Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sententiae Patristicae: Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

The Fathers of the Church on the Readings of the Lectionary

First Reading Malachi 3:19–20a
Second Reading 2 Thessalonians 3:7–12
Gospel Luke 21:5–19

St. Cyprian on Christ, the Sun of Righteousness:
‎‎Also the prophet Malachi testifies that He is called the Sun, when he says, “But to you that fear the name of the Lord shall the Sun of righteousness arise, and there is healing in His wings.” (Mal. 4:2) But if in the Holy Scriptures the true sun and the true day is Christ, there is no hour excepted for Christians wherein God ought not frequently and always to be worshipped; so that we who are in Christ—that is, in the true Sun and the true Day—should be instant throughout the entire day in petitions, and should pray; and when, by the law of the world, the revolving night, recurring in its alternate changes, succeeds, there can be no harm arising from the darkness of night to those who pray, because the children of light have the day even in the night. For when is he without light who has light in his heart? or when has not he the sun and the day, whose Sun and Day is Christ? (Cyprian, De orat. Dom. 35, ANF, vol. 5, pg. 457)

St. Basil--the sinner, deprived of the Sun of Righteousness is worse off than the blind man:
‎‎If the sun, subject to corruption, is so beautiful, so grand. so rapid in its move-meat, so invariable in its course; if its grandeur is in such perfect harmony with and due proportion to the universe: if, by the beauty of its nature, it shines like a brilliant eye in the middle of creation; if finally, one cannot tire of contemplating it, what will be the beauty of the Sun of Righteousness? (Mal. 4:2) If the blind man suffers from not seeing the material sun, what a deprivation is it for the sinner not to enjoy the true light? (Basil, Hexaem. 6.1, NPNF2, vol. 8, pg. 82)

St. Cyprian on the help granted by God to Christians under persecution:
‎‎Nor is it difficult for God to open the mouth of a man devoted to Himself, and to inspire constancy and confidence in speech to His confessor; since in the book of Numbers He made even a she-ass to speak against the prophet Balaam. Wherefore in persecutions let no one think what danger the devil is bringing in, but let him indeed consider what help God affords; nor let human mischief overpower the mind, but let divine protection strengthen the faith; since every one, according to the Lord’s promises and the deservings of his faith, receives so much from God’s help as he thinks that he receives. Nor is there anything which the Almighty is not able to grant, unless the failing faith of the receiver be deficient and give way. (Cyprian, Ad Fort. 10, ANF, vol. 5, pg. 502)

St. Gregory the Great--patience is the gaurdian of our state:
‎ For victory over cities is a less thing, because that which is subdued is without; but a far greater thing is that which is conquered by patience, since the mind itself is by itself overcome, and subjects itself to itself, when patience compels it to bridle itself within. Let the impatient hear what the Truth says to His elect; In your patience ye shall possess your souls (Luke xxi. 19). For we are so wonderfully made that reason possesses the soul, and the soul the body. But the soul is ousted from its right of possession of the body, if it is not first possessed by reason. Therefore the Lord pointed out patience as the guardian of our state, in that He taught us to possess ourselves in it. (Gregory the Great, Pastor. 3.9, NPNF2, vol. 12, pg. 30)

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