Saint Agnes

“... The women played and sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, David his tens of thousands.” (I Samuel 18:7.)

Saint Basil the Great offers the following insight on this verse from today's First Reading:

“Why do you grieve, my friend, when you yourself have suffered no misfortune? Why are you hostile to someone who is enjoying prosperity, when he has in no way caused your own possessions to decrease? If you are vexed even upon receiving a kindness [from the object of your spite], are you not quite clearly envious of your own good? Saul is an example of this. He made David’s great favors to himself a motive for enmity with him. First, after he had been cured of insanity by the divine and melodious strains of David’s harp, he attempted to run his benefactor through with a spear. Then, on another occasion, it happened that he and his army were delivered from the hands of the enemy and saved from embarrassment before Goliath. In singing the triumphal songs commemorating this victory, however, the dancers attributed to David a tenfold greater share in the achievement, saying, “Saul killed his thousands and David his ten thousands.” For this one utterance and because truth itself was its witness, Saul first attempted murder and tried to slay David by treachery, then forced him to flee.” (Concerning Envy)

Almighty ever-living God,
Who choose what is weak in the world
to confound the strong,
mercifully grant,
that we, who celebrate the heavenly birthday
of Your Martyr Saint Agnes,
may follow her constancy in the faith. 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