Thought of the day
Saturday, February 4, 2017

Saturday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

Origen (c.185-253), priest and theologian Commentary on the Song of Songs, II, 4, 17f. (©Ancient Christian Writers; cf SC 375, p. 341)

Saturday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

Commentary of the day 

Origen (c.185-253), priest and theologian Commentary on the Song of Songs, II, 4, 17f. (©Ancient Christian Writers; cf SC 375, p. 341)

                "He began to teach them many things"

      “Tell me, O you whom my soul has loved, where you feed and where you have your couch?' I think that in Psalm 23[22] the prophet likewise is speaking of this place, concerning which the Bride desires of the Bridegroom to learn, set as he is under the same Shepherd. He says: “The Lord is my shepherd and I shall want nothing” (v.1). And because he knew that other shepherds, through sloth or inexperience, assemble their flocks in the drier places, he says about the Lord, this best of shepherds: “In a green place, there he has set me; he has brought me up to the water of refreshment” (v.2), thus making it clear that this Shepherd provides His sheep with water that is not only plentiful but also wholesome and pure and utterly refreshing ...

That first life, the pastoral, was a preparatory one, in order that, being set in a green place, he might be brought up to the water of refreshment. But the things that follow have to do with progress and perfection. And, since we have brought up the subject of pastures and of greenness, it seems fitting to support what we say out of the Gospels also. There, too, I have encountered this Good Shepherd talking about the pastures of the sheep; there is a passage where He styles Himself the Shepherd, and even calls Himself the Door, saying: I am the Door. By me, if anyone enters, he shall be saved; and he shall go in and go out, and shall find pastures” (Jn 10,9). Him, therefore, the Bride now plies with questions... And what she calls 'midday' denotes those secret places of the heart in which the soul pursues the clearer light of knowledge from the Word of God; for midday is the time when the sun is at the zenith of its course. So when Christ, the Sun of Justice (Mal 3,20), shows to his Church the high and lofty secrets of his power, then he will be teaching her where lie His pleasant pastures and his places of repose at noon. 

For when she has only begun to learn these things and is receiving from Him the rudiments, so to speak, of knowledge, then the prophet says: “And God will help her in the morning early” (Ps 46[45],6). At this time, however, because she is now seeking things that are more perfect, and desiring higher things, she asks for the noonday light of knowledge.