Wednesday 7 December 2022

About Today Readings

St Ambrose

Isaiah 40:25-31. O bless the Lord, my soul – Psalm 102(103):1-4, 8, 10. Matthew 11:28-30.

The Lord is our strength

‘My yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ Ambrose, whose feast is today, might have every reason to disagree with the Lord. He lived in ‘interesting’ tumultuous times. The Roman Empire was beginning to fracture. The Christian religion, recently accepted among the religions of the empire, was divided by the Arian heresy. Emperor Valentinian had sent Ambrose to Milan as governor of the province. When the Arian bishop Auxentius died, Arians and Christians were fighting over his successor. Ambrose, as governor, intervened. Someone shouted, ‘Ambrose for bishop’ and all joined in. Valentinian agreed with the crowd, and within a week Ambrose, despite his protestations, was baptised a Christian, and ordained bishop on 7 December 374. He was about 34 years old. He died on Good Friday 23 years later in 397, and is remembered as one of the greatest bishops of Milan. Augustine of Hippo was one of his famous converts.


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