ORDINARY TIME, Week 1: Tuesday

“You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor ...” (Hebrews 2:7)

Saint Gregory of Nyssa (part 2 of the background of Saint Gregory of Nyssa is found here) offers the following insight on this verse from today’s First Reading:

“When, according to the prophetic word, people were alienated from the life-giving womb through sin and went astray from the womb in which they were fashioned, they spoke falsehood instead of truth. Because of this, the Mediator, assuming the first fruit of our common nature, made it holy through his soul and body, unmixed and unreceptive of all evil, preserving it in himself. He did this in order that, having taken it up to the Father of incorruptibility through his own incorruptibility, the entire group might be drawn along with it because of their related nature, in order that the Father might admit the disinherited to “adoption” as children and the enemies of God to a share in the Godhead. And just as the first fruit of the dough was assimilated through purity and innocence to the true Father and God, so we also as dough in similar ways will cleave to the Father of incorruptibility by imitating, as far as we can, the innocence and stability of the Mediator. Thus, we shall be a crown of precious stones for the only begotten God, having become an honor and a glory through our life. For Paul says, “Having made himself a little lower than the angels because of his having suffered death, he made those whose nature had previously become thorny through sin into a crown for himself, transforming the thorn through suffering into honor and glory.” And yet, once he has “taken away the sins of the world” and taken upon his head a crown of thorns in order to weave a crown of “honor and glory,” there is no small danger that someone may be discovered to be a burr and a thorn because of his evil life, and then be placed in the middle of the Master’s crown because of sharing in his body. The just voice speaks directly to this one: “How did you get in here without a wedding garment? How were you, a thorn, woven in with those fitted into my crown through honor and glory?” (On Perfection, 8)

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