LENT, Week 4: Friday

“For, not thinking rightly, they said among themselves: “Brief and troubled is our lifetime; there is no remedy for our dying, nor is anyone known to have come back from Hades.” (Wisdom 2:1.)

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

“They are corrupt, they do abominable things, no one does what is right.” Listen to these corrupt people. They in fact “have spoken among themselves, reasoning unsoundly.” Corruption begins with bad faith. From there it passes to depraved habits, later leading to the most violent injustice. This is, in general, the ladder one climbs. What, then, did they say among themselves, thinking badly, “our life is short and sorrowful”? From this mistaken conviction proceeds what the apostle also spoke of: “Let us eat and drink, because tomorrow we die.” But in the book of Wisdom this wantonness is described more thoroughly: “Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they wither. Let us leave signs of our enjoyment.” And after this more thorough description of wantonness, what do we read? “Let us kill the poor, just person,” which is as much as to say, “God does not exist.” (Exposition of the Psalms)

O God, Who have prepared
fitting helps for us in our weakness,
grant, we pray, that we may receive
their healing effects with joy
and reflect them in a holy way of life.
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