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Arch Bishop Micheal Ralph Vendegna S.O.S.M.A.

Spiritual Reading

  • Saturday 17 October 2020

    Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop, Martyr 
    on Saturday of week 28 in Ordinary Time

    Spiritual Reading

    Your Second Reading from the Office of Readings:

    Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop, Martyr

    From St Ignatius of Antioch's letter to the Romans
    I am God's wheat and shall be ground by the teeth of wild animals

    I am writing to all the churches to let it be known that I will gladly die for God if only you do not stand in my way. I plead with you: show me no untimely kindness. Let me be food for the wild beasts, for they are my way to God. I am God’s wheat and shall be ground by their teeth so that I may become Christ’s pure bread. Pray to Christ for me that the animals will be the means of making me a sacrificial victim for God.
    No earthly pleasures, no kingdoms of this world can benefit me in any way. I prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth. He who died in place of us is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our sakes is my one desire.
    The time for my birth is close at hand. Forgive me, my brothers. Do not stand in the way of my birth to real life; do not wish me stillborn. My desire is to belong to God. Do not, then, hand me back to the world. Do not try to tempt me with material things. Let me attain pure light. Only on my arrival there can I be fully a human being. Give me the privilege of imitating the passion of my God. If you have him in your heart, you will understand what I wish. You will sympathise with me because you will know what urges me on.
    The prince of this world is determined to lay hold of me and to undermine my will which is intent on God. Let none of you here help him; instead show yourselves on my side, which is also God’s side. Do not talk about Jesus Christ as long as you love this world. Do not harbour envious thoughts. And supposing I should see you, if then I should beg you to intervene on my behalf, do not believe what I say. Believe instead what I am now writing to you. For though I am alive as I write to you, still my real desire is to die. My love of this life has been crucified, and there is no yearning in me for any earthly thing. Rather within me is the living water which says deep inside me: “Come to the Father.” I no longer take pleasure in perishable food or in the delights of this world. I want only God’s bread, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, formed of the seed of David, and for drink I crave his blood, which is love that cannot perish.
    I am no longer willing to live a merely human life, and you can bring about my wish if you will. Please, then, do me this favour, so that you in turn may meet with equal kindness. Put briefly, this is my request: believe what I am saying to you. Jesus Christ himself will make it clear to you that I am saying the truth. Only truth can come from that mouth by which the Father has truly spoken. Pray for me that I may obtain my desire. I have not written to you as a mere man would, but as one who knows the mind of God. If I am condemned to suffer, I will take it that you wish me well. If my case is postponed, I can only think that you wish me harm.


    The ferial reading for today:

    Saturday of week 28 in Ordinary Time

    From the Second Vatican Council's pastoral constitution "Gaudium et spes" on the Church in the modern world
    I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last

    Only by faith can it be seen how the earthly and heavenly city exist together and interpenetrate each other. This is a mystery at the heart of human history – a history that will continue to be disturbed by sin until the splendour of the children of God is fully revealed.
    The Church pursues her own purpose, which is salvation, and communicates the divine life to mankind. In a sense, she also takes the light that comes from that life and reflects and refracts it so that it shines onto every part of the earth. Most of all, she does this by healing and uplifting the dignity of the human person, by strengthening the bonds that hold human society together and by imbuing daily human activity with a deeper meaning and importance. Thus the Church believes that through her individual members and by her community as a whole she can give great gifts to the family of man and make its history more human.
    While the Church gives help to the world and receives much from the world, she has only one end in view: that the kingdom of God may come and that the salvation of all mankind may be accomplished. Whatever good the pilgrim people of God has been able to give to the human race during its sojourn on earth, that good comes from the fact that the Church herself is the universal sacrament of salvation; she both manifests the mystery of God’s love for man and puts it into action.
    For the word of God, through whom all things were made, became flesh himself so that, being a perfect man, he could save mankind and sum up all things in himself. The Lord is the end towards which human history is heading, a single point at which the yearnings of history and civilisation converge, a single point that is the centre of the human race, the fulfilment of all joys and all desires. He is the one whom the Father has raised from the dead, lifted up and seated at his right hand, making him the judge of the living and the dead. United and given life in his Spirit we journey on our pilgrimage towards the consummation of human history and fulfilment of the plan of God’s love, to bring everything together under Christ, as head, everything in the heavens and everything on earth.
    The Lord himself has said: Very soon now, I shall be with you again, bringing the reward to be given to every man according to what he deserves. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

    Copyright © 1996-2020 Universalis Publishing Limited: see www.universalis.com. Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible are published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. Text of the Psalms: Copyright © 1963, The Grail (England). Used with permission of A.P. Watt Ltd. All rights reserved.