Thought of the day
Monday, May 26, 2014

Monday of the Sixth week of Easter
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Offer a sacrifice to God

Saint Peter Chrysologus (c.406-450), Bishop of Ravenna, Doctor of the Church 
Sermon 108 ; PL 52, 499
Offer a sacrifice to God

“I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice” (Rm 12,1). With this plea the apostle Paul raises all men to participation in the priesthood... We do not look outside ourselves for something to offer God but bring with us and within us something to sacrifice to God for our own advantage... “I urge you by the mercies of God.” Brothers, this sacrifice is in Christ's image, he who laid down his life here below and offered it for the life of the world. Indeed he made a living sacrifice of his body who yet lives after being killed. In so great a sacrifice death was destroyed, removed by the sacrifice... Hence martyrs are born at the time of their death and begin to live as their life ends; they live when they are killed and shine in heaven when people on earth think they have been snuffed out...

The prophet sang: “You did not ask for sacrifice or oblation but a body you have prepared for me” (Ps 39[40],7). Become both the sacrifice that is offered and the one who offers it to God. Do not lose what God's power has granted you. Put on the cloak of holiness. Take up the belt of chastity. May Christ be the veil over your head; the cross the breastplate that gives you perseverance. Keep in your heart the sacrament of Holy Scripture. May your prayer burn constantly like a sweet-smelling fragrance to God. Take up “the sword of the Spirit” (Eph 6,17); may your heart be the altar where, without fear, you may offer your whole self, your whole life...

Offer your faith to make reparation for unbelief; offer your fasting to put an end to voraciousness; offer your chastity that sensuality may die; be fervent that wrongdoing may cease; exercise mercy to end avarice; and to suppress foolishness, offer your holiness. Thus will your life become your offering if it has not been wounded by sin. Your body lives, yes, it lives, each time that, putting evil to death within you, you offer living virtues to God.

Source: © 2001-2014

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