Friday of Week XXVII

“Gird yourselves and lament, you priests! wail, ministers of the altar! Come, spend the night in sackcloth, ministers of my God! For the grain offering and the libation are withheld from the house of your God.” (Joel 1:13.)

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus reflects on this verse from today’s First Reading:

“Joel again summons us wailing and will have the ministers of the altar lament under the conditions of famine. He does not allow us to revel in the misfortunes of others. After sanctifying a fast, calling a solemn assembly and gathering the old men, the children, and those of tender age, we ourselves must further haunt the temple in sackcloth and ashes, prostrated humbly on the ground, because the field is wasted and the meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the Lord, till we draw down mercy by our humiliation.” (In Defense of His Flight to Pontus (Oration 2)

Almighty ever-living God,
who in the abundance of your kindness
surpass the merits and the desires
of those who entreat you,
pour out your mercy upon us
to pardon what conscience dreads
and to give what prayer does not dare to ask.
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