Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday after Trinity: What is new and what is old

Opening Sentence
I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord." Psalm 122:1

Commemoration: John XXIII
Almighty God, whose will it is to heal all division and discord among those who call upon the name of your Son: We thank you for the good will shown in your servant John, and we pray that we may always be ready to hear our fellow Christians with humility and a willingness to learn, and may also speak the truth in love, to the healing of faction and the renewed witness of your people; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 41, 52

Lessons: Ecclesiastes 2:1-15, Galatians 1:1-17, Matthew 13:44-52

It was the old fate of the human race to descend into the gates of hell to suffer eternal punishment for its sins. But something was changed by the coming of the Mediator. If a person really desired to live uprightly here, one could attain to the kingdom of heaven and, even though earth-born, can depart from this perishable life and be given a place in heaven. The old fate was such that by way of punishment humankind could perish in eternal punishment. The new fate was such that, having been converted, humankind could live in the kingdom.

And so we see that the Lord concluded his discourse as he began it. First he likened the treasure discovered in a field and the pearl of great value to the kingdom. Then he spoke of the punishments of the lower world and the burning of the wicked. Then he added in conclusion, "So then, every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings forth from his storeroom things new and old." It was as though he had said, "That person is a learned preacher in the holy church who knows both how to bring forth new things about the delights of the kingdom and to speak old things about the terror of chastisement, so that punishments may fill with dread those not induced by rewards."

Gregory the Great
Forty Gospel Homilies

Go and Sin No More