ORDINARY TIME, Week 34: Saturday



“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise...” (Luke 21:34.)

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

“But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare.” You heard the proclamation of the eternal King. You learned the deplorable end of “drunkenness” or “intoxication.” Imagine a skilled and wise physician who would say, “Beware, no one should drink too much from this or that herb. If he does, he will suddenly be destroyed.” I do not doubt that everyone would keep the prescriptions of the physician’s warning concerning his own health. Now the Lord, who is both the physician of souls and bodies, orders them to avoid as a deadly drink the herb “of drunkenness” and the vice “of intoxication” and also the care of worldly matters. I do not know if any one can say that he is not wounded, because these things consume him.

Drunkenness is therefore destructive in all things. It is the only thing that weakens the soul together with the body. According to the apostle, it can happen that when the body “is weak,” then the spirit is “much stronger,” and when “the exterior person is destroyed, the interior person is renewed.” In the illness of drunkenness, the body and the soul are destroyed at the same time. The spirit is corrupted equally with the flesh. All the members are weakened: the feet and the hands. The tongue is loosened. Darkness covers the eyes. Forgetfulness covers the mind so that one does not know himself nor does he perceive he is a person. Drunkenness of the body has that shamefulness.” (Homilies on Leviticus, 7.)




Collect
Stir up the will of Your faithful,
we pray, O Lord,
that, striving more eagerly
to bring Your divine work to fruitful completion,
they may receive in greater measure
the healing remedies Your kindness bestows.
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