Saturday of Week XXIII

“This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost.” (1 Timothy 1:15.)

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

“Moreover, Paul says in the Epistle to Timothy, even though he himself had later become an apostle of Jesus, “this is a faithful saying, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” For some unknown reason he [Celsus] forgot or did not think of saying anything about Paul, who after Jesus established the churches in Christ. Why then is it outrageous if Jesus, wanting to show mankind the extent of his ability to heal souls, chose infamous and most wicked men and led them on so far that they were an example of the purest moral character to those who were converted by them to the gospel of Christ?” (Against Celsus, 1.)

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