Resumed 6th Sunday after Epiphany – Sunday, November 19, 2023
The Gospel brings out again the divinity of Christ. Jesus is God, for He reveals to us “things hidden from the foundation of the world” (Gospel). His word, compared by Him to a small seed cast into the field of the world, and to a little leaven put in the lump, is divine for it stills our passions and produces in our hearts the wonders of faith, hope, and charity of which the Epistle speaks.
The Church, stirred to greater effort by the word of Christ, is admirably represented by these three measures of meal that the energy of fermentation has “wholly leavened” (Gospel) and by the mustard plant, the largest of its kind, where the birds of heaven gladly come for shelter.
The praise which the apostle here gives to the Thessalonians for their fervor in the faith they had embraced, conveys a reproach to the Christians of our own times. These neophytes of Thessalonica, who, a short time before, were worshippers of idols, had become so earnest in the practice of the Christian religion, that even the apostle is filled with admiration. We are the descendants of countless Christian ancestors. We received our regeneration by Baptism at our first coming into the world. We were taught the doctrine of Jesus Christ from our earliest childhood. And yet, our faith is not so strong, or our lives so holy, as were those of the early Christians. Their main occupation was serving the living and true God and waiting for the coming of their Savior. Our hope is precisely the same as that which made their hearts so fervent; how comes it that our faith is not like theirs in its generosity? We love this present life, as though we had not the firm conviction that it is to pass away. As far as depends upon us, we are handing down to future generations a Christianity very different from that which our Savior established, which the apostles preached, and which the pagans of the first ages thought they were bound to purchase at any price or sacrifice.
Commentary from The St. Andrew Daily Missal (1954) by Dom Gaspar Lefebvre O.S.B., (1880-1966) and The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Guéranger, O.S.B. (1805-1875).