Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Monday of Holy Week

by St. Augustine

Descriptive Title

2nd Reading for Monday of Holy Week

Description

Here is the second reading from the Office of Readings of the Liturgy of the Hours for Monday of Holy Week, excerpted from one of St. Augustine's sermons. He extols the cross of Christ and urges his listeners to take pride in Christ's passion and death. Christians ought to follow the example of St. Paul and boast in their salvation, the holy cross. At the end is a responsory and prayer from the Divine Office.

Larger Work

Office of Readings

Pages

465-467

Publisher & Date

Daughters of St. Paul, 1983

From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop

LET US TOO GLORY IN THE CROSS OF THE LORD

The passion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the hope of glory and a lesson in patience.

What may not the hearts of believers promise themselves as the gift of God's grace, when for their sake God's only Son, co-eternal with the Father, was not content only to be born as man from human stock but even died at the hands of the men he had created?

It is a great thing that we are promised by the Lord, but far greater is what has already been done for us, and which we now commemorate. Where were the sinners, what were they, when Christ died for them? When Christ has already given us the gift of his death, who is to doubt that he will give the saints the gift of his own life? Why does our human frailty hesitate to believe that mankind will one day live with God?

Who is Christ if not the Word of God: in the beginning was the Word, and the Words was with God, and the Word was God? This Word of God was made flesh and dwelt among us. He had no power of himself to die for us: he had to take from us our mortal flesh. This was the way in which, though immortal, he was able to die; the way in which he chose to give life to mortal men: he would first share with us, and then enable us to share with him. Of ourselves we had no power to live, nor did he of himself have the power to live.

The death of the Lord our God should not be a cause of shame for us; rather, it should be our greatest hope, our greatest glory. In taking upon himself the death that he found in us, he has most faithfully promised to give us life in him, such as we cannot have of ourselves.

He loved us so much that, sinless himself, he suffered for us sinners the punishment we deserved for our sins. How then can he fail to give us the reward we deserve for our righteousness, for he is the source of righteousness? How can he, whose promises are true, fail to reward the saints when he bore the punishment of sinners, though without sin himself?

Brethren, let us then fearlessly acknowledge, and even openly proclaim, that Christ was crucified for us; let us confess it, not in fear but in joy, not in shame but in glory.

The apostle Paul saw Christ, and extolled his claim to glory. He had many great and inspired things to say about Christ, but he did not say that he boasted in Christ's wonderful works: in creating the world, since he was God with the Father, or in ruling the world, though he was also a man like us. Rather, he said: Let me not boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

RESPONSORY

We worship your cross, O Lord;
we recall your glorious passion.
--Have mercy on us for whose sake
you endured so much.

You have redeemed us with your precious blood;
hear the prayer of your servants
and come to our help.
--Have mercy on...

PRAYER

All-powerful God,
by the suffering and death of your Son,
strengthen and protect us in our weakness.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

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