01Mar Mass Readings for March, 2019

Readings for March, 2019

plus Saints who are listed for this month, in the Liturgical Calendar for Ireland


01 March

02 March

03 March

04 March

05 March

06 March

07 March

08 March

09 March

10 March

11 March

12 March

13 March

14 March

15 March

16 March

17 March

18 March

19 March

20 March

21 March

22 March

23 March

24 March

25 March

26 March

27 March

28 March

29 March

30 March

31 March



BIBLE

01 March. Friday, Week 7

1st Reading: Sirach 6:5-17

Let your friends be tried and trusted. A faithful friend is a tonic

Pleasant speech multiplies friends,
and a gracious tongue multiplies courtesies.
Let those who are friendly with you be many,
but let your advisers be one in a thousand.

When you gain friends, gain them through testing,
and do not trust them hastily.
For there are friends who are such when it suits them,
but they will not stand by you in time of trouble.

And there are friends who change into enemies,
and tell of the quarrel to your disgrace.
And there are friends who sit at your table,
but they will not stand by you in time of trouble.

When you are prosperous, they become your second self,
and lord it over your servants;
but if you are brought low, they turn against you,
and hide themselves from you.

Keep away from your enemies,
and be on guard with your friends.

Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter:
whoever finds one has found a treasure.
Faithful friends are beyond price;
no amount can balance their worth.

Faithful friends are life-saving medicine;
and those who fear the Lord will find them.
Those who fear the Lord direct their friendship aright,
for as they are, so are their neighbours also. (R./)

Responsorial: Psalm 118:12, 16, 18, 27, 34-35

Response: Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands

Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes.
I take delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word. (R./)

Open my eyes that I may consider
the wonders of your law.
Make me grasp the way of your precepts
and I will muse on your wonders. (R./)

Train me to observe your law,
to keep it with my heart.
Guide me in the path of your commands
for there is my delight. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 10:1-12

Jesus’ condemnation of divorce and remarriage

Jesus left that place and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan. And crowds again gathered around him; and, as was his custom, he again taught them.

Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, allowed write certificate of dismissal and her.” But Jesus said “Because your hardness heart wrote this commandment you. from the beginning creation, ‘God made them male female. reason shall leave father mother be joined wife, two become one flesh.’ So are no longer two, Therefore has together, let nobody separate.”

Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against
her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”


BIBLE

02 March. Saturday, Week 7

1st Reading: Sirach (17:1-15

God made us in the divine image, and looks with favour on us

The Lord created human beings out of earth,
and makes them return to it again.
He gave them a fixed number of days,
but granted them authority over everything on the earth.

He endowed them with strength like his own,
and made them in his own image.
He put the fear of them in all living beings,
and gave them dominion over beasts and birds.

Discretion and tongue and eyes,
ears and a mind for thinking he gave them.
He filled them with knowledge and understanding,
and showed them good and evil.

He put the fear of him into their hearts
to show them the majesty of his works.
And they will praise his holy name,
to proclaim the grandeur of his works.

He bestowed knowledge upon them,
and allotted to them the law of life.

and revealed to them his decrees.

Their eyes saw his glorious majesty,
and their ears heard the glory of his voice.
He said to them, “Beware of all evil” >
and gave command to each of them concerning the neighbour.

Their ways are always known to him;
they will not be hidden from his eyes. (R./)

Responsorial: Psalm 102:13-18

Response: The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

As a father has compassion on his children,
the Lord has pity on those who fear him;
for he knows of what we are made,
he remembers that we are dust. (R./)

As for man, his days are like grass;
he flowers like the flower of the field.
The wind blows and he is gone
and his place never sees him again. (R./)

But the love of the Lord is everlasting
upon those who hold him in fear;
his justice reaches out to children’s children
when they keep his covenant in truth. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 10:13-16

Jesus embraces and blesses the children who come to him

People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever
does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.


BIBLE

03 March. 8th Sunday (Year C)

1st Reading: Sirach 27:4-7

Three images about ways of speaking

When a sieve is shaken, the refuse appears;
so do a person’s faults when he speaks.

The kiln tests the potter’s vessels;
so the test of a person is in his conversation.

As its fruit discloses the cultivation of a tree,
so does our speech discloses the cultivation of our mind.

Do not praise anyone before he speaks,
for this is the way people are tested.

Responsorial: Psalm 91:2-3, 13-16

Response: Lord, it is good to give thanks to you

It is good to give thanks to the Lord
to make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
and your truth in the watches of the night. (R./)

The just will flourish like the palm-tree
and grow like a Lebanon cedar. (R./)

Planted in the house of the Lord
they will flourish in the courts of our God,
still bearing fruit when they are old,
still full of sap, still green,
to proclaim that the Lord is just.
In him, my rock, there is no wrong. (R./)

2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:54-58

If we persevere in God’s work, we need not fear death

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where thy victory? sting?” The sting of sin, and power sin law. But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, steadfast, immovable, always abounding work Lord, knowing that your labour not vain.

Gospel: Luke 6:39-45

We cannot offer guidance unless we see the way clearly ourselves

Jesus told them a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, ‘Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye.

“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil;
for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.”


BIBLE

04 March. Monday, Week 8

1st Reading: Sirach 17:24-29

Repent from sin while you still can. The dead cannot praise God

Turn to the Lord, plead before his face and lessen your offence.
To those who repent God permits return,
and he encourages those who were losing hope.

Return to the Lord and leave sin behind,
plead before his face and lessen your offence.
Come back to the Most High and turn away from iniquity,
and hold in abhorrence all that is foul.

Who will praise the Most High in Sheol,
if the living do not do so by giving glory to him?
To the dead, as to those who do not exist, praise is unknown,
only those with life and health can praise the Lord.
How great is the mercy of the Lord,
his pardon on all those who turn towards him!

Responsorial: Psalm 31:1-2, 5-7

Response: Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.

Happy the person whose offence is forgiven,
whose sin is remitted.
O happy the one to whom the Lord imputes no guilt,
in whose spirit is no guile. (R./)

But now I have acknowledged my sins;
my guilt I did not hide.
I said: ‘I will confess my offence to the Lord.’
And you, Lord, have forgiven the guilt of my sin. (R./)

So let every good person pray to you
in the time of need.
The floods of water may reach high
but him they shall not reach. (R./)

You are my hiding place, O Lord;
you save me from distress.
You surround me with cries of deliverance. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 10:17-27

Jesus invites the rich young man to give away his money and be a disciple

As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said him, “Why you call me good? No one is but God alone. know the commandments: shall not murder; commit adultery; steal; bear false witness; defraud; Honour your father and mother.'” He have kept all these since my youth.” Jesus, looking at loved him said, lack thing; go, sell own, give money poor, will treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When heard this, was shocked went away grieving, for had many possessions.

Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God.” And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked
at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”


BIBLE

05 March. Tuesday, Week 8

1st Reading: Sirach 35:1-12

The wise person is generous to the poor and avoids extortion

The one who keeps the law makes many offerings;
one who heeds the commandments makes an offering of well-being.
The one who returns a kindness offers choice flour,
and one who gives alms sacrifices a thank offering.
To keep from wickedness is pleasing to the Lord,
and to forsake unrighteousness is an atonement.

Do not appear before the Lord empty-handed,
for all that you offer is in fulfillment of the commandment.
The offering of the righteous enriches the altar,
and its pleasing odour rises before the Most High.
The sacrifice of the righteous is acceptable,
and it will never be forgotten.

Be generous when you worship the Lord,
and do not stint the first fruits of your hands.
With every gift show a cheerful face,
and dedicate your tithe with gladness.
Give to the Most High as he has given to you,
and as generously as you can afford.

Responsorial: Psalm 49:5-8, 14, 23

Response: To the upright I will show the saving power of God

Summon before me my people
who made covenant with me by sacrifice.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
for he, God, is the judge. (R./)

‘Listen, my people, I will speak;
Israel, I will testify against you, for I am God your God.
I find no fault with your sacrifices,
your offerings are always before me. (R./)

‘Pay your sacrifice of thanksgiving to God
and render him your votive offerings.
A sacrifice of thanksgiving honours me
and I will show God’s salvation to the upright.’ (R./)

Gospel: Mark 10:28-31

Repaid a hundredfoldr for anything we give up for Jesus’ sake

Peter began to say to Jesus, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” He answered, “Truly I tell you, there is nobody who has house or brothers sisters mother father children fields, for my sake the of good news, will not receive a hundredfold now in this age, houses, sisters, mothers children, fields with persecutions, age to come eternal life. But many are first be last, last first.”


BIBLE

06 March. Ash Wednesday

1st Reading: Joel 2:12-18

Return to me with all your heart. Spare your people, Lord

“Now,” says the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, fasting, weeping, and mourning; rend hearts not garments.”

Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil. Who knows whether he will not turn and repent, and leave a blessing behind him, a cereal offering and a drink offering for the Lord, your God?

Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Sanctify the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants.

Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber. Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep and say, “Spare your people, O Lord, and make not your heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, `Where is their God?'” Then the Lord became jealous for his land, and had pity on his people.

Responsorial: Psalm 51

Response: Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned

Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin. (R./)

My offences truly I know them;
my sin is always before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned:
what is evil in your sight I have done. (R./)

A pure heart create for me, O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your holy spirit. (R./)

Give me again the joy of your help;
with a spirit of fervour sustain me.
O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall declare your praise. (R./)

2nd Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:20 — 6:2

Do not receive the grace of God in vain

We are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says, “At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.” See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!

Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Your Father who sees in secret will reward you

Jesus said to his disciples, “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is
in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.


BIBLE

07 March. Thursday after Ash Wednesday

1st Reading: Deuteronomy 30:15-20

A warm call to fidelity. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live!

Keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess.

But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

Responsorial: Psalm 1

Response: Happy are they who hope in the Lord

Blessed are they who who follow not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walk in the way of sinners,
nor sit in the company of the insolent,
But delight in the law of the Lord
and meditate on his law day and night. (R./)

They are is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever they do will prosper. (R./)

Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the Lord watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 9:22-25

Jesus predicts his passion. Disciples must carry their daily cross after him.

Jesus said to his disciples, “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by elders, chief priests, scribes, killed, on third day raised.” Then he said to them all, “If any want become my followers, let deny themselves take up their cross daily follow me. For those who save life will lose it, sake it. What does it profit they gain whole world, but or
forfeit themselves?”


BIBLE

08 March. Friday after Ash Wednesday

1st Reading: Isaiah 58:1-9

True religion is contrasted with merely external observance

Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins. Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God. “Why do we fast, but you not see? humble ourselves, notice?”

Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers. Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like rushes, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

Responsorial: Psalm 51

Response: A humbled, contrite heart, O Lord, you will not spurn

Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin. (R./)

My offences truly I know them;
my sin is always before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned;
what is evil in your sight I have done. (R./)

For in sacrifice you take no delight,
burnt offering from me you would refuse,
my sacrifice a contrite spirit.
A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 9:14-15

Jesus predicts fasting in the future, once the bridegroom has left this world

Then the disciples of John came to Jesus, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they
will fast.


BIBLE

09 March. Saturday after Ash Wednesday

1st Reading: Isaiah 58:9-14

If they are converted, they are blessed, with waters that never fail

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, “Here I am.” If you remove the yoke from among you, pointing of finger, speaking evil, offer your food to hungry and satisfy needs afflicted, then light shall rise in darkness gloom be like noonday. Lord will guide continually, parched places, make bones strong; a watered garden, spring water, whose waters never fail. ancient ruins rebuilt; raise up foundations many generations; called repairer breach, restorer streets live in.

If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honourable; if you honour it, not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs; then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Responsorial: Psalm 86

Response: O Lord teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth

Turn your ear, O Lord, and give answer
for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am faithful:
save the servant who trusts in you. (R./)

You are my God, have mercy on me, Lord,
for I cry to you all the day long.
Give joy to your servant, O Lord,
for to you I lift up my soul. (R./)

O Lord, you are good and forgiving,
full of love to all who call.
Give heed, O Lord, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my voice. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 5:27-32

The tax collector sits at table with Jesus, who welcomes sinners to him

After this Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up, left everything, and followed him.

Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house; and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others sitting at the table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered, “Those who are well have no
need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.”


BIBLE

10 March. 1st Sunday of Lent

1st Reading: Deuteronomy 26:4-10

Offering the firsts fruits of harvest, they give thanks to God

When the priest takes the basket from your hand and sets it down before the altar of the Lord your God, you shall make this response before the Lord your God: “A wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in number, became great nation, mighty populous. When the Egyptians treated us harshly afflicted us, by imposing hard labour on we cried to Lord, God of our ancestors; Lord heard voice saw affliction, toil, oppression. brought out with hand outstretched arm, terrifying display power, signs wonders; this place gave land, land flowing milk honey. So now I bring first fruit ground that you, O have given me.” You shall set it before your bow God.

Responsorial: Psalm 90: 1-2, 10-15

Response: Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
and abides in the shade of the Almighty
says to the Lord: ‘My refuge,
my stronghold, my God in whom I trust!’ (R./)

Upon you no evil shall fall,
no plague approach where you dwell.
For you has he commanded his angels,
to keep you in all your ways. (R./)

They shall bear you upon their hands
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
On the lion and the viper you will tread
and trample the young lion
and the dragon. (R./)

His love he set on me, so I will rescue him;
protect him for he knows my name.
When he calls I shall answer: ‘I am with you.’
I will save him in distress and give him glory. (R./)

2nd Reading: Romans 10:8-13

The core of our credo is that Jesus is our Saviour and Lord

Now what does Scripture say? “The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with he heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.

The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Gospel: Luke 4:1-13

Jesus was tempted like we are, but he did not sin

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.'”

Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'”

Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'” Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune
time.


BIBLE

11 March. Monday, Week 1 of Lent

1st Reading: Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18

Practical guidance for worship and for social compassion

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. You shall each revere your mother and father, and you shall keep my sabbaths: I am the Lord your God. Do not turn to idols or make cast images for yourselves: I am the Lord your God.

When you offer a sacrifice of well-being to the Lord, offer it in such a way that it is acceptable on your behalf. It shall be eaten on the same day you offer it, or on the next day; and anything left over until the third day shall be consumed in fire. If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination; it will not be acceptable. All who eat it shall be subject to punishment, because they have profaned what is holy to the Lord; and any such person shall be cut off from the people.

When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.

You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; and you shall not lie to one another. And you shall not swear falsely by my name, profaning the name of your God: I am the Lord.

You shall not defraud your neighbour; you shall not steal; and you shall not keep for yourself the wages of a labourer until morning. You shall not revile the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind; you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbour. You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbour: I am the Lord.

You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbour, or you will incur guilt yourself. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord.

Responsorial: Psalm 19

Response: Your words, o Lord, are Spirit and they are life

The law of the Lord is perfect,
it revives the soul.
The rule of the Lord is to be trusted,
it gives wisdom to the simple. (R./)

The precepts of the Lord are right,
they gladden the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear,
it gives light to the eyes. (R./)

The fear of the Lord is holy,
abiding for ever.
The decrees of the Lord are truth and all of them just. (R./)

May the spoken words of my mouth
And the thoughts of my heart,
win favour in your sight, O Lord,
my rescuer, my rock! (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46

The final judgment, based on “As you did it to these..”

Jesus said to his disciples, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited ou?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And
these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”


BIBLE

12 March. Tuesday, Week 1 of Lent

1st Reading: Isaiah 55:10-11

God’s word comes down from heaven like rain, to make the earth fruitful

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Responsorial: Psalm 34

Response: The Lord will rescue the just from all their distress

Glorify the Lord with me.
Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me;
from all my terrors he set me free. (R./)

Look towards him and be radiant;
let your faces not be abashed.
This poor man called; the Lord heard him
and rescued him from all his distress. (R./)

The Lord turns his face against the wicked
to destroy their remembrance from the earth.
The Lord turns his eyes to the just and his ears to their appeal. (R./)

They call and the Lord hears and rescues them in all their distress.
The Lord is close to the broken- hearted;
those whose spirit is crushed he will save. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 6:7-15

Guidance about prayer and the spirit of forgiveness

Jesus said to his disciples, “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that will be heard because of their many words. like them, your Father knows what need before ask him.

“Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your
trespasses.


BIBLE

13 March. Wednesday, Week 1 of Lent

1st Reading: Jonah 3:1-10

When Jonah’s preaching bears fruit, God has mercy on Nineveh

The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim it the message I tell you.”

So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days” walk across. He began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Then he had a proclamation made in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands. Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce anger, so that we do not perish.”

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

Responsorial: Psalm 51

Response: O Lord you will not spurn a humble and contrite heart

Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin. (R./)

A pure heart create for me, O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your holy spirit. (R./)

For in sacrifice you take no delight,
burnt offering from me you would refuse,
my sacrifice a contrite spirit.
A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 11:29-32

The only sign given will be the sign of Jonah, who returns from the dead after three days

When the crowds were increasing, Jesus began to say, “This generation is an evil generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be to this generation. The queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here! The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation
of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here!


BIBLE

14 March. Thursday, Week 1 of Lent

1st Reading: Esther 4:29-42

Queen Esther’s prayer wins God’s help in a time of crisis

Queen Esther, seized with deadly anxiety, fled to the Lord. She prayed to the Lord God of Israel, and said: “O my Lord, you only are our king; help me, who am alone and have no helper but you, for danger is in hand. Ever since I was born heard the tribe of family that took Israel out all nations, ancestors from among their forebears, an everlasting inheritance, did them promised.

Remember, O Lord; make yourself known in this time of our affliction, and give me courage, O King of the gods and Master of all dominion! Put eloquent speech in my mouth before the lion, and turn his heart to hate the man who is fighting against us, so that there may be an end of him and those who agree with him. But save us by your hand, and help me, who am alone and have no helper but you, O Lord, who have knowledge of all things.”

Responsorial: Psalm 137

Response: Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

I thank you, Lord, with all my heart,
you have heard the words of my mouth.
Before the angels I will bless you.
I will adore before your holy temple. (R./)

I thank you for your faithfulness and love
which excel all we ever knew of you.
On the day I called, you answered;
you increased the strength of my soul. (R./)

You stretch out your hand and save me,
your hand will do all things for me.
Your love, O Lord, is eternal,
discard not the work of your hands. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 7:7-12

Jesus teaches the prayer of petition

Jesus said to his disciples, “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”


BIBLE

15 March. Friday, Week 1 of Lent

1st Reading: Ezekiel 18:21-28

Personal responsibility to replace the idea of shared guilt

But if the wicked turn away from all their sins that they have committed and keep all my statutes and do what is lawful and right, they shall surely live; they shall not die. None of the transgressions that they have committed shall be remembered against them; for the righteousness that they have done they shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord God, and not rather that they should turn from their ways and live?

But when the righteous turn away from their righteousness and commit iniquity and do the same abominable things that the wicked do, shall they live? None of the righteous deeds that they have done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which they are guilty and the sin they have committed, they shall die. Yet you say, “The way of Lord is unfair.” Hear now, O house Israel: my unfair? it not your ways that are

When the righteous turn away from their righteousness and commit iniquity, they shall die for it; for the iniquity that they have committed they shall die. Again, when the wicked turn away from the wickedness they have committed and do what is lawful and right, they shall save their life. Because they considered and turned away from all the transgressions that they had committed, they shall surely live; they shall not die.

Responsorial: Psalm 130

Response: If you O Lord should mark our guilt, who would survive?

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord,
Lord, hear my voice
O let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleading. (R./)

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt,
Lord, who would survive?
But with you is found forgiveness:
for this we revere you. (R./)

My soul iswaiting for the Lord,
I count on his word.
My soul is longing for the Lord
more than watchman for daybreak.
Let the watchman count on daybreak
and Israel on the Lord. (R./)

Because with the Lord
there is mercy and fullness of redemption,
Israel indeed he will redeem
from all its iniquity. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 5:20-26

True justice goes deeper than simply keeping a set of laws

Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, “You shall not murder”; and “whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.” But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, “You fool,” you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you,
you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.


BIBLE

16 March. Saturday, Week 1 of Lent

1st Reading: Deuteronomy 26:16-19

Walking in the way of the Lord

This very day the Lord your God is commanding you to observe these statutes and ordinances; so observe them diligently with all your heart and with all your soul. Today you have obtained the Lord’s agreement: to be your God; and for you to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, his commandments, and his ordinances, and to obey him. Today the Lord has obtained your agreement: to be his treasured people, as he promised you, and to keep his commandments; for him to set you high above all nations that he has made, in praise and in fame and in honour; and for you to be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised.

Responsorial: Psalm 119

Response: Happy are those who follow the law of the Lord

They are happy whose life is blameless,
who follow God’s law.
They are happy those who do his will,
seeking him with all their hearts. (R./)

You have laid down your precepts
to be obeyed with care.
May my footsteps be firm
to obey your statutes. (R./)

I will thank you with an upright heart
as I learn your decrees.
I will obey your statutes;
do not forsake me. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 5:43-48

Our vocation is to become perfect, in God’s image

Jesus said to his disciples, “You have heard that it was said, shall love your neighbour and hate enemy.” But I say to you, enemies pray for those who persecute so may be children of Father in heaven; he makes his sun rise on the evil good, sends rain righteous unrighteous. if what reward do have? not even tax collectors same? greet only brothers sisters, more are doing than others? Gentiles perfect, therefore, as heavenly is
perfect.


BIBLE

17 March. St Patrick, Patron of Ireland

(A set of readings is offered for each year in the 3-year cycle; but alternate readings may be used.)

1st Reading: Amos 7:12-15

Amos is called by God to be a prophet

Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, earn your bread there, and prophesy there; but never again at Bethel, for it is king’s sanctuary, a temple kingdom.” Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I am no prophet, nor prophet son; herdsman, dresser sycamore trees, Lord took me from following flock, said me, my people Israel.’

Responsorial: Psalm 115:12–19

Response: To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.

How can I repay the Lord
for his goodness to me?
The cup of salvation I will raise;
I will call on the Lord’s name. (R./)

O precious in the eyes of the Lord
is the death of his faithful.
Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;
you have loosed my bonds. (R./)

My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
before all his people.
O precious in the eyes of the Lord
is the death of his faithful. (R./)

My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
before all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem. (R./)

 

1st Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

Paul’s pastoral care of the Thessalonians

You know, my brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.

Gospel: Luke 5:1-11

After the haul of fish, Jesus calls the fishermen to follow him

As Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus” knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

(Alternative Readings for today
1st Reading: Sirach 39:6-10

Filled with the spirit of understanding

If the great Lord is willing, he will be filled with the spirit of understanding; he will pour forth words of wisdom of his own and give thanks to the Lord in prayer. The Lord will direct his counsel and knowledge, as he meditates on his mysteries.

He will show the wisdom of what he has learned, and will glory in the law of the Lord’s covenant. Many will praise his understanding; it will never be blotted out.His memory will not disappear, and his name will live through all generations.

Nations will speak of his wisdom, and the congregation will proclaim his praise.

2nd Reading: 2 Timothy 4:1-8

I have fought the good fight

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.

As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Gospel: Matthew 13:24-32

Growing together until the harvest

Jesus put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'”

He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”


BIBLE

18 March. Monday, Week 2 of Lent

1st Reading: Daniel 9:4-10

Daniel’s prayer of shame and repentance

I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “Ah, Lord, great and awesome God, keeping covenant steadfast love with those who you keep your commandments, we have sinned done wrong, acted wickedly rebelled, turning aside from commandments ordinances. not listened to servants the prophets, spoke in our kings, princes, ancestors, all people of land.

“Righteousness is on your side, O Lord, but open shame, as at this day, falls on us, the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you.

Open shame, O Lord, falls on us, our kings, our officials, and our ancestors, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by following his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

Responsorial: Psalm 79

Response: Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins

Do not hold the guilt of our fathers against us.
Let your compassion hasten to meet us
for we are in the depths of distress. (R./)

O God our saviour, come to our help,
come for the sake of the glory of your name.
O Lord our God, forgive us our sins,
rescue us for the sake of your name. (R./)

Let the groans of the prisoners come before you;
let your strong arm reprieve those condemned to die.
But we, your people, the flock of your pasture,
will give you thanks for ever and ever.
We will tell your praise from age to age.. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 6:36-38

Imitating the divine mercy

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged;do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your
lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”


BIBLE

19 March. St Joseph, Spouse of the BVM

1st Reading: 2 Samuel 7:4-6, 12-14, 16

From David’s offspring will come the universal King

But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house.

I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.

Responsorial: Psalm 89

R.: The son of David will live for ever

The promises of the Lord I will sing forever,
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness,
For you have said, My kindness is established for ever;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness. (R./)

I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations. (R./)

He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my saviour!’
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
my covenant with him stands firm. (R./)

2nd Readings: Romans 4:13, 16-18, 20-22

The faith of Abraham as source of abundant spiritual life

For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith.

For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”)-in presence God whom he believed, who gives life to dead and calls into existence things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, believed would become nations,” according what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.”

No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.”

 

Gospel: Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24

Joseph is inspired to take Mary as his wife

Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife.


BIBLE

20 March. Wednesday, Week 2 of Lent

1st Reading: Jeremiah 18:18-20

In desperate straits, Jeremiah pins his hope on God

“Come, let us decide what to do with Jeremiah,” people say. “There will still be priests guide us, wise men advise prophets proclaim the word. bring charges against him, and not heed any of his words.”

Give heed to me, O Lord, and listen to what my adversaries say! Is evil a recompense for good? Yet they have dug a pit for my life. Remember how I stood before you to speak good for them, to turn away your wrath from them.

Responsorial: Psalm 31

Response: Save me, O Lord, in your steadfast love

Release me from the snares they have hidden
for you are my refuge, Lord.
Into your hands I commend my spirit.
It is you who will redeem me, Lord. (R./)

I have heard the slander of the crowd,
fear is all around me,
as they plot together against me,
as they plan to take my life. (R./)

But as for me, I trust in you, Lord,
I say: ‘You are my God.
My life is in your hands, deliver me
from the hands of those who hate me.’ (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 20:17-28

Leaders: remember that the greatest must be as servants

While Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised.”

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favour of him. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be our servant, and whoever
wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”


BIBLE

21 March. Thursday, Week 2 of Lent

1st Reading: Jeremiah 17:5-10

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord rather than in mere mortal power

Thus says the Lord: Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals and make mere flesh their strength, whose hearts turn away from the Lord. They shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when relief comes. They shall live in the parched places of the desert, in an uninhabited salt land.

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.

The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse—who can understand it? I the Lord test the mind and search the heart, to give to all according to their ways, according to the fruit of their doings.

Responsorial: Psalm 1

Response: Happy are they who put their trust in the Lord

Blessed are they who who follow not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walk in the way of sinners,
nor sit in the company of the insolent,
But delight in the law of the Lord
and meditate on his law day and night. (R./)

They are is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever they do will prosper. (R./)

Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the Lord watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 16:19-31

The contrasting futures of the uncaring wealthy and poor Lazarus

Jesus told them this parable, “There was a rich man who dressed in purple and fine linen feasted sumptuously every day. at his gate lay poor named Lazarus, covered with sores, longed to satisfy hunger what fell from the’s table; even dogs would come lick sores. died carried away by angels be Abraham. also buried. Hades, where he being tormented, looked up saw Abraham far Lazarus side. called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, send dip tip of finger water cool my tongue; for I am agony these flames.’ But said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received good things, like manner evil things; now is comforted here, are agony. Besides all this, between us great chasm has been fixed, so those might want pass here cannot do so, nobody can cross us. ‘Then, father, beg him house—for five brothers—that may warn them, they will not into this place torment. replied, Moses prophets; should listen them. ‘No, Abraham; if someone goes them dead, repent. said
him, prophets, neither convinced rises dead.'”


BIBLE

22 March. Friday, Week 2 of Lent

1st Reading: Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13 17-28

Jacob’s sons envy their brother Joseph, and sell him into slavery

Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him. Now his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem. And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” He answered, “Here am.”

The man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.'” So Joseph went after his brothers, and found them at Dothan. They saw him from a distance, and before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him. They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.” But when Reuben heard it, he delivered him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the desert, but lay no hand on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hand and restore him to his father. So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his rob, the long robe with sleeves that he wore; and they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.

Then they sat down to eat; and looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balm, and resin, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers agreed. When some Midianite traders passed by, they drew Joseph up, lifting him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.

Responsorial: Psalm 105

Response: Remember the marvels the Lord has done

When the Lord called down a famine on the land
and ruined the crop that sustained them,
He sent a man before them,
Joseph, sold as a slave. (R./)

They had weighed him down with fetters,
and he was bound with chains,
Till his prediction came to pass
and the word of the Lord proved him true. (R./)

The king sent and released him,
the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He made him lord of his house
and ruler of all his possessions. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46

Greedy for property, the wicked tenants kill the landowner’s son

Jesus said to the crowds, “Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.” So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.”

When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the
crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.


BIBLE

23 March. Saturday, Week 2 of Lent

1st Reading: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20

Israel’s God is a God of mercy

Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock that belongs to you, which lives alone in a forest in the midst of a garden land; let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old. As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt, show us marvellous things.

Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of your possession? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in showing clemency. He will again have compassion upon us; he will tread our iniquities under foot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will show faithfulness to Jacob and unswerving loyalty to Abraham, as you have sworn to our ancestors from the days of old.

Responsorial: Psalm 103

Response: The Lord is kind and merciful

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits. (R./)

He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion. (R./)

He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes. (R./)

For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

The parable of the Prodigal Son

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them parable: “”There was a man who had two sons. The younger of said to his father, give me share property that will belong me. divided between few days later son gathered all traveled distant country, squandered in dissolute living. When spent everything, severe famine took place throughout began be need. went hired himself out one citizens sent him fields feed pigs. would gladly have filled pods pigs were eating; nobody gave anything.

“But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.” ‘ So he set off and went o his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.

“Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been
found.'”


BIBLE

24 March. 3rd Sunday of Lent

1st Reading: Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15

God pities his people in Egypt and will free them, through Moses

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, see why the bush is not burned up.” When Lord saw that he had turned to see, God called him out of bush, “Moses, Moses! said, “Here am.” Then “Come no closer! Remove sandals from your feet, for place on which you are standing holy ground. said further, am father, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.”

And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’: This is my name forever, and this my title for all generations.

Responsorial: Psalm 102: 1-4, 6-8, 11

Response: The Lord is kind and merciful

My soul, give thanks to the Lord,
all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul give thanks to the Lord
and never forget all his blessings. (R./)

It is he who forgives all your guilt,
who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
who crowns you with love
and compassion. (R./)

The Lord does deeds of justice,
gives judgement for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses
and his deeds to Israel’s sons. (R./)

The Lord is compassion and love,
slow to anger and rich in mercy.
For as the heavens are high above the earth
so strong is his love for those who fear him. (R./)

2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12

We must persevere, in order to be saved

I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless with most of them God was not pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness. nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.

Gospel: Luke 13:1-9

The Lord of the vineyard offers us ample chance to bear fruit

Some people came and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them-do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.” Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next ear, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'”


BIBLE

25 March. The Annunciation of the Lord

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1st Reading: Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10

King Ahaz refuses to ask a sign of the Lord; Isaiah promises a child to be called Immanuel

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, &q”k a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high heaven.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and put to test. Isaiah “Hear then, O house David! Is too little for you weary men, that my God also? Therefore Himself give sign. Behold, young woman shall conceive bear Son, call His Immanu-el. Take counsel together, come nought; speak word, stand, with us.

Responsorial: Psalm 39: 7-11

Response: Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will

You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings,
but and open ear.
You do not ask for holocaust and victim.
Instead, here am I. (R./)

In the scroll of the book it stands written
that I should do your will.
My God, I delight in your law
in the depth of my heart. (R./)

Your justice I have proclaimed
in the great assembly.
My lips I have not sealed;
you know it, O Lord. (R./)

I have not hidden your justice in my heart
but declared your faithful help.
I have not hidden your love and your truth
from the great assembly. (R./)

2nd Reading: Hebrews 10:4-10

Why Christ came into the world: to do the will of God

It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, He said, “Sacrifices and offerings Thou hast not desired, but a body hast Thou prepared for Me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings Thou hast taken no pleasure. Then I said, “Lo, I have come to do Thy will, O God,” as it is written of Me in the roll of the book.” When He said above, “Thou hast neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then He added, “Lo, I have come to do Thy will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Gospel: Luke 1:26-38

The virgin Mary will conceive by the Holy Spirit’s power, and give birth to Jesus

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the Child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.


BIBLE

26 March. Tuesday, Week 3 of Lent

1st Reading: Daniel 3:25, 34-43

Nebuchadnezzar admires the miraculous escape of the young Jews

Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up quickly. He said to his counselors, &”as it not three men that we threw bound into the fire?” They answered king, “True, O king.” He replied, “But I see four unbound, walking in middle of fire, and are hurt; fourth has appearance a god.”

Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men; the hair of their heads was not singed, their tunics were not harmed, and not even the smell of fire came from them.

Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in him. They disobeyed the king’s command and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that utters blasphemy against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins; for there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.”

Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, within the province of Babylon.

Responsorial: Psalm 25

Response: Remember your mercies, O Lord

Your ways, O Lord, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my saviour. (R./)

Remember that your compassion, O Lord,
and your kindness are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O Lord. (R./)

Good and upright is the Lord;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35

The forgiving spirit Jesus wants in his church

Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.

“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, is lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt.

So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”


BIBLE

27 March. Wednesday, Week 3 of Lent

1st Reading: Jeremiah 7:23-28

Life’s highest goal is obedient response to God

But this command I gave them, “Obey my voice, and I will be your God, you shall people; walk only in the way that command you, so it may well with you.” Yet they did not or incline their ear, but, stubbornness of evil will, walked own counsels, looked backward rather than forward.

From the day that your ancestors came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day; yet they did not listen to me, or pay attention, but they stiffened their necks. They did worse than their ancestors did. So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you. You shall say to them: This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

Responsorial: Psalm 95

Response: If today you would listen to his voice, harden not your hearts

Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him. (R./)

Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the Lord who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides. (R./)

Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
they tested me though they had seen my works. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 11:14-23

Healings proved that Jesus acts with the authority of God

Jesus was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? ? for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul. Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armour in which he trusted and divides his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever oes not gather with me scatters.


BIBLE

28 March. Thursday, Week 3 of Lent

1st Reading: Jeremiah 7:23-28

Life’s highest goal is obedient response to God

But this command I gave them, “Obey my voice, and I will be your God, you shall people; walk only in the way that command you, so it may well with you.” Yet they did not or incline their ear, but, stubbornness of evil will, walked own counsels, looked backward rather than forward.

From the day that your ancestors came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day; yet they did not listen to me, or pay attention, but they stiffened their necks. They did worse than their ancestors did. So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you. You shall say to them: This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

Responsorial: Psalm 95

Response: If today you would listen to his voice, harden not your hearts

Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him. (R./)

Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the Lord who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides. (R./)

Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
they tested me though they had seen my works. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 11:14-23

Healings showed that Jesus acts with the authority of God

Jesus was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? ? for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul. Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armour in which he trusted and divides his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever oes not gather with me scatters.


BIBLE

29 March. Friday, Week 3 of Lent

1st Reading: Hosea 14:2-10

How God supports those who trust in Him

Take words with you and return to the Lord; say to him,
“Take away all guilt; accept that which is good,
and we will offer the fruit of our lips.
Assyria shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses;
we will say no more, ‘Our God,’ to the work of our hands.
In you the orphan finds mercy.”

I will heal their disloyalty; I will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them.
I will be like the dew to Israel;
he shall blossom like the lily,
he shall strike root like the forests of Lebanon.
His shoots shall spread out;
his beauty shall be like the olive tree,
and his fragrance like that of Lebanon.
They shall again live beneath my shadow,
they shall flourish as a garden;
they shall blossom like the vine,
their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols?
It is I who answer and look after you.

I am like an evergreen cypress;
your faithfulness comes from me.
Those who are wise understand these things;
those who are discerning know them.
For the ways of the Lord are right,
and the upright walk in them,
but transgressors stumble in them.

Responsorial: Psalm 81

Response: I am the Lord your God: listen to my voice

An unfamiliar speech I hear:
I relieved his shoulder of the burden;
his hands were freed from the basket.
In distress you called, and I rescued you. (R./)

Unseen, I answered you in thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.
Hear, my people, and I will admonish you;
O Israel, will you not hear me? (R./)

There shall be no strange god among you
nor shall you worship any alien god.
I, the Lord, am your God
who led you forth from the land of Egypt. (R./)

If only my people would hear me,
and Israel walk in my ways,
I would feed them with the best of wheat,
and with honey from the rock I would fill them. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 12:28-34

Jesus endorses love as the greatest commandment

One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other;’ and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbour as oneself,’ .. this is much more important that all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that nobody dared to ask him any question.


BIBLE

30 March. Saturday, Week 3 of Lent

1st Reading: Hosea 5:15–6:6

God wants our love more than ritual sacrifice

“Come, let us return to the Lord; for it is he who has torn, and will heal us; struck down, bind up. After two days revive on third day raise up, that we may live before him. know, press know his appearing as sure dawn; come like showers, spring rains water earth.”

What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes away early. Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets, I have killed them by the words of my mouth, and my judgment goes forth as the light. For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

Responsorial: Psalm 51

Response: What I desire is mercy, rather than sacrifice

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in your great compassion wipe out my offense.
Wash me thoroughly from my guilt
and cleanse me of my sin. (R./)

For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is always before me:
Against you alone have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight. (R./)

A clean heart create for me, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. (R./)

Give me again the joy of your salvation,
and preserve in me a willing spirit.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 18:9-14

Pharisee and Tax-collector pray differently. A lesson in humility

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”


BIBLE

31 March. 4th Sunday of Lent

1st Reading: Joshua 5:9-12

The Israelites, free at last from slavery and humiliation in Egypt, enter the land of promise

The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt.” And so that place is called Gilgal to this day. While Israelites were camped in they kept passover evening on fourteenth day month plains Jericho. after passover, very day, ate produce land, unleavened cakes parched grain. manna ceased no longer had manna; crops land Canaan year.

Responsorial: Psalm 33: 2-7

Response: Taste and see the goodness of the Lord

I will bless the Lord at all times,
his praise always on my lips;
In the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
The humble shall hear and be glad. (R./)

Glorify the Lord with me.
Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me;
from all my terrors he set me free. (R./)

Look towards him and be radiant;
let your faces not be abashed.
This poor man called; the Lord heard him
and rescued him from all his distress. (R./)

2nd Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Christ’s aim and mission was to reconcile us with God

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Gospel: Luke 15:1-2, 11-32

The vivid parable of the Prodigal Son, on the Father’s patient love

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable:

“There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living.

When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and nobody gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”‘ So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe ” the best one-and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.

“Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.'”


Saints’ Days listed for the month of March,
in the Liturgical Calendar for Ireland

01 – St David, bishop

David is the patron saint of Wales, where he was an abbot and bishop in the sixth century. He is reputed to have founded a number of monasteries, of strict regime. Several Irish saints were his pupils, and he seems to have influenced monastic development in Ireland. He died about 601, but he continued to be remembered in Ireland, and he is mentioned in the Martyrology of Oengus and in the Catalogue of the Sts of Ireland.


04 March: St Casimir of Poland

Born at Krakow (Poland) in 1458; died in Lithuania on this day in 1484. Though a young prince of Poland, he preferred peace to being a soldier. He chose celibacy over marriage and favoured prayer and penance rather than royal privilege. Noted for his generous life of austerity and devotion.


07 March: Ss Perpetua and Felicity, martyrs

Perpetua and Felicity (believed to have died in 203 AD) were Christian martyrs of the 3rd century. Vibia Perpetua was a married noblewoman, said to have been 22 years old at the time of her death, and mother of an infant she was nursing. Felicity, a slave imprisoned with her and pregnant at the time, was martyred with her. They were put to death along with others at Carthage in the Roman province of Africa, during the reign of Septimius Severus.


08 March: St John of God

RELIGIOUS. Born in Portugal in 1495; died in Granada (Spain) on this day in 1550. At the age of about forty, he directed the energies of his spiritual conversion toward hospitality for the destitute and care of the sick. Noted for this ministry, which was continued by his followers, who became the Order of Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God.


08 March – St Senan, bishop

Senan was born near Kilrush, County Clare. His family were prosperous farmers. His vocation seems to have resulted from an experience of danger from the sea. His early studies were mainly made at the monastery of Kilnamanagh. His principal monastic foundation was on Scattery Island, near Kilrush, in the Shannon Estuary. He was anamchara to Ciaran of Clonmacnois and Brendan, and died in 544.


09 March: St Frances of Rome

RELIGIOUS. Born in Rome in 1384; died there on this day in 1440. Established a community of laywomen who followed the Rule of Saint Benedict and ministered to the poor. Frances was a dedicated laywoman who, in a time of plague and civil war, worked tirelessly for the poor and the sick yet without compromising her love for her husband and family.


11 March – St Aengus, abbot, bishop

Aengus (Oengus) was a monk in Clonenagh, County Laois who came to the monastery of Tallaght at the end of the eighth century during the abbacy of Maelruain to spend a period under his direction. He was renowned for his devotion to both foreign and native saints, and composed two Martyrologies. He returned to Clonenagh, where he became both abbot and bishop. He died very probably in 830.


17 March – St Patrick, bishop

Born in Britain probably in the early years of the fifth century, Patrick was taken captive at the age of 16 and brought to Ireland, where he worked as a slave. His captivity led him to a renewal of his spiritual life. After he escaped back home at the age of 22, it was clear to him that God was calling him to return to convert the Irish. After studies in Europe he returned to Ireland, where he made a very large number of converts. His spiritual journey is recounted in his Confessio.


18 March: St Cyril of Jerusalem

CYRIL OF JERUSALEM, BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born in Jerusalem about 315; died there in 386. A bishop for over thirty-five years, he was deeply involved in debates with the Arians over the divinity of Christ and was exiled three times. Noted especially for the illuminating baptismal catechesis he gave in the new Constantinian basilica of the


19 March: St Joseph

JOSEPH, HUSBAND OF THE VIRGIN MARY. A carpenter, though born of the royal house of David, Joseph was an upright man who, as husband of the Virgin Mary, cared for Mary and the child Jesus. Venerated in the East after the fourth century, and his cult flowered in the West during the fifteenth century, following the development of medieval nativity plays, the Christmas crib, and increased devotion to Mary.


23 March: St Turibius of Mogrovejo

BISHOP. Born in Majorca (Spain) in 1538; died on this day in 1606 at Santa (Peru). A professor of law and a judge of the Inquisition in Spain, he was still a layman when appointed archbishop of Lima, Peru. There he became an outstanding missionary reformer, built churches, hospitals, and the first seminary in the Americas. Noted for his determined opposition to ecclesiastical abuses and to colonial exploitation, for his pastoral care and evangelisation of the indigenous peoples in their own languages, and for his visitation of the vast diocese.


25 March: Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary

This feast originated in the East during the sixth century and gained universal observance in the West during the eighth century. It is a feast of the Lord, commemorating the announcement to the Virgin Mary of the Word made flesh, Mary’s acceptance of God’s will, and the conception of Christ nine months before Christmas. Its occurrence close to Easter links the incarnation with the whole mystery of human redemption in Christ.


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