Saturday of Week XXVI

“For you provoked your Maker with sacrifices to demons and not to God; ...” (Baruch 4:7.)

In commenting on these verses from today’s First Reading, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“And my people has not understood me.” They have not understood me, he says, that I am more brilliant than the sun. “Woe to a sinful people.” This also is typical of the prophets, to grieve over one who is sick with an incurable illness. Jeremiah does this in many places, and Christ as well, saying, “Woe to you, Chorazin, woe to you, Bethsaida,” because this also is a form of instruction. In fact, one who has not been brought back by reasoning can often be corrected by someone’s grief. “People full of sins.” Another accusation: all are so, and gravely. “Perverse race.” He does not accuse their birth but indicates that their wickedness began from the earliest age. Just as John, when he said, “serpents, children of vipers,” did not depreciate their nature (otherwise he would not have said, “Produce fruit, then, worthy of repentance,” if they had been such by nature and by birth), so also here, in saying “Perverse race,” the prophet does not accuse their birth. “Lawless children.” He did not say, “outside of the law,” but “without law,” with a disposition in no way better than those who had received no law at all, thus showing that the difference is in their previous choice. “You have abandoned the Lord, angering him.” He said this expressively: the name of God would have been enough to establish the accusation. It is what Jeremiah reproves, saying, “Since they have departed from him and are drawn near to demons.” “The Holy One of Israel.” This is the culmination of the accusation, by the fact that though he was the common Lord of all, it was to them that he had made himself known.” (Commentary on Isaiah, 1.)

O God,
Who manifest your almighty power
above all by pardoning and showing mercy,
bestow, we pray, your grace abundantly upon us
and make those hastening to attain your promises
heirs to the treasures of heaven.
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. Amen.

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