Thought of the day
Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time

“You have a greater than Jonah here.”

It was Jonah himself who decided to be thrown out of the boat: “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he said (Jon 1:12), which points to the passion of the Lord Jesus, which he freely took upon himself. For why did the sailors wait to be given the order…? It is because, when the salvation of all requires the death of one single person, that death depends on the free decision of the person concerned… Thus, in this story, which completely prefigures the Lord’s story, they await the decision of the person who must die, so that his death might not be a necessity to which he submits, but a free act: “I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it up again. No one takes it from me,” (Jn 10:18) says the Lord. For when Christ delivered over his spirit (Jn 19:30), it was not because his life was slipping away from him. He who holds in his hands the soul of every person could not lose his own. The prophet said: “I constantly hold my life in your hands.” (Ps 119:109) And in another place: “Into your hands I commend my spirit.” (Ps 31:6; Lk 23:46)

Saint Peter Chrysologus (c.406-450), Bishop of Ravenna, Doctor of the Church 
Sermon 3