Friday, February 17, 2012

Origen: outward sign, inward grace

Friday, February 17, 2012
    Feast of Janani Luwum, Archbishop of Uganda, Martyr, 1977
    It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.
    —Romans 9:6 (NIV)
    “For not all those are Israelites who are of Israel” nor are all those straightway washed with the Holy Spirit who are washed with water; just as, conversely, those who are numbered among the catechumens are not all deprived and bereft of the Holy Spirit. For I find in the divine Scriptures several catechumens who were held worthy of the Holy Spirit and that others after receiving baptism were unworthy of the grace of the Holy Spirit. Cornelius was a catechumens and before he came to the water he desired to receive the Holy Spirit. Simon [Magus] had received baptism but he was refused the gift of the Holy Spirit because he approached the grace with hypocrisy.
    ... Origen (185?-254?), from Hom. in Numeros, iii.1, in The Early Christian Fathers, Henry Scowcroft Bettenson, London: Oxford University Press, 1969, p. 342 (see the book)
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, correct me whenever I use the Gospel instead of permitting the Gospel to use me.
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