ORDINARY TIME, Week 1: Thursday

“Encourage yourselves daily while it is still “today,” so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin.” (Hebrews 3:13)

In commenting upon this verse from today’s First Reading, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“From hardness comes unbelief. As in bodies the parts that have become callous and hard do not yield to the hands of the physicians, so also souls that are hardened yield not to the Word of God. For it is probable that some even disbelieved those things which had already been done; hence he says, “Take heed.” Because the argument from the future is not so persuasive as from the past, he reminds them of the history in which they had lacked faith. For if your fathers, he says, because they did not hope as they ought to have hoped, suffered these things, much more will you. To them also is this word addressed, for “today,” he says, is “ever,” so long as the world lasts. Therefore, “exhort one another daily, as long as it is called ‘today.’” That is, edify one another, raise yourselves up, lest the same things should befall you. “Lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Do you see that sin produces unbelief? For as unbelief brings forth an evil life, so also a soul, “when it is come into a depth of evils, becomes contemptuous”1 and, having become contemptuous, it endures not even to believe, in order thereby to free itself from fear.” (On the Epistle to the Hebrews, 6)

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. Amen.

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