Easter: Saturday of the Fourth Week
— Saint Athanasius of Alexandria —

“For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth.” (Acts of the Apostles 13:47)

In commenting on this verse from today’s First Reading, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“It was necessary,” he says, “that the word should be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it from you.” Not an affront, but the same thing they had also done in the case of the prophets, “Speak not to us,” said they, “with talk.” “Since you thrust it from you,” he says, not “us.” For the affront from you was not against us. To prevent anyone from thinking “you judge yourselves unworthy” was an expression of their piety, [Paul] says first, “you thrust it from you,” and then “we turn to the Gentiles.” Full of great gentleness are these words. He did not say, “we abandon you,” but so that it is possible, he says, that we may turn to here again. And this was not the result of your affront, “for so the Lord has commanded us.” Then why have you not done this? There was indeed need that the Gentiles should hear. But the “before you” came about not from us but from you. “For so the Lord has commanded us. ‘I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation.’” That is, to be the knowledge to salvation. And not only for the Gentiles but for all who were ordained to eternal life. This is also a proof that it was in accordance with the mind of God that they received the Gentiles.” (Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, 30)

Almighty ever-living God,
who raised up the Bishop Saint Athanasius
as an outstanding champion of your Son’s divinity,
mercifully grant,
that, rejoicing in his teaching and his protection,
we may never cease to grow in knowledge and love of you.
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.

The Lord is risen. Alleluia!
He is risen, indeed. Alleluia!

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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