Saint Ignatius of Antioch

“For this reason, it depends on faith, so that it may be a gift, and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants, not to those who only adhere to the law but to those who follow the faith of Abraham, who is the father of all of us ...” (Romans 4:16.)

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

“It might appear from this that faith is not a free gift of God but that it must first be offered to him by man in order for grace to be given in return. But consider what the apostle teaches about this elsewhere. For when he lists the gifts of the Spirit, which he says are given to believers according to the measure of faith, there among the rest he asserts that the gift of faith is also given. Therefore faith is given by grace. If the promise rested on works, it would not be guaranteed. But now it is guaranteed because it rests on grace, not on works. I think this can be understood to mean that the things of the law are external to us, but the things of grace are internal and therefore they have a firmer foundation.” (Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans)

Almighty ever-living God,
who adorn the sacred body of your Church
with the confessions of holy Martyrs,
grant, we pray, that, just as the
glorious passion of Saint Ignatius of Antioch,
which we celebrate today,
brought him eternal splendor,
so it may be for us unending protection.
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