The Word Among Us

Mass Reading & Meditation for March 28, 2020 View another date

Meditation: John 7:40-53

View The Order of Mass | Subscriber? Login to view archives

During this challenging time, many of us may be unable to attend Mass.

The Word Among Us, with the help of the USCCB, is honored to provide complimentary access to the daily Mass readings and our entire website to help people pray from home. Find out more.

Receive our new email newsletter for special messages and reflections »

4th Week of Lent

Entrance Antiphon

The waves of death rose about me;
the pains of the netherworld surrounded me.
In my anguish I called to the Lord,
and from his holy temple he heard my voice. Cf. Ps 18 (17):5.7


May the working of your mercy, O Lord, we pray,
direct our hearts aright,
for without your grace
we cannot find favor in your sight.
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. Amen.

Jeremiah 11:18-20 (or Micah 7:7-9)

I knew their plot because the Lord informed me;
at that time you, O Lord, showed me their doings.

Yet I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter,
had not realized that they were hatching plots against me:
“Let us destroy the tree in its vigor;
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will be spoken no more.”

But, you, O Lord of hosts, O just Judge,
searcher of mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause!

Psalm 7 (or Psalm 27)

R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers and rescue me,
Lest I become like the lion’s prey,
to be torn to pieces, with no one to rescue me. R.
Do me justice, O Lord, because I am just,
and because of the innocence that is mine.
Let the malice of the wicked come to an end,
but sustain the just,
O searcher of heart and soul, O just God. R.
A shield before me is God,
who saves the upright of heart;
A just judge is God,
a God who punishes day by day. R.

Gospel Acclamation

Praise and honor to you, Lord Jesus Christ!
Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance. Cf. Lk 8:15
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life. Jn 8:12
Praise and honor to you, Lord Jesus Christ!

John 7:40-53 (or John 9:1-41)

Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said, “This is truly the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he? Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” So a division occurred in the crowd because of him. Some of them even wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?” The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.” So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.” Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them, “Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?” They answered and said to him, “You are not from Galilee also, are you? Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

Then each went to his own house.

Prayer over the Offerings

Be pleased, O Lord, we pray,
with these oblations you receive from our hands,
and, even when our wills are defiant,
constrain them mercifully to turn to you.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Communion Antiphon

By the precious Blood of Christ,
the Blood of a spotless and unblemished Lamb,
we have been redeemed. Cf. 1 Pt 1:18-19

Prayer after Communion

May your holy gifts purify us, O Lord, we pray,
and by their working render us fully pleasing to you.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

View the Order of Mass

Today's Meditation: John 7:40-53

Never before has anyone spoken like this man. (John 7:46)

There’s a lot of confusion in this passage. Some thought Jesus was a prophet. Others thought he was the Messiah. Others doubted that he was anything special because of his place of birth. And still others thought he should be arrested because his words scandalized so many of the religious leaders.

But there was one group of people who wasn’t confused: the Temple soldiers. They decided not to arrest Jesus. Their reason for disobeying direct orders? “Never before has anyone spoken like this man” (John 7:46). Something about Jesus and his way of speaking made them pause and question themselves. Jesus’ words had found a way into their hearts, and those words took them by surprise and challenged them to think differently about the Lord whose Temple they were sworn to protect.

We all get confused sometimes. We have questions about our faith. We may struggle with a particular Church teaching. Sometimes we read Scripture without truly understanding what is being said or why. Sometimes it’s the events of our own lives—difficult periods of waiting, grieving, or watching people suffer—that leave our heads spinning. So what should we do? We can learn something from these Temple guards: listen to Jesus in his word.

There is power in the word of God. And we can experience this power when we are open and listening to it. Anyone can hear a Bible passage being proclaimed, but those who are thirsting for God will hear it address them personally. So will those who are eager for truth, those who know how empty their hearts are without the Lord, and those who are tired of living only for themselves. In each of these situations—and countless others—the Holy Spirit finds open hearts, and he comes to them. He gives glimmers of God’s love and invites them to keep pursuing him.

We don’t know what ultimately happened with these guards, but we do know one thing: their lives were upended that day, and they couldn’t go back to living as before. And neither can we.

“Come, Holy Spirit, and speak God’s word to my heart.”

Jeremiah 11:18-20
Psalm 7:2-3, 9-12

The Word Among Us’ response to the coronavirus crisis.

Free Access: The Word Among Us has decided to provide free access to all our magazine content on our website during this stage of the coronavirus crisis.

Daily Mass readings: We would like to thank the USCCB for their generous offer to allow us to post the daily Mass readings on our website and to the public.

Print & Digital Subscribers: Thank you for your continued support of The Word Among Us through your subscriptions. Without you, it would not be possible for us to offer the magazine without cost to other brothers and sisters in Christ who need encouragement at this time.

Prayer Center: From the very beginning, The Word Among Us staff has gathered three times each week to pray for all our readers and for anyone who submits prayer requests. Now, more than ever, we want to intensify our efforts to lift up you and your loved ones in prayer. While our staff cannot meet together in person for the time being, we are continuing to intercede remotely. So please, send us your prayer requests. We believe in the power of prayer!