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DAILY GOSPEL

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The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, especially of those who believe. These are the things you must insist on and teach. Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I arrive, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhorting, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Again he said to them, ‘I am going away, and you will search for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.’ Then the Jews said, ‘Is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, "Where I am going, you cannot come"?’ He said to them, ‘You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.’ They said to him, ‘Who are you?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Why do I speak to you at all? I have much to say about you and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.’ They did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father.
Why, then, one might say, if it were necessary for Christ to yield up his body to death on behalf of all, did he not lay it aside simply in a human way instead of going so far as to be crucified? For one might say that it was more fitting for him to have laid his body aside honorably, than ignominiously to endure such a death as that. Such an objection is itself too human, whereas what the Savior did is truly divine and worthy of his Godhead for many reasons. Firstly, because the death which befalls us all comes as a result of the weakness of our nature; for, unable to continue for long, we are dissolved with time. Hence, too, diseases befall us, and we fall sick and die. But the Lord is not weak but is the power and Word of God and life itself. If, then, he had laid aside his body somewhere in private and upon a bed, after the manner of mortal flesh, it would have been thought… there was nothing in him more than in other men… It was not fitting, either, that the Lord,who healed the diseases of others, should himself fall sick… Why, then, did he not cast out death, as he did sickness? Because it was precisely for this that he possessed a body, and it was unfitting to prevent it lest the resurrection should also be hindered… But it would be better, someone might say, to have foiled the designs of his enemies so that his body might be protected from death altogether. Now let such a one be aware that this too was unbefitting to the Lord. For as it was not fitting for the Word of God, being Life, to inflict death on his own body, so neither was it suitable for him to fly from the death inflicted by others… this did not show weakness on the Word's part, but, on the contrary, showed Him to be both Savior and Life… the Savior came to bring to completion, not his own death, but the death of all humanity.
I often boast about you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with consolation; I am overjoyed in all our affliction. For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted in every way disputes without and fears within. But God, who consoles the downcast, consoled us by the arrival of Titus, and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was consoled about you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more. For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it (though I did regret it, for I see that I grieved you with that letter, though only briefly). Now I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance; for you felt a godly grief, so that you were not harmed in any way by us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves guiltless in the matter.
When Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. Just then there came a man named Jairus, a leader of the synagogue. He fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, who was dying. As he went, the crowds pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years; and though she had spent all she had on physicians, no one could cure her. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his clothes, and immediately her haemorrhage stopped. Then Jesus asked, ‘Who touched me?’ When all denied it, Peter said, ‘Master, the crowds surround you and press in on you.’ But Jesus said, ‘Someone touched me; for I noticed that power had gone out from me.’ When the woman saw that she could not remain hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before him, she declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.’ While he was still speaking, someone came from the leader’s house to say, ‘Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the teacher any longer.’ When Jesus heard this, he replied, ‘Do not fear. Only believe, and she will be saved.’ When he came to the house, he did not allow anyone to enter with him, except Peter, John, and James, and the child’s father and mother. They were all weeping and wailing for her; but he said, ‘Do not weep; for she is not dead but sleeping.’ And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and called out, ‘Child, get up!’ Her spirit returned, and she got up at once. Then he directed them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astounded; but he ordered them to tell no one what had happened.
Faith is that which makes us believe from the depths of our souls... all the truths that our religion teaches us, all that the Gospel holds and all that the Church sets before us. The just man lives truly by this faith (Rom 1,17), for it replaces for him the greater part of his natural senses. It so transforms all things that the senses are of little use to the soul, which through them is only deceived whilst faith shews it realities. Where the eye sees but a poor man, faith sees Jesus (Mt 25,40). Where the ear hears curses and persecution, faith sings: “Rejoice and be glad” (cf Mt 5,12). The touch feels only blows and stonings, but faith says: “Be glad you are deemed worthy to suffer for the name of Christ” (cf. Acts 5,41)... The smell perceives only incense; faith tells us that the true incense is “the prayers of the saints” (Rv 8,4). The senses lead us astray to created beauty; faith thinks of the eternal beauty and despises all created things, for they are as nothing and as dust beside that beauty. The senses hold pain in horror; faith blesses it as a marriage crown that unites it to its Beloved, like a walk with her Bridegroom hand in divine hand. The senses rebel against injuries, but faith blesses them: “Bless those that curse you” (Lk 6,28)...; she finds them sweet, for in them she shares the lot of Jesus. The senses are full of curiosity; faith is content to know nothing: she thirsts to bury herself, and longs to pass her life motionless before the Tabernacle.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe; for indeed our God is a consuming fire. Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. Let marriage be held in honour by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?’ Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings; for it is well for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by regulations about food, which have not benefited those who observe them.
And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city. In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Then Peter remembered and said to him, ‘Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, "Be taken up and thrown into the sea", and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. ‘Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.’
Once only in the year, yet once, does the world which we see show forth its hidden powers, and in a manner manifest itself. Then the leaves come out, and the blossoms on the fruit trees, and flowers; and the grass and corn spring up. There is a sudden rush and burst outwardly of that hidden life which God has lodged in the material world. Well, that shows you, as by a sample, what it can do at God's command, when He gives the word. This earth... will one day burst forth into a new world of light and glory, in which, we shall see Saints and Angels dwelling. Who would think, except from his experience of former springs all through his life, who could conceive two or three months before, that it was possible that the face of nature, which then seemed so lifeless, should become so splendid and varied?... So it is with the coming of that Eternal Spring, for which all Christians are waiting. Come it will, though it delay; yet though it tarry, let us wait for it, "because it will surely come, it will not tarry" (Heb 10,37). Therefore we say day by day, "Thy kingdom come;" which means,- “O Lord, show Thyself; manifest Thyself; Thou that sittest between the cherubim, show Thyself; stir up Thy strength and come and help us” (Ps 80[79],2-3).