Week 1: Monday

“There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim. His name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.” (1 Samuel 1:1.)

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

“Is not this very thing a reason for praising the just person, that one can say of him: “There was one man?” We who are still sinners cannot acquire that title of praise because each of us is not one but many. For looking at me is the face of one who is now angry, and then sad, a little later happy, and then disturbed and then gentle, at times concerned with the things of God and actions leading to eternal life, but shortly after doing things based on greed or the glory of this world. You can see, then, that he who was thought to be one is not one at all; but there seem to be as many persons in him as there are customs. But as for the just, not only is each said to be one but they are, all together, said to be one. And why shouldn’t they all be called one, who were described as being of “one heart and soul?” They constantly contemplate one wisdom, are of one affection and disposition, reverence one God, confess one Jesus Christ as Lord, are filled with one Spirit of God. They are rightly called not just one [thing] but “one person,” as the apostle indicated when he said, “All the runners compete, but only one receives the prize.” (Homilies on 1 Kings)

Attend to the pleas of your people
with heavenly care,
O Lord, we pray,
that they may see what must be done
and gain strength
to do what they have seen.
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