The Gospel

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Today the Church celebrates : St John the Almsgiver

Letter to the Hebrews 10,1-10.

Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of them, it can never make perfect those who come to worship by the same sacrifices that they offer continually each year. Otherwise, would not the sacrifices have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, once cleansed, would no longer have had any consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is only a yearly remembrance of sins, for it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats take away sins. For this reason, when he came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight in. Then I said, 'As is written of me in the scroll, Behold, I come to do your will, O God.'" First he says, "Sacrifices and offerings, holocausts and sin offerings, you neither desired nor delighted in." These are offered according to the law. Then he says, "Behold, I come to do your will." He takes away the first to establish the second. By this "will," we have been consecrated through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Psalms 40,2.4.7-8.10.11.

I waited, waited for the LORD; who bent down and heard my cry,
And put a new song in my mouth, a hymn to our God. Many shall look on in awe and they shall trust in the LORD.
sacrifice and offering you do not want; but ears open to obedience you gave me. Holocausts and sin-offerings you do not require;
so I said, "Here I am; your commands for me are written in the scroll.
I announced your deed to a great assembly; I did not restrain my lips; you, LORD, are my witness.
Your deed I did not hide within my heart; your loyal deliverance I have proclaimed. I made no secret of your enduring kindness to a great assembly.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 3,31-35.

His mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, "Your mother and your brothers (and your sisters) are outside asking for you." But he said to them in reply, "Who are my mother and (my) brothers?" And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. (For) whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Today the Church celebrates : St. Anthony the Abbot

Melito : «Grieved at their hardness of heart»

Letter to the Hebrews 7,1-3.15-17.

This "Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of God Most High," "met Abraham as he returned from his defeat of the kings" and "blessed him." And Abraham apportioned to him "a tenth of everything." His name first means righteous king, and he was also "king of Salem," that is, king of peace. Without father, mother, or ancestry, without beginning of days or end of life, thus made to resemble the Son of God, he remains a priest forever. It is even more obvious if another priest is raised up after the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become so, not by a law expressed in a commandment concerning physical descent but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed. For it is testified: "You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek."

Psalms 110,

A psalm of David. The LORD says to you, my lord: "Take your throne at my righthand, while I make your enemies your footstool."
The scepter of your sovereign might the LORD will extend from Zion. The LORD says: "Rule over your enemies!
Yours is princely power from the day of your birth. In holy splendor before the daystar, like the dew I begot you."
The LORD has sworn and will not waver: "Like Melchizedek you are a priest forever."

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 3,1-6.

Again he entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched him closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, "Come up here before us." Then he said to them, "Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?" But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.

Commentary of the day :

Melito (?-about 195), bishop of Sardis
Easter Homily, § 71-73

«Grieved at their hardness of heart»

It is he, the slaughtered lamb; he, the lamb who does not open his mouth; he, who was born of Mary, the graceful lamb. He is the one who was taken from the flock and lead to death...

He was put to death. And where was he put to death? In the heart of Jerusalem. Why? Because he cured its lame, cleansed its lepers, brought its blind back to light, and risen its dead (Lk 7,22). This is why he suffered. It is written in the Law and the Prophets: “They repaid me evil for good. I am abandoned. They meditated evil against me. Let us tie the just, they would say, for he is unbearable to us” (Ps 37,21; Jer 11,19).

Why have you committed this nameless crime? You dishonored the one who had honored you, you humiliated the one who had exalted you, you denied the one who had recognized you, you rejected the one who had called you, you killed the one who gave you life...He had to suffer, but not because of you. He had to be humiliated, but not by you. He had to be judged, but not by you. He had to be crucified, but not by your hand. Why did you not beg God with this prayer: “O Master, if your son has to suffer, if this is your will, may he suffer, but not because of me”.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Today the Church celebrates : St Benet Biscop

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 1,40-45.

A leper came to him (and kneeling down) begged him and said, "If you wish, you can make me clean."
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made clean."
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.
Then he said to him, "See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them."
The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

Today the Church celebrates : St Peter Orsoelo

Saint Cyprian : «Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed»

Letter to the Hebrews 2,14-18.
Now since the children share in blood and flesh, he likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life. Surely he did not help angels but rather the descendants of Abraham; therefore, he had to become like his brothers in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

Psalms 105,1-2.3-4.6-7.8-9.
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name; make known among the peoples his deeds!
Sing praise, play music; proclaim all his wondrous deeds!
Glory in his holy name; rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Rely on the mighty LORD; constantly seek his face.
You descendants of Abraham his servant, offspring of Jacob the chosen one!
The LORD is our God who rules the whole earth.
He remembers forever his covenant, the pact imposed for a thousand generations,
Which was made with Abraham, confirmed by oath to Isaac,

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 1,29-39.
On leaving the synagogue he entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon's mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them. When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him. Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, "Everyone is looking for you." He told them, "Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come." So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.

Commentary of the day :

Saint Cyprian (about 200-258), bishop of Carthage and martyr
The Lord's Prayer, 29-30

«Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed»

The Lord did not content himself to teach us to pray only with his words, but he also gave us his example. We often see him in prayer; he gives us the example we must follow. It is written: “he went off to a lonely place, in the desert to pray”. And elsewhere: “he departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God” (Lk 6,12). If already the one who was without sin prayed in this way, all the more reason for us sinners to pray like this. If he spent the night in prayer, all the more reason for us to pray constantly and to be, us as well, always on watch.

The Lord prayed and interceded not for himself – for which sin would he, the innocent, need to ask to be forgiven? – but he prayed for our sins. This is proved to be true when he tells Peter: “Remember that Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail” (Lk 22,31-32). Later on he prayed the Father for all of us, when he says: “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you” (Jn 17,20-21).

Oh, how great are the mercy and goodness of God, in favor of our salvation! He did not content himself to redeem us through his blood, but he also beforehand wished to pray for us. But take notice of the desire of the one who prays: as the Father and the Son are one, that we too may live in unity.

Today the Church celebrates : St. Adrian of Canterbury

Baudoin de Ford : «Jesus rebuked him and said, "Quiet! Come out of him!"

Letter to the Hebrews 2,5-12.
For it was not to angels that he subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. Instead, someone has testified somewhere: "What is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor, subjecting all things under his feet." In "subjecting" all things (to him), he left nothing not "subject to him." Yet at present we do not see "all things subject to him," but we do see Jesus "crowned with glory and honor" because he suffered death, he who "for a little while" was made "lower than the angels," that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting that he, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering. He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin. Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them "brothers," saying: "I will proclaim your name to my brothers, in the midst of the assembly I will praise you";

Psalms 8,2.5.6-7.8-9.
O LORD, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth! You have set your majesty above the heavens!
What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them little less than a god, crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them rule over the works of your hands, put all things at their feet:
All sheep and oxen, even the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 1,21-28.
Then they came to Capernaum, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God!" Jesus rebuked him and said, "Quiet! Come out of him!" The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, "What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him." His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

Commentary of the day :

Baudoin de Ford (?-about 1190), Cistercian abbot
Homily on Hebrews 4,12; PL 204, 451-453

«Jesus rebuked him and said, "Quiet! Come out of him!"

“Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb 4,12). With these few words the apostle shows those who seek Christ – he who is the Word, the strength and the wisdom of God - all the greatness, the strength and the wisdom of the Word of God...When one preaches this Word of God, by preaching it, it confers to words listened to exteriorly the power of his Word, perceived interiorly. That being the case, the dead can then be raised (Lk 7,22) and this sign can make other new children too raise up to Abraham (Mt 3,9). Therefore this Word is living. Living in the heart of the Father, living on the lips of the preacher, and living in the hearts filled with fire and love. And since it is a living Word, no doubt that it is also effective.

It is effective as it creates the world, it governs it and it redeems it. What could be stronger or more effective than this word? “Who can tell the mighty deeds of the Lord, proclaim in full God's praise?” (Ps 105,2). This Word is effective because of the things it operates; it reveals itself also through predication. For it never returns to God void, but it always does his will, achieving the end for which he had sent it (Is 55,11).

The Word is therefore effective, and sharper than a two-edged sword, when it is received with faith and love. In fact, is anything impossible to the one who believes? And is anything rigorous for the one who loves?

Today the Church celebrates : St Thorfinn

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus : «It is in this way that we must perfectly accomplish what is just»

Book of Isaiah 42,1-4.6-7.
Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, Upon whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, Not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, Until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching. I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, To open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

Psalms 29,1-2.3-4.3.9-10.
A psalm of David. Give to the LORD, you heavenly beings, give to the LORD glory and might;
Give to the LORD the glory due God's name. Bow down before the LORD'S holy splendor!
The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over the mighty waters.
The voice of the LORD is power; the voice of the LORD is splendor.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over the mighty waters.
The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. All in his palace say, "Glory!"
The LORD sits enthroned above the flood! The LORD reigns as king forever!

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 3,15-16.21-22.
Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Messiah. John answered them all, saying, "I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire. After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."

Commentary of the day :

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus (330-390), bishop, doctor of the Church
Sermon 39; PG 36, 359-363

«It is in this way that we must perfectly accomplish what is just»

The Christ is illuminated; let us take part in his splendor. The Christ is baptized; let us go down with him into the water so that we may come out of it with him...

John baptizes, Jesus comes to him; he comes sanctify the one by whom he himself is baptized. He comes drown in the water the old Adam, entirely, and for this reason, and before doing so, he consecrates the water of the Jordan. He, who is spirit and flesh, wants to perfect man through water and spirit (Jn 3,4). The Baptist refuses and Jesus insists. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you” says the lamp to the Sun (Jn 5,35), the best man to the groom (Jn 3,29), the greatest man born of a woman to the first-born of all creatures (Mt 11,11; Col 1,15).

Jesus comes out of the water, carrying along with him in this elevation the whole universe. He sees the skies open up, the same skies that in the past Adam had closed to himself and to his people, this paradise that had been locked up and guarded like by a fiery revolving sword (Gn 3,24). The Spirit bears witness to the divinity of Christ; he comes rejoin his equal. And a voice comes down from the sky, for it is from the sky that the one to whom he testifies comes from. And a dove makes itself visible to the eyes of the flesh in order to honor our flesh became divine.

Today the Church celebrates : St. Raymond of Peñyafort

Saint John Chrysostom : “They prostrated themselves and did him homage.”

Book of Isaiah 60,1-6.
Rise up in splendor! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; But upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory. Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance. Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you: Your sons come from afar, and your daughters in the arms of their nurses. Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow, For the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you, the wealth of nations shall be brought to you. Caravans of camels shall fill you, dromedaries from Midian and Ephah; All from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and proclaiming the praises of the LORD.

Psalms 72,1-2.7-8.10-11.12-13.
Of Solomon.
O God, give your judgment to the king; your justice to the son of kings; That he may govern your people with justice, your oppressed with right judgment,
That abundance may flourish in his days, great bounty, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the earth.
May the kings of Tarshish and the islands bring tribute, the kings of Arabia and Seba offer gifts.
May all kings bow before him, all nations serve him.
For he rescues the poor when they cry out, the oppressed who have no one to help.
He shows pity to the needy and the poor and saves the lives of the poor.

Letter to the Ephesians 3,2-3.5-6.
if, as I suppose, you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for your benefit, (namely, that) the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly earlier. which was not made known to human beings in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 2,1-12.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage." When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: 'And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.'" Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage." After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.

Commentary of the day :

Saint John Chrysostom (around 345 – 407), Bishop of Antioch, then of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church
Homilies on St. Matthew, 7-8

“They prostrated themselves and did him homage.”

Brothers, let us follow the magi, let us leave our pagan customs. Let us depart! Let us make a long journey so as to see Christ. If the magi had not left and gone a long way from their country, they would not have seen Christ. Let us also leave earth’s interests. So long as they remained in their country, the magi saw only the star; but when they left their homeland, they saw the Sun of justice (Mal 3:20). Or rather, let us say: if they had not generously set out on their journey, they would not even have seen the star. Thus, let us also rise up, and even if everyone in Jerusalem is troubled, let us run to where the Child is…

“On entering the house, they found the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their coffers and presented him with gifts.” What motivated them to prostrate themselves before this child? There was nothing remarkable in the Virgin or in the house, no object that could have struck their eye and attracted them. And yet, not content with prostrating themselves, they opened their treasure, gifts that are not given to a human being but only to God – frankincense and myrrh symbolize divinity. What was their reason for acting in this way? The same as that which made them decide to leave their homeland, to depart on this long journey. It was the star, that is to say, the light with which God had filled their heart and which led them little by little to a more perfect knowledge. If there hadn’t been that light, how could they have given such homage when what they saw was so poor and humble? If there is not material grandeur but only a crib, a stable, a mother who is lacking in everything, it is so that you might see the magi’s wisdom more clearly, so that you understand that they came not to a human being but to a God, to their benefactor.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Today the Church celebrates : Bl. Andre Bessett

Saint Irenaeus of Lyons: "Son of Adam"

First Letter of John 5,5-13.
Who (indeed) is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ, not by water alone, but by water and blood. The Spirit is the one that testifies, and the Spirit is truth. So there are three that testify, the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and the three are of one accord. If we accept human testimony, the testimony of God is surely greater. Now the testimony of God is this, that he has testified on behalf of his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony within himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar by not believing the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever possesses the Son has life; whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you so that you may know that you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God.

Psalms 147,12-13.14-15.19-20.
Glorify the LORD, Jerusalem; Zion, offer praise to your God,
Who has strengthened the bars of your gates, blessed your children within you,
Brought peace to your borders, and filled you with finest wheat.
The LORD sends a command to earth; his word runs swiftly!
The LORD also proclaims his word to Jacob, decrees and laws to Israel.
God has not done this for other nations; of such laws they know nothing. Hallelujah!

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 3,23-38.
When Jesus began his ministry he was about thirty years of age. He was the son, as was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Commentary of the day :

Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, (about 130-about 208), bishop, theologian and martyr
Against Heresies, III, 22, 3.4; 23,1

"Son of Adam"

Luke points out that the genealogy which traces the birth of our Lord back to Adam contains seventy-two generations, connecting the end with the beginning, and implying that it is he who has summed up in himself all nations dispersed from Adam downwards, and all languages and generations of men, together with Adam himself. This is why Adam himself was called by Paul "the prefiguration of him that was to come," (Rom 5:14) because the Word, the Maker of all things, had formed beforehand for himself the future history of the human race, assumed by the Son of God…

For the Lord, having become "the First-born of the dead" (Col 1:18), and receiving into his bosom the ancient forbears, has given them new life in the life of God. He has become the beginning of all those that live, as Adam became the beginning of all those who die. This is why Luke, beginning the genealogy with the Lord, carried it back to Adam, indicating that it was he who gave life to them in the Gospel of life, and not they who gave life to him. And so it was also that the knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, the Virgin Mary set free through faith.

It was necessary, therefore, that the Lord, on coming to the lost sheep (Mt 18:12), and gathering together such a great history, seeking his own handiwork (Lk 19:10; Gn 2:8), should save that very person who had been created in his image and likeness (Gn 1:26), that is, Adam.

Today the Church celebrates : St. John N. Neumann

Guillaume of Saint-Thierry : “You shall see the sky opened”

First Letter of John 3,11-21.
For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another, unlike Cain who belonged to the evil one and slaughtered his brother. Why did he slaughter him? Because his own works were evil, and those of his brother righteous. Do not be amazed, (then,) brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. Whoever does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him. The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth. (Now) this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth and reassure our hearts before him in whatever our hearts condemn, for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything. Beloved, if (our) hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in God

Psalms 100,1-
A psalm of thanksgiving. Shout joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
worship the LORD with cries of gladness; come before him with joyful song.
Know that the LORD is God, our maker to whom we belong, whosepeople we are, God's well-tended flock.
Enter the temple gates with praise, its courts with thanksgiving. Give thanks to God, bless his name;
good indeed is the LORD, Whose love endures forever, whose faithfulness lasts through every age.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 1,43-51.
The next day he decided to go to Galilee, and he found Philip. And Jesus said to him, "Follow me." Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth." But Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, "Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him." Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree." Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel." Jesus answered and said to him, "Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this." And he said to him, "Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

Commentary of the day :

Guillaume of Saint-Thierry (around 1085-1148), Benedictine, then Cistercian monk
Meditative prayers VI, 5-7

“You shall see the sky opened”

If it is enough to see two or three united in your name here below so as to see you in their midst (Mt 18:20) …, what can we say about the place where you have united all the saints who have “made a covenant with you by sacrifice” and who have become like “the heavens that proclaim your justice”? (Ps 50:5-6)

Your beloved disciple was not the only one who found the path that ascends to heaven; he was not the only one to whom an open door in heaven was shown (Rev 4:1). For you declared it to everyone by your own mouth: “I am the door. Whoever enters through me will be safe.” (Jn 10:9) So you are the door, and according to what you added, you open it to everyone who wants to enter.

But of what use is it to us to see an open door in heaven while we are on earth, if we don’t have the means to ascend there? Saint Paul gives us the answer: “He who ascended is the very one who descended.” (Eph 4:9) Who is he? Love. For, Lord, it is love that goes up to you from our hearts, because it is love that came down from you to us. Because you loved us, you came down to us; by loving you, we will be able to ascend to you. You who said: “I am the door,” in your name I beg you to open yourself before us. Then we will see more clearly to which dwelling you are the door and when and to whom you open it.

Today the Church celebrates : St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

First Letter of John 3,7-10.

Children, let no one deceive you. The person who acts in righteousness is righteous, just as he is righteous. Whoever sins belongs to the devil, because the devil has sinned from the beginning. Indeed, the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is begotten by God commits sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot sin because he is begotten by God. In this way, the children of God and the children of the devil are made plain; no one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God, nor anyone who does not love his brother.

Psalms 98,1.7-8.9.

Sing a new song to the LORD, who has done marvelous deeds, Whose right hand and holy arm have won the victory.
Let the sea and what fills it resound, the world and those who dwell there.
Let the rivers clap their hands, the mountains shout with them for joy,
Before the LORD who comes, who comes to govern the earth, To govern the world with justice and the peoples with fairness.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 1,35-42.

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, "Behold, the Lamb of God." The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher), "where are you staying?" He said to them,"Come, and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated Anointed). Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Kephas" (which is translated Peter).

Commentary of the day :

Saint Romanos the Melodious (? – around 560), Composer of hymns
Hymn XVII, § 12-13

“Come and see.”

Sin has been effaced; incorruptibility has been given us (1 Cor 15:53); the precursor showed us that we have returned to grace by saying: “There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” He showed the certificate of settlement to those who had incurred a heavy debt. He who had already leapt for joy in his mother’s womb, today proclaimed it and made known the one who has appeared to us and who has illumined everything.

The Baptist proclaimed the mystery. He called the pastor the lamb, and not just lamb, but the lamb that effaces all our faults. “There is the Lamb,” he said. From now on, a scapegoat is no longer necessary (Lev 16:21). Raise your hands to him, all of you, by acknowledging your sins, for he came to take away the sins of the whole world along with those of the people. From the height of heaven, the Father sent us this gift: him who has appeared and who has illumined everything.

He has scattered the harmful night; thanks to him, all is noon. The light that never sets has shone forth on the world, Jesus our savior. In this abundance, the land of Zebulun imitates paradise, for the torrent of delight irrigates it and a stream of ever living water springs forth there… Today in Galilee, we contemplate the source of living water, him who has appeared and who has illumined everything (cf. Mt 4:15-16; Ps 36:9-10).

Today the Church celebrates : St. Genevieve

First Letter of John 2,29.3,1-6.

If you consider that he is righteous, you also know that everyone who acts in righteousness is begotten by him. See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure. Everyone who commits sin commits lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who remains in him sins; no one who sins has seen him or known him.

Psalms 98,1.3-4.5-6.

Sing a new song to the LORD, who has done marvelous deeds, Whose right hand and holy arm have won the victory.
Has remembered faithful love toward the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth; break into song; sing praise.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn shout with joy to the King, the LORD.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 1,29-34.

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, 'A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.' I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel." John testified further, saying, "I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the holy Spirit.' Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God."

Commentary of the day :

J.B. Bossuet (1627-1704), bishop of Meaux
Elevations on mysteries, 24th week, 2nd elevation

«Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world»

Look at this Lamb of God that Isaiah saw in spirit as he represented him as the lamb who would not only let himself be sheared, but also skinned, and slain without opening his mouth (cf Is 53,7). The same Lamb of God that Jeremiah saw and represented in his person when he says: “I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter” (Jer 11,19). Here he is, this lamb so sweet, so simple, and so patient, without tricks, without deceit, that will be immolated for all sinners. He has already been sacrificed in figure, and one can say in truth that he has been killed and slain since the foundation of the world (Rv 13,8).

He was slaughtered in Abel the just; when Abraham had wanted to sacrifice his son, he started in figure what was going to be accomplished later on in Jesus Christ. We also see accomplished in him what had begun with Joseph's brothers: Jesus was hated, persecuted, pursued to death by his brothers; he was sold in the person of Joseph, thrown in a tank, meaning sent to his death. He was with Jeremiah in the deep lake, with the children in the furnace, with Daniel in the lions' pit. He was the one who was immolated in each sacrifice. He was in the sacrifice Noah offered as he came out of the ark, when he saw in the rainbow the sacrament of peace; he was in the sacrifices the Patriarchs offered on the mountain, in those Moses and all the law offered in the tabernacle and later on in the Temple: and having never stopped being immolated in figure, he now is immolated in truth.