Saint Clare of Assisi

“When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.” (Matthew 18:24.)

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

“The moment of beginning the reckoning starts with the household of God, as is it written in Ezekiel: “Begin at my sanctuary.” This judgment begins as quickly as the twinkling of an eye. In thinking of the demanding of accounts, let us not forget what we have said before, that these accounts are spiritually conceived. And the moment of demand begins understandably with those who owe the most. This is why the passage does not begin generally with a reckoning of all accounts but a specific one: one was brought to him. Here is the moment. He is beginning to demand an account of one who owed him ten thousand talents! It is as if the servant had lost a vast amount and much had been loaned and entrusted to him but had brought no gain to his master. Rather, he ended up losing a vast sum so as to owe him an incredible debt of talents. Remembering the prophet Zechariah, it may be that he owed so many talents for this reason: he had often sought out the woman hidden in a barrel with a lead cover, whose name is Iniquity.” (Commentary on Matthew, 14.)

O God,
Who in Your mercy led Saint Clare
to a love of poverty,
grant, through her intercession,
that, following Christ in poverty of spirit,
we may merit to contemplate You
one day in the heavenly Kingdom.
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