Tuesday, March 28, 2017

TUESDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT


Antiphon
Cf. Is 55: 1

All who are thirsty, come to the waters, says the Lord.
Though you have no money, come and drink with joy.

Collect

May the venerable exercises of holy devotion
shape the hearts of your faithful, O Lord,
to welcome worthily the Paschal Mystery
and proclaim the praises of your salvation.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Amen.



Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Reading
EZ 47:1-9, 12

The angel brought me, Ezekiel,
back to the entrance of the temple of the LORD,
and I saw water flowing out
from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east,
for the fa├žade of the temple was toward the east;
the water flowed down from the right side of the temple,
south of the altar.
He led me outside by the north gate,
and around to the outer gate facing the east,
where I saw water trickling from the right side.
Then when he had walked off to the east
with a measuring cord in his hand,
he measured off a thousand cubits
and had me wade through the water,
which was ankle-deep.
He measured off another thousand
and once more had me wade through the water,
which was now knee-deep.
Again he measured off a thousand and had me wade;
the water was up to my waist.
Once more he measured off a thousand,
but there was now a river through which I could not wade;
for the water had risen so high it had become a river
that could not be crossed except by swimming.
He asked me, "Have you seen this, son of man?"
Then he brought me to the bank of the river, where he had me sit.
Along the bank of the river I saw very many trees on both sides.
He said to me,
"This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah,
and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh.
Wherever the river flows,
every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live,
and there shall be abundant fish,
for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.
Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine."


Responsorial Psalm
PS 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9

R. The Lord of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

God is our refuge and our strength,
an ever-present help in distress.
Therefore we fear not, though the earth be shaken
and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.

R. The Lord of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God,
the holy dwelling of the Most High.
God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed;
God will help it at the break of dawn.

R. The Lord of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

The LORD of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
Come! behold the deeds of the LORD,
the astounding things he has wrought on earth.

R. The Lord of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.


Verse Before The Gospel
PS 51:12A, 14A

A clean heart create for me, O God;
give me back the joy of your salvation.


Gospel
JN 5:1-16

There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate
a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes.
In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.
One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.

When Jesus saw him lying there
and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him,

"Do you want to be well?"

The sick man answered him,
"Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool
when the water is stirred up;
while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me."

Jesus said to him,

"Rise, take up your mat, and walk."

Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Now that day was a sabbath.
So the Jews said to the man who was cured,
"It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat."
He answered them,
"The man who made me well told me,
'Take up your mat and walk.'"
They asked him,
"Who is the man who told you, 
'Take it up and walk'?"
The man who was healed did not know who it was,
for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there.

After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him,

"Look, you are well; do not sin any more,
so that nothing worse may happen to you."

The man went and told the Jews
that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus
because he did this on a sabbath.



March 28

Saint Alexander (d. 260)

Martyr and companion of Sts. Malchus and Priscus.

The men, devout Christians in Caesarea, Palestine, 
were caught up in the persecutions conducted by Emperor Valerian.
The martyrs were killed by wild beasts in an arena.



O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim Your Praise!

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 94 (95)

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us.
Come, let us adore him.

Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
let us acclaim God our salvation.
Let us come before him proclaiming our thanks,
let us acclaim him with songs.

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us.
Come, let us adore him.

For the Lord is a great God,
a king above all gods.
For he holds the depths of the earth in his hands,
and the peaks of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his: he made it;
and his hands formed the dry land.

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us.
Come, let us adore him.

Come, let us worship and bow down,
bend the knee before the Lord who made us;
for he himself is our God and we are his flock,
the sheep that follow his hand.

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us.
Come, let us adore him.

If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
“Do not harden your hearts
as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
although they had seen my works.”
(repeat antiphon*)
“For forty years they wearied me,
that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
they will never enter my place of rest.”

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us.
Come, let us adore him.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us.
Come, let us adore him.


Hymn

Lord, who throughout these forty days
for us didst fast and pray,
teach us with thee to mourn our sins,
and close by thee to stay.
As thou with Satan didst contend
and didst the victory win,
O give us strength in thee to fight,
in thee to conquer sin.
As thou didst hunger bear, and thirst,
so teach us, gracious Lord,
to die to self, and chiefly live
by thy most holy word.
And through these days of penitence,
and through thy Passiontide,
yea, evermore in life and death,
Jesus, with us abide.
Abide with us, that so, this life
of suffering overpast,
an Easter of unending joy
we may attain at last.


Psalm 101 (102)
Prayers and vows of an exile

Let my cry come to you, Lord:
do not hide your face from me.

Lord, listen to my prayer
and let my cry come to you.
Do not hide your face from me:
whenever I am troubled,
turn to me and hear me.
Whenever I call on you,
hurry to answer me.
For my days vanish like smoke,
and my bones are dry as tinder.
My heart is cut down like grass, it is dry –
I cannot remember to eat.
The sound of my groaning
makes my bones stick to my flesh.
I am lonely as a pelican in the wilderness,
as an owl in the ruins,
as a sparrow alone on a rooftop:
I do not sleep.
All day long my enemies taunt me,
they burn with anger and use my name as a curse.
I make ashes my bread,
I mix tears with my drink,
because of your anger and reproach –
you, who raised me up, have dashed me to the ground.
My days fade away like a shadow:
I wither like grass.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.

Let my cry come to you, Lord:
do not hide your face from me.


Psalm 101 (102)

Turn, Lord, to the prayers of the helpless.

But you, Lord, remain for ever
and your name lasts from generation to generation.
You will rise up and take pity on Zion,
for it is time that you pitied it,
indeed it is time:
for your servants love its very stones
and pity even its dust.
Then, Lord, the peoples will fear your name.
All the kings of the earth will fear your glory,
when the Lord has rebuilt Zion
and appeared there in his glory;
when he has listened to the prayer of the destitute
and not rejected their pleading.
These things shall be written for the next generation
and a people yet to be born shall praise the Lord:
because he has looked down from his high sanctuary,
– the Lord has looked down from heaven to earth –
and heard the groans of prisoners
and freed the children of death
so that they could proclaim the Lord’s name in Zion
and sing his praises in Jerusalem,
where people and kingdoms gather together
to serve the Lord.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.

Turn, Lord, to the prayers of the helpless.


Psalm 101 (102)

You founded the earth, Lord,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.

He has brought down my strength in the midst of my journey;
he has shortened my days.
I will say, “My God, do not take me away
half way through the days of my life.
Your years last from generation to generation:
in the beginning you founded the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will pass away but you will remain;
all will grow old, like clothing,
and like a cloak you will change them, and they will be changed.
“But you are always the same,
your years will never run out.
The children of your servants shall live in peace,
their descendants will endure in your sight.”

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.

You founded the earth, Lord,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.


Now is the favorable time.
– Now is the day of salvation.


First Reading
Leviticus 19:1-18,31-37

Duty to one's neighbor

The Lord spoke to Moses; he said:
‘Speak to the whole community of the sons of Israel and say to them:

“Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.
“Each of you must respect his father and mother.
“And you must keep my sabbaths; I am the Lord your God.
“Do not turn to idols, and cast no gods of metal. I am the Lord your God.

“If you offer a communion sacrifice to the Lord, make yourselves acceptable and so offer it. It must be eaten the same day or the day after; whatever is left the day after must be burnt. If eaten on the third day it would be a corrupt offering, it would not be acceptable. Anyone who eats it must bear the consequences of his fault, for he will have profaned the holiness of the Lord;
this person shall be outlawed from his people.

“When you gather the harvest of your land, you are not to harvest to the very end of the field. You are not to gather the gleanings of the harvest. You are neither to strip your vine bare nor to collect the fruit that has fallen in your vineyard. You must leave them for the poor and the stranger.
I am the Lord your God.

“You must not steal nor deal deceitfully or fraudulently with your neighbour. You must not swear falsely by my name, profaning the name of your God. I am the Lord. You must not exploit or rob your neighbor. You must not keep back the labourer’s wage until next morning. You must not curse the dumb, nor put an obstacle in the blind man’s way, but you must fear your God. I am the Lord.

“You must not be guilty of unjust verdicts. You must neither be partial to the little man nor overawed by the great; you must pass judgement on your neighbor according to justice. You must not slander your own people, and you must not jeopardise your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord. You must not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. You must openly tell him, your neighbor, of his offence; this way you will not take a sin upon yourself. You must not exact vengeance, nor must you bear a grudge against the children of your people. You must love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

“Do not have recourse to the spirits of the dead or to magicians; they will defile you.
I am the Lord your God.

“You are to rise up before grey hairs, you are to honor old age and fear your God. I am the Lord.

“If a stranger lives with you in your land, do not molest him. You must count him as one of your own countrymen and love him as yourself – for you were once strangers yourselves in Egypt.
I am the Lord your God.

“Your legal verdicts, your measures – length, weight and capacity – must all be just.
Your scales and weights must be just, a just ephah and a just hin.
I am the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt.

“Keep all my laws and customs, put them into practice. I am the Lord.”’


Responsory

The whole of the Law is summarized in a single command:
Love your neighbor as yourself;
serve one another in a spirit of love.

I give you a new commandment:
love one another.
Just as I have loved you,
you also must love one another.
Serve one another in a spirit of love.


Second Reading
From a sermon
by Pope St Leo the Great

In praise of charity

In John’s gospel the Lord says: By this love you have for one another, everyone will know you are my disciples. In a letter by John we read: My dear people, let us love one another since love comes from God and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Anyone who fails to love can never have known God, because God is love.

So the faithful should look into themselves and carefully examine their minds and the impulses of their hearts. If they find some of the fruits of love stored in their hearts then they must not doubt God’s presence within them, but to make themselves more and more able to receive so great a guest they should do more and more works of durable mercy and kindness. After all, if God is love,
charity should know no limit, for God himself cannot be confined within limits.

What is the appropriate time for performing works of charity? My beloved children, any time is the right time, but these days of Lent provide a special encouragement. Those who want to be present at the Lord’s Passover in holiness of mind and body should seek above all to win this grace.
Charity contains all other virtues and covers a multitude of sins.

As we prepare to celebrate that greatest of all mysteries, by which the blood of Jesus Christ destroyed our sins, let us first of all make ready the sacrificial offerings — that is, our works of mercy.
What God in his goodness has already given to us,
let us give to those who have sinned against us.

And to the poor also, and to those who are afflicted in various ways, let us show a more open-handed generosity so that God may be thanked through many voices and the needy may be fed as a result of our fasting. No act of devotion on the part of the faithful gives God more pleasure than the support that is lavished on his poor. Where God finds charity with its loving concern,
there he recognises the reflection of his own fatherly care.

Do not be put off giving by a lack of resources. A generous spirit is itself great wealth, and there can be no shortage of material for generosity where it is Christ who feeds and Christ who is fed.
His hand is present in all this activity: his hand,
which multiplies the bread by breaking it and increases it by giving it away.

When you give alms, do not be anxious but full of happiness. The greatest treasure will go to the one who has kept the least for himself. The holy apostle Paul tells us: He who provides seed for the sower will give bread for food, provide you with more seed, and increase the harvest of your goodness, in Christ Jesus our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.
Amen.


Responsory

Give, and gifts will be yours:
good measure,
pressed down and shaken up and running over,
will be poured into your lap.

You must forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Good measure,
pressed down and shaken up and running over,
will be poured into your lap.

Let us pray.

By our Lenten prayer and observance, Lord,
prepare our hearts to welcome the mystery of Easter
and to proclaim the good news of salvation.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.