Monday of Week XXIII

“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church.” (Colossians 1:24.)

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

“And the contest must be waged not only to escape denial of our faith but also to escape feeling the first inclination to shame when we are thought by those alien to God to be suffering what deserves shame. This is especially true of you, holy Ambrose, who have been honored and welcomed by a great many cities, if now, as it were, you go in procession bearing the cross of Jesus and following him…. His purpose is to go with you and to give you speech and wisdom—and to you, Protoctetus, his fellow contestant, and to you others who suffer martyrdom with them and complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.” (Exhortation to Martyrdom, 36.)

O God,
by Whom we are redeemed and receive adoption,
look graciously upon
Your beloved sons and daughters,
that those who believe in Christ
may receive true freedom
and an everlasting inheritance.
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