ORDINARY TIME, Week 1: Saturday

“Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12.)

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

“Jesus endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and therefore is seated at the right hand of God.38 And those who imitate him by disregarding the shame shall sit with him and rule in the heavens with him, who came not to bring peace upon the earth but upon the souls of his followers and to bring a sword upon the earth. Since “the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart,” this word above all now bestows on our souls the prize of that peace which surpasses all understanding, which he left to his apostles. And it brings a sword between the earthly image and the heavenly in order that when he receives our heavenly image we may be made fully heavenly, if we are worthy not to be cut in two.” (Exhortation to Martyrdom, 37.)

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