Ordinary Time
Thursday of the Nineteenth Week

“Then the LORD said to Joshua: Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.” (Joshua 3:7.)

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

“What great things were manifested before! The Red Sea was crossed on foot, manna was given from heaven, springs were burst open in the wilderness, the law was given through Moses. Many signs and marvels were performed in the wilderness, but nowhere is it said that Jesus [Joshua] was “exalted.” But where the Jordan is crossed, there it is said to Jesus [Joshua], “In this day I am beginning to exalt you in the sight of the people.” Indeed, Jesus is not exalted before the mystery of baptism. But his exaltation, even his exaltation in the sight of the people, assumes a beginning from then on. If “all who are baptized [into Christ Jesus] are baptized into his death,” and the death of Jesus is made complete by the exaltation of the cross, deservedly then, Jesus is first exalted for each of the faithful when that person arrives at the mystery of baptism. Because thus it is written that “God exalted him and gave him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth, and below the earth.” (Homilies on Joshua, 4.)

Almighty ever-living God,
Whom, taught by the Holy Spirit,
we dare to call our Father,
bring, we pray, to perfection in our hearts
the spirit of adoption as Your sons and daughters,
that we may merit to enter into the inheritance
which You have promised.
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