Ordinary Time
Monday of the Fifteenth Week

“... making life bitter for them with hard labor, at mortar and brick and all kinds of field work — cruelly oppressed in all their labor.” (Exodus 1:14)

Origen of Alexandria (part 2 of Pope Benedict’s reflections on Origen) comments on this verse from the First Reading proclaimed at Mass today:

“Perhaps it is in this sense that God is said to have hardened the heart of Pharaoh, because the substance of his heart was obviously such as to elicit from the Sun of justice not his illumination but his power to harden and to scorch. That no doubt was the reason why this same Pharaoh afflicted the life of the Hebrews with hard work and wore them out with clay and bricks. And certainly the works that he devised came from a heart as miry and muddy! And as the visible sun contracts and hardens the substance of clay, so with the same rays by which he enlightened the people of Israel and by means of those rays’ same properties the Sun of justice hardened the heart of Pharaoh that harbored muddy devices” (Commentary on the Song of Songs, 2)

O God,
Who show the light of Your truth
to those who go astray,
so that they may return
to the right path,
give all who for the faith they profess
are accounted Christians
the grace to reject whatever
is contrary to the name of Christ
and to strive after all that does it honor.
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