MEMORIAL OF OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY
Baruch 4:5-12, 27-29
Take courage, my people, who perpetuate Israel’s name! It was not for destruction that you were sold to the nations, but you were handed over to your enemies because you angered God. For you provoked the one who made you by sacrificing to demons and not to God. You forgot the everlasting God, who brought you up, and you grieved Jerusalem, who reared you. For she saw the wrath that came upon you from God, and she said: Listen, you neighbors of Zion, God has brought great sorrow upon me; for I have seen the exile of my sons and daughters, which the Everlasting brought upon them. With joy I nurtured them, but I sent them away with weeping and sorrow. Let no one rejoice over me, a widow and bereaved of many; I was left desolate because of the sins of my children, because they turned away from the law of God.
Take courage, my children, and cry to God, for you will be remembered by the one who brought this upon you. For just as you were disposed to go astray from God, return with tenfold zeal to seek him. For the one who brought these calamities upon you will bring you everlasting joy with your salvation.
Let the oppressed see it and be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. For the Lord hears the needy, and does not despise his own that are in bonds.
Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them. For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah; and his servants shall live there and possess it; the children of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love his name shall live in it.
The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
What is it about our ridiculously short human attention span when it comes to God? One generation reveres God and the very next one gets comfortable and complacent and sinful. The people of God become blessed and very soon, they forget God as if they had become comfortable all by themselves and were able to stay blessed and in charge on their own. Baruch details how the people angered God by sacrificing to demons. God brings the calamities against his people in an attempt to get them to remember him and turn back to him.
As the disciples return with joy from being sent out to preach the Kingdom of God, Jesus speaks to them of their great privilege and their great responsibility. It is not to be taken lightly that they are saving souls. Many prophets and kings had longed to see what they were seeing but did not see it. When it is our time to serve God and witness to marvelous things, we must accept it as a great responsibility as well. The confidence we have is not in the gifts or the calling or even the authority over Satan. Our confidence is in the knowledge of our heavenly reward. Heaven is our home and if we remind people of that and live like we believe it, we could well see miracles of salvation. "For just as you were disposed to go astray from God, return with tenfold zeal to seek him. For the one who brought these calamities upon you will bring you everlasting joy with your salvation."