraint due to them, to discuss holy things in a holy manner and not be broadcast to profane hearing what is not to be divulged.” (Against the Eunomians [Theological Oration 1], 27)

O God,
Who through your Word
reconcile the human race
to Yourself in a wonderful way,
grant, we pray,
that with prompt devotion and eager faith
the Christian people may hasten
toward the solemn celebrations to come.
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