Lent: Friday of the Fifth Week

“LORD of hosts, you test the just, you see mind and heart, Let me see the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause.” (Jeremiah 20:12)

Saint Jerome offers the following insight on these verses from today’s First Reading:

“The Lord alone is able to certify justice, in the same way that he alone sees the interior of a person’s heart. Hence, Jesus knows the thoughts of people not as an acquired skill, as some allege, but because he is God by nature. Such is what the psalmist sings: “No living creature will be justified in your presence.” If none of those living in virtue are justified, how much more true will this be of those who are dead from sin! Even though the just person knows himself to have God as a defender, the impatience of human fragility desires to see right now what it knows to be coming. Jeremiah also entrusted his cause to God, to the one who said elsewhere, “Vengeance is mine. I will repay, says the Lord.” But the conscience is happy whose cause is entrusted to the Lord, as the apostle said: “Anything that is visible is light.” (Six Books on Jeremiah, 4)

Pardon the offenses of Your peoples,
we pray, O Lord,
and in Your goodness set us free
from the bonds of the sins
we have committed in our weakness.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen