— The Lord’s Day —

Sunday of Week XXXII

Saint Ephrem the Syrian
“He arose and went to Zarephath. When he arrived at the entrance of the city, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called out to her, “Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink.” (1 Kings 17:10.)

Saint Ephrem the Syrian offers the following insight on these verses from today’s First Reading:

“God sends Elijah to a city of [Gentile] people in order to change his hardness into mercy. He who had given him power over rain and dew did not want to withdraw by force what he had granted him. He wanted, nevertheless, to help the world which was tormented by starvation, but only with the consent of his servant. That is why he sends to the big city of Zarephath Elijah, who had stayed hidden to that time in the valley of Cherith, so that he may see with his own eyes the distress of its inhabitants, even though they had given no cause for that suffering, as they had not participated in the rebellion of Ahab. And even if they did not observe the law of Moses, they did not ridicule it, because they did not know it.” (On the First Book of Kings, 17.)

Almighty and merciful God,
graciously keep from us all adversity,
so that, unhindered in mind and body alike,
we may pursue in freedom of heart
the things that are Yours.
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