Thursday, January 11, 2007

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.

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