Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

ORIGEN:

What the Gospel of “the unjust steward” says is also an image of this matter. He says to the debtor [of one hundred measures of wheat], “Take your bill, sit down, and write eighty,” and the other things that are related. You see that he said to each man, “Take your bill.” It is evident from this that the documents of sin are ours, but God writes documents of justice.

AUGUSTINE:

Why did the Lord Jesus Christ present this parable to us? He surely did not approve of that cheat of a servant who cheated his master, stole from him and did not make it up from his own pocket. On top of that, he also did some extra pilfering. He caused his master further loss, in order to prepare a little nest of quiet and security for himself after he lost his job. Why did the Lord set this before us? It is not because that servant cheated but because he exercised foresight for the future. When even a cheat is praised for his ingenuity, Christians who make no such provision blush. I mean, this is what he added, “Behold, the children of this age are more prudent than the children of light.” They perpetrate frauds in order to secure their future. In what life, after all, did that steward insure himself like that? What one was he going to quit when he bowed to his master’s decision? He was insuring himself for a life that was going to end. Would you not insure yourself for eternal life? read more

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA:

“Strive to enter in by the narrow door.” This reply may seem perhaps to wander from the scope of the question. The man wanted to learn whether there would be few who are saved, but he explained to him the way whereby he might be saved himself. He said, “Strive to enter in by the narrow door.” What do we answer to this objection?… It was a necessary and valuable thing to know how a man may obtain salvation. He is purposely silent to the useless question. He proceeds to speak of what was essential, namely, of the knowledge necessary for the performance of those duties by which people can enter the narrow door. read more

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”  But death is not simply eliminated.  There is a constant temptation in the Christian life to believe that since we love God and pray for things to go well, that we will somehow be spared from suffering.  We tend to grow accustomed to this life, the many blessings we’ve received, all the projects and work we have to do, the planning needed etc.  We can forget that Baptism is a sacrament that also represents death.  Jeremiah the prophet was plunged into a cistern where he was sure to die, then lifted back out again.  That’s what happens with baptism: being plunged into the waters in which we were certain to drown and perish, only to be brought back out again.  Jesus talks about the baptism with which he longs to be baptised – He is referring to His Passion and Death.  He does not long for suffering because He somehow enjoys it though – it is the joy of eternal life that draws Him through death. read more