Patristic Lectionary (Year 1) – Friday, Fifth Week in Ordinary Time – 10 February 2023

Patristic Lectionary (Year 1) – Friday, Fifth Week in Ordinary Time (Feria after Septuagesima Sunday) – 10 February 2023 – St. Scholastica

[ Consonant with both Anglicanism’s and monasticism’s love of patristic theology-spirituality, this is a series of occasional selections from a two-year lectionary for the Divine Office that draws mostly from patristic writings.  The lectionary was initially edited by Stephen Mark Holmes (University of Edinburgh School of Divinity) and subsequently re-edited and formatted by Michele Freyhauf (Durham University).  Click here for the link to the lectionary.  R. M. Healey’s edition is also used if there are lacunae in the Durham edition.  Click here for the link to Healey’s formatting of the lectionary. ]

[ Image: Deborah Mills, Lamb-of-God detail from St. Peregrine Shrine project, Staten Island, New York.  Mills trained under Norwegian master woodcarver Erik Fridstrøm ]

[ Preceding selection of readings in this lectionary.  Next selection of readings in this lectionary. ]

I Corinthians 5:1-13

Advice about Immoral Men

It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. 

For though absent in body I am present in spirit, and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men; not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But rather I wrote to you not to associate with any one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber – not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. Drive out the wicked person from among you.

Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994)

606-618 – “Christ Offered Himself to His Father for Our Sins

From the first moment of his Incarnation the Son embraces the Father’s plan of divine salvation in his redemptive mission. The desire to embrace his Father’s plan of redeeming love inspired Jesus’ whole life, for his redemptive Passion was the very reason for his Incarnation. After agreeing to baptise him along with the sinners, John the Baptist looked at Jesus and pointed him out as the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. By doing so, he reveals that Jesus is at the same time the suffering Servant who silently allows himself to be led to the slaughter and who bears the sin of the multitudes, and also the Paschal Lamb, the symbol of Israel’s redemption at the first Passover. Christ’s whole life expresses his mission: to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

By embracing in his human heart the Father’s love for men, Jesus loved them to the end, for greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. In suffering and death his humanity became the free and perfect instrument of his divine love which desires the salvation of men. Christ’s death is both the Paschal sacrifice that accomplishes the definitive redemption of men, through the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, and the sacrifice of the New Covenant, which restores man to communion with God by reconciling him to God through the blood of the covenant which was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

This sacrifice of Christ is unique; it completes and surpasses all other sacrifices. First, it is a gift from God the Father himself, for the Father handed his Son over to sinners in order to reconcile us with himself. At the same time it is the offering of the Son of God made man, who in freedom and love offered his life to his Father through the Holy Spirit in reparation for our disobedience. It is love to the end that confers on Christ’s sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. No man, not even the holiest, was ever able to take on himself the sins of all men and offer himself as a sacrifice for all. The existence in Christ of the divine person of the Son, who at once surpasses and embraces all human persons, and constitutes himself as the Head of all mankind, makes possible his redemptive sacrifice for all.

The Cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the one mediator between God and men. But because in his incarnate divine person he has in some way united himself to every man, the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery is offered to all men. He calls his disciples to take up their cross and follow him, for Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example so that we should follow in his steps. Apart from the Cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.


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