Saturday of week 26 of the year, or Saturday memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Take courage, my people,
constant reminder of Israel.
You were sold to the nations,
but not for extermination.
You provoked God;
and so were delivered to your enemies,
since you had angered your creator
by offering sacrifices to demons, not to God.
You had forgotten the eternal God who reared you.
You had also grieved Jerusalem who nursed you,
for when she saw the anger fall on you
from God, she said:
Listen, you neighbours of Zion:
God has sent me great sorrow.
I have seen my sons and daughters taken into captivity,
to which they have been sentenced by the Eternal.
I had reared them joyfully;
in tears, in sorrow, I watched them go away.
Do not, any of you, exult over me,
a widow, deserted by so many;
I suffer loneliness because of the sins of my own children,
who turned away from the Law of God.
Take courage, my children, call on God:
he who brought disaster on you will remember you.
As by your will you first strayed away from God,
so now turn back and search for him ten times as hard;
for as he brought down those disasters on you,
so will he rescue you and give you eternal joy.
Psalm or canticle
The poor when they see it will be glad
and God-seeking hearts will revive;
for the Lord listens to the needy
and does not spurn his servants in their chains.
Let the heavens and the earth give him praise,
the sea and all its living creatures.
For God will bring help to Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah
and men shall dwell there in possession.
The sons of his servants shall inherit it;
those who love his name shall dwell there.
The seventy-two came back rejoicing. ‘Lord,’ they said ‘even the devils submit to us when we use your name.’ He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Yes, I have given you power to tread underfoot serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy; nothing shall ever hurt you. Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven.’
It was then that, filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, he said, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’
Then turning to his disciples he spoke to them in private, ‘Happy the eyes that see what you see, for I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.’