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4th Week of Lent
O God, save me by your name;
by your power, defend my cause.
O God, hear my prayer;
give ear to the words of my mouth. Cf. Ps 54 (53):3-4
O God, who have prepared
fitting helps for us in our weakness,
grant, we pray, that we may receive
their healing effects with joy
and reflect them in a holy way of life.
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.
Wisdom 2:1a, 12-22 (or Micah 7:7-9)
The wicked said among themselves,
thinking not aright:
“Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
he sets himself against our doings,
Reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training.
He professes to have knowledge of God
and styles himself a child of the Lord.
To us he is the censure of our thoughts;
merely to see him is a hardship for us,
Because his life is not like that of others,
and different are his ways.
He judges us debased;
he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure.
He calls blest the destiny of the just
and boasts that God is his Father.
Let us see whether his words be true;
let us find out what will happen to him.
For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
With revilement and torture let us put him to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him.”
These were their thoughts, but they erred;
for their wickedness blinded them,
and they knew not the hidden counsels of God;
neither did they count on a recompense of holiness
nor discern the innocent souls’ reward.
Psalm 34 (or Psalm 27)
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The Lord confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the Lord hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them. R.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
but out of them all the Lord delivers him. R.
He watches over all his bones;
not one of them shall be broken.
The Lord redeems the lives of his servants;
no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him. R.
Praise and honor to you, Lord Jesus Christ!
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God. Mt 4:4b
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 7:1-2, 10, 25-30 (or John 9:1-41)
Jesus moved about within Galilee; he did not wish to travel in Judea, because the Jews were trying to kill him. But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near.
But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret.
Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said, “Is he not the one they are trying to kill? And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him. Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ? But we know where he is from. When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.” So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said, “You know me and also know where I am from. Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.” So they tried to arrest him, but no one laid a hand upon him, because his hour had not yet come.
Prayer over the Offerings
May this sacrifice, almighty God,
cleanse us by its mighty power
and lead us to approach its source
with ever greater purity.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
In Christ, we have redemption by his Blood,
and forgiveness of our sins,
in accord with the riches of his grace. Eph 1:7
Prayer after Communion
Grant, we pray, O Lord,
that, as we pass from old to new,
so, with former ways left behind,
we may be renewed in holiness of mind.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Daily Meditation: John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me. (John 7:29)
Where are you from? How many times have you been asked that question? We usually respond with the names of the city, state, or country where we grew up or have lived for a long time. That place has become part of our identity. The way we talk, the foods we eat, the sports teams we root for—all these and more are often influenced by where we come from.
The people in Jerusalem knew that Jesus was from Nazareth in Galilee. He probably even had a Galilean accent. And that was the problem. “When the Christ comes,” they said, “no one will know where he is from” (John 7:27). Granted, one Old Testament prophecy said the Messiah would come from Bethlehem, the city of David (Micah 5:1). But Galilee? No way!
Jesus didn’t deny his roots: “You . . . know where I am from” (John 7:28). But his roots went much deeper than Nazareth. They went deeper even than his family ties. Jesus was rooted in his identity as the Son of God. He had come from the Father who had sent him. That was the focal point around which everything else in his life—what he thought, said, and did—revolved.
You were born to a specific family in a specific time and place, and this influences who you are today. But your deepest identity comes from God your Father. He created you, and by virtue of your baptism, you have become his son or daughter. Like Jesus, that should be the focal point around which everything else in your life revolves.
Being deeply grounded in our identity as God’s son or daughter will change us. It will affect what we choose to do with our time and energy. It will move us to pray and celebrate the sacraments. It will influence the way we relate to people and the way in which we speak to them. It will make us more aware of the needs of the poor. And it will give our lives purpose and meaning—because like Jesus, we too have been sent to proclaim the good news of God’s merciful love.
What an honor it is to be called a son or daughter of God!
“Father, help me to live out my identity in you.”
Wisdom 2:1, 12-22
Psalm 34:17-21, 23
The Word Among Us’ response to the coronavirus crisis.
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