Saturday, May 29
Saturday of the Eighth week in Ordinary Time
Roman Ordinary calendar
Book of Sirach 51,12cd-20.
I thank the Lord and I praise him;
I bless the name of the LORD.
When I was young and innocent, I sought wisdom.
She came to me in her beauty, and until the end I will cultivate her.
As the blossoms yielded to ripening grapes, the heart’s joy, My feet kept to the level path because from earliest youth I was familiar with her.
In the short time I paid heed, I met with great instruction.
Since in this way I have profited, I will give my teacher grateful praise.
I became resolutely devoted to her– the good I persistently strove for.
I burned with desire for her, never turning back. I became preoccupied with her, never weary of extolling her. My hand opened her gate and I came to know her secrets.
For her I purified my hands; in cleanness I attained to her. At first acquaintance with her, I gained understanding such that I will never forsake her.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
They are more precious than gold,
Than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
Or honey from the comb.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 11,27-33.
Jesus and his disciples returned once more to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple area, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders approached him
and said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?”
Jesus said to them, “I shall ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.”
They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say, ‘(Then) why did you not believe him?’
But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”–they feared the crowd, for they all thought John really was a prophet.
So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.” Then Jesus said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Saint Athanasius (295-373)
Bishop of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church
Discourse against the Arians, 2, 78-79 (trans. breviary Tuesday of the Sixth Week, rev.)
“Who gave you this authority?”
The Only-begotten, the absolute Wisdom of God is the creator and maker of all things. “In wisdom you made all things”, as one of the Psalms says (…) As our human word is the image of the Son of God considered as Word (cf. Jn 1:1), so too the wisdom which is impressed in us is an image of the same Son considered as Wisdom. In this wisdom we have the power of knowledge and thought, and we become capable of receiving the creative Wisdom; and through this we are enabled to know its Father. As scripture says: “He who has the Son has the Father also” (1 Jn 2:23), and again: “He who receives me receives him who sent me” (Mt 10:40) (…)
“But since, in the wisdom of God, as we have explained, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe” (1 Cor 1:21). God no longer wanted, as in former times, to be known through the image and shadow of wisdom that exists In created things. He made the true Wisdom itself take flesh, and become man, and suffer the death of the cross, so that for the future all who believe might be saved by faith in him.
The Wisdom of God formerly revealed itself through its own image impressed on created things (…) and through itself revealed its own Father. It is the same Wisdom of God which later, being the Word, “became flesh” as Saint John says (1:14), and after “destroying death” (1 Cor 15:26) and saving our race revealed himself still more fully and, through himself, his Father. Which caused him to say: “Grant that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (Jn 17:3). Hence the whole earth is filled with the knowledge of him. The knowledge of Father through Son and of Son from Father is one and the same. The Father rejoices in him, and with the same joy the Son delights in the Father. “It was I in whom he rejoiced,” he says, “every day I took delight in his presence” (Prv 8,30).