Feast of St Thecla the Protomartyr & Equal to the Apostles
AMONG THE miracles of God’s providence we can notice how each star takes its place in the firmament of heaven to illuminate the night of our present life, until the Redeemer of the human race, who is the true morning star, rises to end the night. The blackness of night is illuminated by the courses of the stars as they rise and set in the sky, which is significantly brightened by their radiance. Like a ray of light from the stars, rising in its turn to illuminate our dark night and then disappearing, Abel came to personify innocence, Enoch came to teach us purity of action, Noah came to institute long life and persevering hope, Abraham came reveal obedience, Isaac came to personify a chaste married life, Jacob came to institute a patient life of labor, Joseph came to reveal the beauty of returning good for evil, Moses came to reveal meekness, Joshua came to introduce fidelity in times of adversity, and Job came to reveal patience in time of trial.
Behold, these are all bright stars that we observe in heaven so that we may travel our dark path without stumbling. God’s providence has put all these just men on display for everyone to see; in fact, he has put so many of them in this darkness where sinners find themselves that they seem to be stars in the sky; when the true Morning Star rises, He will announce the eternal morning to us, and His divinity will shine brighter than all the other stars.
All the elect foretold this Morning Star; they were His forerunners by their holy lives, and they prophesied about Him by word and deed. In fact, there was not a single just person who was not figuratively His herald. It was becoming, therefore, that all these people should reveal the good that was in them, the good that would enable all people to be good, as they knew would profit all people. That is why the blessing had to be promised unceasingly, a blessing that was given to be received without appraisal and held without limit. In this way, all the ages will together proclaim the redemption of all people, to be revealed at the end of the ages. Accordingly, blessed Job, who embodied such great mysteries concerning the incarnation of God, also had to speak of Christ verbally and reveal Christ in his life. He was to shed light on Christ’s passion by what he suffered and truly to foretell the mystery of Christ’s suffering to the extent that he prophesied it not only by speaking but also by suffering.
~St Gregory the Great, Moralia in Job, Preface