Week 15: Saturday

“When Jesus became aware of this, he departed. Many crowds followed him, and he cured all of them...” (Matthew 12:15.)

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

To the extent that one draws near to Jesus, one does not hold counsel, for no counselor of evil things draws near to Jesus. But when others go out, departing from Jesus, they hold counsel to destroy Jesus, to destroy the Light, the good Way, the Life, the Treasure, the Pearl, Love itself and Peace. If anyone destroys these, he is called a “son of destruction.” But “Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there.” He had no reason to remain around the sons of destruction. They sought to destroy him, but we, who were not seeking, have found him. This recalls the words of the prophet: “I am found by those who do not seek for me; I have been made manifest to those who were not asking after me.” For he came “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” who had forgotten their own Shepherd. So Jesus withdraws, not fearing their judgment but to dispel evil. And, lest anyone should suppose that it was through fear that he had withdrawn, Jesus healed everyone, displaying his almighty power. But, as one who does what is fitting, without pride, he sent them away, telling them not to publicize this.” (Fragment, 252.)

O God,
Who show the light of your truth
to those who go astray,
so that they may return to the right path,
give all who for the faith they profess
are accounted Christians
the grace to reject whatever is contrary
to the name of Christ
and to strive after all that does it honor.
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