LENT, Week 2: Thursday

“Thus says the LORD: Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD.” (Jeremiah 17:5.)

Saint Augustine of Hippo comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

““What is your own opinion? What people do you call happy?” He [the psalmist] would not say, “Happy is the people whose strength is in their own mind.” If he had said this, he would, it is true, distinguish that people from the former that made happiness consist in that visible and bodily good fortune, but he would not yet have passed beyond all the vanities and lying follies, for the same Scriptures teach elsewhere: “Cursed be everyone that places his hope in humankind.” Therefore, he ought not to place it in himself, because he himself is human. Thus, in order to pass beyond the boundaries of all vanities and lying follies and to place happiness where it truly exists, he says, “Happy is the people whose God is the Lord.”” (Letter 155)

O God,
Who delight in innocence and restore it,
direct the hearts of your servants to Yourself,
that, caught up in the fire of Your Spirit,
we may be found steadfast in faith
and effective in works.
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