— Saint James, Apostle —

“But we hold this treasure* in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.” (II Corinthians 4:7.)

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

“But just as divine providence is not proved to be a fiction, particularly for those who are convinced of its existence, because its workings and arrangements are beyond the comprehension of human minds, so neither will the divine inspiration of holy Scripture, which extends through its entire body, be supposed to be nonexistent because the weakness of our understanding cannot discover the deep and hidden thoughts in every sentence. For the treasure of divine wisdom is concealed in vessels of poor and humble words, as the apostle points out when he says: “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the greatness of the divine power may shine forth the more,” when no taint of human eloquence is mingled with the truth of the doctrines.” (On First Principles, 4)

Almighty ever-living God,
who consecrated the
first fruits of your Apostles
by the blood of Saint James,
grant, we pray,
that your Church may be strengthened
by his confession of faith and constantly sustained by his prayers.
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