Monday of the Third Week of Easter

“Then they instigated some men to say, “We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.” (Acts of the Apostles 6:11.)

In commenting on these verses from today’s First Reading, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“What madness! The men who overcame them by works — they expected to overcome these by words! It is just what they did in the case of Christ. And as always they sought refuge in words, because they were ashamed to seize them with no charge against them. And see how those who brought them to trial do not themselves bear witness (for they would have been refuted) but hire others, so that it might not appear to be an act of pure insult and abuse. The same pattern is visible here as in the case of Christ. Look at the power of the preaching. They were not only flogged but also stoned, but it still prevailed. They were not laymen but were persecuted from all sides by enemies who bore witness against them. But not only were their enemies bettered; they did not even have the power to resist, despite their great shamelessness. Thus it obtained by force a conviction against them, even though they fabricated many unpersuasive arguments, for as the saying goes, “He who casts out devils has a touch of the devil.” For the battle was not man’s but God’s against men.” (Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, 15.)

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, putting off our old self with all its ways,
we may live as Christ did,
for through the healing paschal remedies
You have conformed us to His nature.
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