“Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.
Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Mt 5:11-12)
Yesterday, we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon Mary and the Apostles while they were in the Upper Room
Today, we celebrate the Memorial of St. Ephrem, a Doctor of the Church, who lived in the early to middle 300’s.
Ephrem did his utmost to fight against the Arian heresy which denied the divinity of Jesus and which was rampant at his time. One of the ways that he did this was to use the melodies of the songs that the heretics had written — melodies and songs that had become quite popular — and replace their words for beautiful, theologically-appropriate words. Thus, he used much of their own work against them.
He did this so well that he was called the “Harp of the Holy Spirit”.
The world is set against the Lord and all the He stands for. It does its best to lead the people of the world astray. Yet we, like Ephrem, can fight the world even by using what it has to offer.
We pray that God gives us the gifts of the Holy Spirit so that we may continue to proclaim the message of Jesus today.
FAITH ACTION: Pray the Prayer of St. Ephrem
O Lord and Master of my life, keep from me
the spirit of indifference and discouragement,
lust of power and idle chatter.
Instead, grant to me, Your servant, the spirit
of wholeness of being, humble-mindedness,
patience, and love.
O Lord and King, grant me the grace to be aware
of my sins and not to judge my brother; for You
are blessed now and ever and forever. Amen.