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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Cyril was ordained in Jerusalem in 345. He was well-educated and a biblical scholar. Within five years of his ordination, he was made Bishop of Jerusalem. This was a troubled time with political and doctrinal controversies following the Nicene Council. Cyril defended the Nicene Creed against the Arians. He is best known for his twenty-three Lenten homilies of instruction for those to be baptized during the Easter vigil; in his homilies we find a summary of the beliefs and theological traditions of the Jerusalem community. St. Cyril was named a doctor of the Church.

The opening prayer today is "Lord, during this Lenten season nourish us with your word of life and make us one in love and prayer.

In the Gospel (Matthew 5:17-19 Jesus tells us that he has not come to abolish the law or the prophets. "I have come not to abolish but to fulfill." He then warns his disciples about breaking the least of the commandments. As always, there is a positive note for Jesus says, "But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."

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