MEMORIAL: Pope Saint Leo the Great

“Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he said in reply, “The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed...” (Luke 17:20.)

Saint Cyril of Alexandria comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

“These miserable men ask in mockery, “When will the kingdom of God come?” This is like saying, “Before this kingdom of which you speak comes, cross and death will seize you.” What does Christ reply? He again displays his long-suffering and incomparable love to humanity. Reviled, he does not revile again. Suffering, he does not threaten.1 He does not harshly scold them, but because of their wickedness, he does not stoop to give them an answer to their question. He says only what is for the benefit of all people: that the kingdom of God does not come by watching. “Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” He says, “Do not ask about the times in which the season of the kingdom of heaven will again arise and come. Rather, be eager that you may be found worthy of it. It is within you. That is, it depends on your own wills and is in your own power, whether or not you receive it. Everyone that has attained to justification by means of faith in Christ and decorated by every virtue is counted worthy of the kingdom of heaven.”” (Commentary on Luke, Homily 117)

O God, who never allow the gates of hell
to prevail against Your Church,
firmly founded on the apostolic rock,
grant Her, we pray,
that through the intercession of Pope Saint Leo,
She may stand firm in Your truth
and know the protection of lasting peace.
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