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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Quinquagesima Sunday

Ordinary Time: February 10

Epistle  •  1 Corinthians 13:1-13

The faith of which St. Paul speaks is as naught without charity: “If I should have faith capable of removing mountains, and have no charity, I am nothing.” The merits of our works, as well as the light which illuminates our souls, are in proportion to our charity.

Gospel  • Luke 18:31-43

Pope St. Gregory the Great says: “The man born blind of whom the Gospel tells is surely the human race. Ever since man was turned out of Paradise in the person of our first father, he has not known the light of Heaven, and therefore has suffered through being plunged into the darkness of condemnation.”


The Patristic commentary on the Gospel for Matins is by St Gregory:

"Our Redeemer, foreseeing that the minds of His disciples would be troubled by His suffering, told them long before both of the pains of that suffering, and of the glory of His rising again, to the end that, when they should see Him die as He had prophesied, they might not doubt that He was likewise to rise again. But, since His disciples were yet carnal, and could not receive the words telling of this mystery, He wrought a miracle before them. A blind man received his sight before their eyes, that if they could not receive heavenly things by words, they might be persuaded of heavenly things by deeds.

But, dearly beloved brethren, we must so take the miracles of our Lord and Saviour, as believing both that they were actually wrought, and that they have some mystic interpretation for our instruction. For in His works, power speaks one thing and mystery again another. Behold here, for instance. We know not historically who this blind man was, but we do know of what he was mystically the figure.
Mankind is blind, driven out from Eden in the persons of his first parents, knowing not the light of heaven, and suffering the darkness of condemnation. But, nevertheless, through the coming of his Redeemer, he is enlightened, so that now he sees by hope already the gladness of inward light, and walks by good works in the path of life.  One must note that as Jesus drew to Jericho, a blind man received his sight. Now, this name Jericho, being interpreted, signifies the city of the moon, and in Holy Scripture the moon is used as a figure of our imperfect flesh, of whose gradual corruption her monthly waning is a type.
As, therefore, our Maker draws nigh to Jericho, a blind man receives his sight. While the Godhead takes into itself our weak manhood, man receives again the light, which he had lost. By God's suffering in the Manhood, man is raised up toward God. This blind man is also well described as sitting by the wayside begging for the Truth saith I am the Way.''


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