Thought of the day
Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wednesday of the Third week of Lent
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"In order that the Scripture might be fulfilled" (Jn 19,28)

Epiphanius of Benevento (5th-6th centuries), Bishop
Commentary on the Four Gospels, PLS 3, 852 (trans. Friends of Henry Ashworth)

"In order that the Scripture might be fulfilled" (Jn 19,28)

“I have come not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it”... Indeed, at that time, by his own power and in his own person, the Lord fulfilled all the mysteries the law foretold concerning himself. All prophecies were fulfilled by his passion. When, as holy David predicted, a sponge full of vinegar was offered him on the cross, he accepted it and said: “It is fulfilled”; and bowing his head, he gave up his spirit (Jn 19,30).

Now as well as carrying out himself all that had been prophesied, he also gave us commandments to carry out. Of old the easier commandments laid down by the law (Ac 15,10) were not observed, but we, by grace and the power of the cross, are expected to observe more difficult ones.

March 11 St Eulogius Martyr (c.818 - 859) St Eulogius was the son of a noble senatorial family of Cordoba in southern Spain. This city, which at that time counted half a million inhabitants, was the seat of one of the most brilliant courts of Europe under the Mohammedan Caliphs as well as a renowned centre of learning, which attracted scholars from all parts of the continent. St Eulogius received an excellent education under the renowned Abbot Esperaindeo; he then visited the Christian Kingdom of Navarre in northern Spain; he was ordained priest and made director of the Cordoba seminary. An avid reader and student, he was much esteemed for his holy life, his great eloquence and for his profound humility. The Saracen rulers had tolerated the Christian religion during the first 130 years of their Spanish occupation, provided the faithful kept their heavy tax payments. But in 850 there began a period of persecution during which many were martyred for the faith. St Eulogius did much, by spoken and written word, to encourage the persecuted and imprisoned Christians. His three important works, viz., “Exhortation to Maryrdom”, which encouraged two Christian  girls, Flora and Mary, threatened with slavery, “Memorial of the Saints” which relates the trials of the Martyrs, and “Apologia” which defended martyrs seeking death by proclaiming their faith, had a profound and widespread effect, keeping many from apostatizing. When the Archbishop of Toledo died in 858, St Eulogius was chosen successor, but he was arrested just when he was due for his consecration, for daring to defend a Saracen maiden, St Leocritia, who had abandoned Islam for the Catholic faith. In his great zeal, the holy Priest even endeavoured to convert his Arab judge by pointing out to him the errors of Mohammed’s doctrine, thus literally inviting death — he was beheaded on 11 March 859.
Reflection: “Ah! If you could but conceive the reward which waits for those who persevere in the faith to the end, you would renounce your temporal dignity in exchange for it!” (St Eulogius of Cordoba)

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