Thought of the day
Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday of the Second week in Ordinary Time

"He appointed twelve that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach"

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church 
Sermon 311, 2
"He appointed twelve that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach"

The blessed apostles… were the first to see Christ hanging on the cross. They mourned his death and were seized with fear before the miracle of his resurrection but, very soon, transported by love at this manifestation of his power, they no longer hesitated to shed their own blood to prove the truth of what they had seen. Now think, my brethren, of what was asked of these men: to go out into the whole world preaching that a dead man was raised and ascended into heaven, suffering for the preaching of this truth whatever pleased an enraged world: privations, chains, torments, burnings, wild beasts, cross and death. Was this for some unknown cause?

Was it for his own glory that Peter died ? For his own advantage that he preached? He would die; another than he was glorified. He was put to death; another worshipped. Only the burning flame of charity joined to conviction of the truth can explain a courage like this! What they preached they had seen. People don’t die for some truth of which they are not sure. Or should they have denied what they had seen? They did not deny it: they preached that death which they knew while living; they knew for what life they were despising the present life. They knew for what happiness they were bearing transitory trials, for what reward they were treading underfoot all these sufferings. Their faith! It weighed more in the scales than the whole world.
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