Thursday, March 28, 2024

Holy Thursday: To Suffer at the Hands of the Wicked

“Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the sinner, * and out of the hand of the transgressor of the law and of the unjust.
For thou art my patience, O Lord: * my hope, O Lord, from my youth.” Psalm 70

Lesson from the book of Lamentations

Lam 1:1-5
1 Aleph. How doth the city sit solitary that was full of people! how is the mistress of the Gentiles become as a widow: the princes of provinces made tributary!
2 Beth. Weeping she hath wept in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: there is none to comfort her among all them that were dear to her: all her friends have despised her, and are become her enemies.
3 Ghimel. Juda hath removed her dwelling place because of her affliction, and the greatness of her bondage: she hath dwelt among the nations, and she hath found no rest: all her persecutors have taken her in the midst of straits.
4 Daleth. The ways of Sion mourn, because there are none that come to the solemn feast: all her gates are broken down: her priests sigh: her virgins are in affliction, and she is oppressed with bitterness.
5 He. Her adversaries are become her lords, her enemies are enriched: because the Lord hath spoken against her for the multitude of her iniquities: her children are led into captivity: before the face of the oppressor.

From the Treatise of St. Augustine, Bishop (of Hippo) Upon the Psalms

On Psalm liv, 1
Give ear to my prayer, O God, and despise not my supplication: attend unto me and hear me. These are the words of a man travailing, anxious, and troubled. He prayeth in the midst of much suffering, longing to be rid of his affliction. Our part is to see what that his affliction was, and when he hath told us, to acknowledge that we also suffer therefrom; that so, partaking in his trouble, we may take part also in his exercise, and am troubled. Wherein mourned he? Wherein was he troubled? He saith: In my exercise. In the next words he giveth us to know that his affliction was the oppression of the wicked, because of the voice of the enemy, and because of the oppression of the wicked, and this suffering which came upon him at the hands of wicked men, he hath called his exercise. Think not that wicked men are in this world for nothing, or that God doth no good with them. Every wicked man liveth, either to repent, or to exercise the righteous.

O God, from Whom Judas received the punishment of his guilt, and the thief the reward of his confession: grant unto us the full fruit of Thy clemency; that even as in His Passion our Lord Jesus Christ gave to each retribution according to his merits, so having cleared away our former guilt, He may bestow on us the grace of His Resurrection.

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