Sunday, February 24, 2008

Who asks for a drink

"Listen now and learn who it is that asks for a drink.

"'Jesus answered (the Samaritan woman) and said:
"If you knew the gift of God,
and who it is that is saying to you,
'Give me a drink',
perhaps you might have asked him
and he would have given you living water."'

"He asks for a drink, and he promises a drink. He is in need, as one hoping to receive, yet he is rich, as one about to satisfy the thirst of others.

"He says: 'If you knew the gift of God.'

"The gift of God is the Holy Spirit.

"But he is still using veiled language as he speaks to the woman and gradually enters into her heart.

"Or is he already teaching her? What could be more gentle and kind than the encouragement he gives?

"'If you knew
the gift of God,
and who it is
that is saying to you,
"Give me a drink",
you might ask
and he would give you
living water.'

"What is this water that he will give
if not the water spoken of in Scripture: With you is the fountain of life?

"How can those feel thirst who will drink deeply from the abundance in your house?

"He was promising the Holy Spirit in satisfying abundance. She did not yet understand. In her failure to grasp his meaning, what was her reply?

"'The woman says to him:
"Master, give me this drink,
so that I may feel no thirst
or come here to draw water."'

"Her need forced her to this labour, her weakness shrank from it.

"If only she could hear those words:

"'Come to me,
all who labour and are burdened,
and I will refresh you.'"

From a treatise on John by Saint Augustine, bishop.

Included in today's Office of the Readings.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Listen to Him

"The radiance of the transfiguration reveals clearly and unmistakably the one who had been promised by signs foretelling him under the veils of mystery.

"As Saint John says:

The law was given through Moses,

grace and truth

came through Jesus Christ.

"In Him the promise made through the shadows of prophecy stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law.

"He is the one who teaches the truth of the prophecy through His Presence, and makes obedience to the commandments possible through Grace.

"In the preaching of the holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith.

"No one should be ashamed of the Cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed.

"No one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice; no one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised.

"The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death.

"Christ has taken on Himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature.

"If then we are steadfast in our faith in him and in our love for him, we win the victory that he has won, we receive what he has promised.

"When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears:

This is my Son,

the beloved,

in whom I am well pleased;

listen to him.

from a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope
in today's Office of the Readings

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Triumph over temptation

"We have heard in the gospel how the Lord Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Certainly Christ was tempted by the devil. In Christ you were tempted, for Christ received his flesh from your nature, but by his own power gained salvation for you; he suffered death in your nature, but by his own power gained glory for you; therefore, he suffered temptation in your nature, but by his own power gained victory for you.

"If in Christ we have been tempted, in him we overcome the devil. Do you think only of Christ’s temptations and fail to think of his victory?

"See yourself as tempted in him, and see yourself as victorious in him. He could have kept the devil from himself; but if he were not tempted he could not teach you how to triumph over temptation."

Saint Augustine
from A Commentary on the Psalms
in today's Office of Readings

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Remember, man, that you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.

Memento, homo, quia pulvis es,
et in pulverem reverteris.

(from an earlier post)