Saturday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

“When they came to the crowd a man approached, knelt down before him ...” (Matthew 17:14.)

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

”If every disease and weakness which our Savior cured at that time among the people represents different symptoms in the soul, it stands to reason that by the paralytics are symbolized the palsied in soul, who keep it lying paralyzed in the body. By those who are blind are symbolized those who are blind in respect of things seen by the soul alone,1 and these are really blind. And by the deaf are symbolized those who are deaf in regard to the reception of the word of salvation. On the same principle it will be necessary that the matters regarding the epileptic should be investigated. This disease attacks those who suffer from it at considerable intervals, during which time he who suffers from it seems in no way to differ from the man in good health, at the season when the epilepsy is not working on him. You will find some souls that are often considered to be healthy suffering from symptoms like these in their chastity and the other virtues. But there comes a time when they are attacked by a kind of epilepsy, and then they seem to fall from their solid foundation and are seized by the deceits and other desires of this world.” (Commentary on Matthew, 13.)

Draw near to Your servants, O Lord,
and answer their prayers
with unceasing kindness,
that, for those who glory in You
as their Creator and guide,
You may restore what You have created and keep safe what You have restored.
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