4th Sunday of Lent (b)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Season of Lent. (B)
Sunday 15th March: Fourth Sunday of Lent. (B)
In the first reading, from the second Book of Chronicles, we are reminded that, even when he punishes his people for their infidelity, God cannot but be faithful. He uses even those who are pagans to lead his people back to the Promised Land.
The second reading is from the Letter to the Ephesians. By his grace, God had saved his people from exile. By God’s grace again, his Son, Jesus, saves us from the death of sin. In God’s plan, everything is a free gift of grace.
In the Gospel, from St. John, we are reminded that Jesus had to die on the cross to save us and give us the opportunity of eternal life. Christ came not to condemn us but to save us.
Monday 16th March:
For people who believe, the golden age lies in the future, not in the past, says the Prophet Isaiah. For the believer there is a new world to be built as a sign of the new heaven. The building up of this new world begins seriously in Christ. His word renews people. Faith in him brings life and healing, something to live for.
Tuesday 17th March: Feast of St. Patrick.
The Apostle of Ireland, as he is sometimes called, was born in Britain (either Wales or Scotland) around the year 385. At the age of sixteen, he was captured by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland where he was assigned as a shepherd to care for the flock. He became a catholic and later escaped to spend some time in France as a disciple of St. Germain of Auxerre. He was ordained a priest, then a Bishop and sent back to Ireland arriving there in 432. He preached and brought many of the tribal chiefs to Catholicism and was successful in adapting the Gospel to Irish culture. He convoked a Synod and handed over government of the church to other Bishops It is believed he died on this date in 461 and was buried in Stanford Lough where he had built his first church. Although venerated in Ireland from an early date it was only in 1632 he was listed in the Roman calendar.
Wednesday 18th March: Wednesday in the fourth week of Lent
When Jesus is questioned and attacked for curing a paralyzed man on the Sabbath, he uses the opportunity to remind the people that the work of redemption on which he is embarked with the Father, is ongoing, even on the Sabbath. He is the sign of God’s love for his people and wants us to live in that love. With Jesus, we have to seek the Father’s will for own lives.
Thursday 19th March: Solemnity of St. Joseph.
The feast of St. Joseph did not become widespread until the fourteenth or fifteenth century, the first Mass in his honour being celebrated in Rome in 1505. The genealogy of St. Joseph is found in St. Matthew’s Gospel and in St. Luke’s. We also know form the Gospels that he was a carpenter and that it was very likely that Jesus learned the trade from him. Joseph and Mary were poor, as evidenced by the fact that, at Mary’s purification in the Temple, they offered a pair of turtledoves. The tribute paid to him in Scripture is that he was a just man. On several crucial occasions, such as Our Lady’s pregnancy, the flight into Egypt, the return to Palestine, Joseph was instructed by an angel. Pope Pius IX proclaimed St. Joseph patron of the universal Church.
Friday 20th March: Friday in the fourth week of Lent.
People who claim to know God a bit and to live consistently as his sons and daughters are seen as bothersome or eccentric to unbelievers as well as to those who take their religion as a set of duties or religious rites to be observed. Their way of life disturbs and challenges the established and comfortable ways of society. The unbeliever wants to test the faith of such people. The person who voices his concerns about this in the Book of Wisdom is one such person. Jesus was another. Where do we fit in?
Saturday 21st March: Saturday in the fourth week of Lent.
It is hard for someone who as Jeremiah says ‘ has been seduced by God’ to feel rejected by the very community to which they have dedicated their life and work. Such a person is seen as a source of division. This is how some saw Jesus. Are we prepared to pay the cost of discipleship to follow him even if that cost involves ridicule, contradiction even suffering.