LENT, Week 4: Wednesday

“Thus says the LORD: In a time of favor I answer you, on the day of salvation I help you; I form you and set you as a covenant for the people, to restore the land and allot the devastated heritages ...” (Isaiah 49:8.)

Origen of Alexandria (part 2 of Pope Benedict’s reflections on Origen) comments on this verse from the Second Reading proclaimed at Mass today:

“God says through the prophet, “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” What other time, then, is more acceptable than when for piety toward God in Christ we are led under guard in procession before the world, celebrating a triumph rather than being led in triumph? For the martyrs in Christ disarm the principalities and powers with him, and they share his triumph as fellows of his sufferings, becoming in this way also fellows of the courageous deeds wrought in his sufferings.7 These deeds include triumphing over principalities and powers, which in a short time you will see conquered and put to shame. What other day is so much a day of salvation as the one when we gain such deliverance from them?” (Exhortation to Martyrdom)

O God, who reward the merits of the just
and offer pardon to sinners who do penance,
have mercy, we pray, on those who call upon you,
that the admission of our guilt
may serve to obtain your pardon for our sins.
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