Ordinary Time
Friday of the Eleventh Week

“Are they ministers of Christ? (I am talking like an insane person.) I am still more, with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, far worse beatings, and numerous brushes with death.” (II Corinthians (11:23.)

In commenting on these verses from today’s First Reading, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“No one else has been granted such a love of the Lord as this blessed spirit. I mean, as though freed from the body and raised on high, so to say, and not considering himself to tread the earth, he delivers himself of all these remarks. You see, desire for God and burning love elevated his thinking from material things to spiritual, from present to future, from visible to unseen. This is what faith is like, after all, and love of God. For proof of his sound attitude, see this man [St. Paul], with his great love for the Lord and his burning desire for him hunted, persecuted, chastised, suffering countless abuses and exclaiming, “In toils more frequently, in scourgings beyond counting, at death’s door often; at the Jews’ hands I five times received forty lashes bar one; I was thrice beaten with rods; once I was stoned; a day and night I spent adrift at sea, always traveling, at peril from rivers, at peril from false brothers, in toil and hardship” — and while suffering such things he rejoiced and was glad. You see, he was quite convinced that the labors of the present life proved an occasion of great reward for him, and dangers were the source of a crown. After all, if out of love for Rachel Jacob regarded as a few days the period of seven years, much more did this blessed man count it all of no consequence, on fire as he was with love of God and prepared to endure everything for the Christ he loved. Let us too, therefore, I beseech you, be concerned to love Christ. Christ looks for nothing else from you, in fact, Scripture says, than loving him with all your heart and carrying out his commands.” (Homilies on Genesis, 55.)

O God,
from whom all good things come,
grant that we, who call on You in our need,
may at Your prompting discern what is right,
and by Your guidance do it.
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