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4th Week of Lent
Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice;
turn to the Lord and his strength;
constantly seek his face. Cf. Ps 105 (104):3-4
We invoke your mercy in humble prayer, O Lord,
that you may cause us, your servants,
corrected by penance and schooled by good works,
to persevere sincerely in your commands
and come safely to the paschal festivities.
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.
Exodus 32:7-14 (or Micah 7:7-9)
The Lord said to Moses, “Go down at once to your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved. They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it, sacrificing to it and crying out, ‘This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’” The Lord said to Moses, “I see how stiff-necked this people is. Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them. Then I will make of you a great nation.”
But Moses implored the Lord, his God, saying, “Why, O Lord, should your wrath blaze up against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with such great power and with so strong a hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent he brought them out, that he might kill them in the mountains and exterminate them from the face of the earth’? Let your blazing wrath die down; relent in punishing your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and how you swore to them by your own self, saying, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky; and all this land that I promised, I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.’” So the Lord relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people.
Psalm 106 (or Psalm 27)
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Our fathers made a calf in Horeb
and adored a molten image;
They exchanged their glory
for the image of a grass-eating bullock. R.
They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt,
Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,
terrible things at the Red Sea. R.
Then he spoke of exterminating them,
but Moses, his chosen one,
Withstood him in the breach
to turn back his destructive wrath. R.
Praise and honor to you, Lord Jesus Christ!
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life. Jn 3:16
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 5:31-47 (or John 9:1-41)
Jesus said to the Jews: “If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true. But there is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true. You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth. I do not accept human testimony, but I say this so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf. But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form, and you do not have his word remaining in you, because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life.
“I do not accept human praise; moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope. For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
Prayer over the Offerings
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that what we offer in sacrifice
may cleanse us in our frailty from every evil
and always grant us your protection.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
I will place my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts;
and I will be their God, and they shall be my people, says the Lord. Jer 31:33
Prayer after Communion
May this Sacrament we have received purify us, we pray, O Lord,
and grant your servants freedom from all blame,
that those bound by a guilty conscience
may glory in the fullness of heavenly remedy.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Daily Meditation: John 5:31-47
There is another who testifies on my behalf. (John 5:32)
The religious leaders want to kill Jesus. Not only has he cured a man on the Sabbath, but by calling God his Father, he is “making himself equal to God” (John 5:18). Who is he to make such a claim? But Jesus points out that not only John the Baptist but the Scriptures and his own works testify to who he is (5:33, 36). Then, he says that his heavenly Father testifies on his behalf. The problem is that these religious leaders “have never heard his voice” (5:37).
We have heard the voice of the Father testifying to who Jesus is, both through the Scriptures and the Church. But do we hear him testifying to who we are? In the course of our daily lives, his voice can get drowned out by other voices—perhaps by our own condemning thoughts, the demands of life, or the temptations of the devil. So let’s take some time today to imagine our own heavenly Father speaking to us:
“You are my beloved child; I love you unconditionally. Just as I called Jesus my ‘beloved Son,’ so too are you my beloved child (Matthew 3:17). I am pleased with you. I created you out of love, and you bring me much joy, simply because of who you are.
“You are my redeemed child; I have saved you from sin. I know how you sometimes struggle to believe that I have forgiven you. I also know how easy it can be to remain locked in guilt or shame. But I want you to believe that my mercy is for you. So when you wonder if I have really forgiven you, remember that I died for love of you.
“You are my treasured child; you have a future full of hope. It can be easy to slip into thinking that things will never change or to worry about your problems. I don’t want you to be anxious. Believe that all things will work for your good, and continue to place your hope in me.”
These are truths that do not change. So especially when you’re feeling unworthy, discouraged, or tempted to believe the devil’s lies, let your Father testify to who you are and what he has done for you. Let his testimony be the truth that you cling to.
“Father, I believe that I am who you say I am.”
The Word Among Us’ response to the coronavirus crisis.
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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.
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