Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us. Come, let us adore him.
Or: O that today you would listen to his voice: harden not your hearts.
Year: C(I). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: Violet.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: Pope St Clement I|
Clement was the fourth Bishop of Rome after Peter, Linus and Cletus. He lived towards the end of the first century, but nothing is known for certain about his life. Clement’s letter to the Corinthian church has survived. It is the first known Patristic document, and exhorts them to peace and brotherly harmony.
|40 Days and 40 Ways: Ash Wednesday|
For our sake, God made the sinless one into sin, so that in him we might become the goodness of God. As his fellow workers, we beg you once again not to neglect the grace of God that you have received. For he says: At the favourable time, I have listened to you; on the day of salvation I came to your help. Well, now is the favourable time; this is the day of salvation. (2 Co 5:21-6:2)
These two readings form an excellent trumpet blast or ram’s horn blast for Lent. We do not know the circumstances in which Joel made his short proclamation, but it was a warning of the imminent approach of disaster, which he represents as the Day of the Lord. Some date the Book of Joel to the time immediately preceding the Babylonian Exile; others to a later period. In either case, this was the traditional title for the day when the Lord would exact vengeance for Israel’s acts of rebellion and disobedience, a day when God would turn on sinners, sitting comfortably and confidently waiting for rewards of their acts of skulduggery and oppression; God would give them (including each of us) precisely the opposite. The moment would be swift and unexpected, so they (and we) should be sure to put ourselves in a healthier frame of mind. An appropriate thought for the beginning of Lent.
2 Co 5:20-6:2
The Pauline passage follows up and strengthens the same message. It is one of the great passages in Paul’s letters where he lays out the unsparing efforts he has made and continues to make to spread Christ’s gospel, to persuade all people to accept the grace offered by God. He was prepared to put up with every kind of humiliation and discomfort in order to get the message across. Lent is precisely the moment when we should reflect on both our failures and the astonishing perseverance with which God offers us his faithful and enduring help to reform.
The Gospel reading for the day is Mt 6:1-6, 16-18.
Decide on some practice of prayer or sacred reading to be done every day in Lent which will bring you closer to God and to the Lord Jesus.
This passage is an extract from the booklet “40 Days and 40 Ways” by Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB, published by the Catholic Truth Society and used by permission. “40 Days and 40 Ways” has meditations for each day in Lent. To find out more about the booklet, or to buy it, please visit the CTS web site.
The Universalis Readings at Mass page shows the readings for today’s Mass.
|Liturgical colour: violet|
Violet is a dark colour, ‘the gloomy cast of the mortified, denoting affliction and melancholy’. Liturgically, it is the colour of Advent and Lent, the seasons of penance and preparation.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Ezekiel 18:30-32 ©|
Repent, renounce all your sins, avoid all occasions of sin! Shake off all the sins you have committed against me, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why are you so anxious to die, House of Israel? I take no pleasure in the death of anyone – it is the Lord who speaks. Repent and live!
|Noon reading (Sext)||Zechariah 1:3-4 ©|
Return to me, says the Lord of Hosts, and I will return to you. Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the prophets in the past cried ‘Turn back from your evil ways and evil deeds’ but they would not listen.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Daniel 4:24 ©|
By virtuous actions break with your sins, break with your crimes by showing mercy to the poor, and so live long and peacefully.