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: B(II). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Violet.
In Malta and in many other Mediterranean countries, the Holy Week devotions start with processions of veneration in honour of Our Lady of Sorrows. This is a Marian veneration that flourished in the Middle Ages.
The official commemoration of Our Lady of Sorrows is on 15 September, the day after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. That is a logical and sound date, which is why the Church has put it there.
In fact, the Church has moved Our Lady of Sorrows out of Lent repeatedly, and the people have repeatedly put it back again. Celebrating the commemoration on the Friday before Palm Sunday fits perfectly with the sorrowful aspect of Lent and makes an apprporiate introduction to Holy Week. Vox populi, vox Dei. In both Malta and Gozo, it is the diocesan bishops themselves who lead the Marian devotions today.
|St Turibius of Mongrovejo (1538 - 1606)|
He was born in Spain in about 1538 and studied law at the university of Salamanca. He was named bishop of Lima in 1580 and sailed to America. Full of apostolic zeal, he traversed his gigantic diocese three times, generally on foot, baptizing, teaching and confirming the natives. He assembled many synods and councils to make the Church strong, organised, and above all holy; and he strongly defended the rights of the natives, who were Spanish citizens according to the law but who were nevertheless being oppressed by the colonists and the provincial governors. He died in Lima on 23 March 1606. See the articles in WIkipedia
and the Catholic Encyclopaedia
|40 Days and 40 Ways: Friday, 5th week of Lent|
The Lord is at my side, a mighty hero;
my opponents will stumble, mastered,
confounded by their failure;
everlasting, unforgettable disgrace will be theirs.
But you, O Lord Sabaoth, you who probe with justice,
who scrutinise the loins and heart,
let me see the vengeance you will take on them,
for I have committed my cause to you. (Jr 20:11-12)
This is the last of several readings from Jeremiah during Lent as he bewails his heavy burden of repeatedly denouncing the defenders of the city who are only making matters worse by not trusting in the Lord. One cannot but sympathise with this gentle prophet who finds it so hard continually to denounce his fellow countrymen. He complains that the Lord had “seduced” him so that he cannot stop prophesying disaster. He had faced up to the chief of police, the priest Pashhur, distorting his name to “Pahor” (‘Terror’) and calling him “Terror-on-every- side”, and now Jeremiah’s opponents turn that name back on him, suggesting that he in turn may be “seduced” into error and pay the penalty. But at the same time as complaining, Jeremiah also proclaims his faith: the Lord is at his side, and his foes will stumble.
In the same way and in the same city and sanctuary some centuries later Jesus proclaims his certainty that the Lord will prove him right against his detractors.
The Gospel reading of the day is Jn 10:31-42.
Prepare for the Easter Service of Reconciliation by thinking its purpose through.
This passage is an extract from the booklet “40 Days and 40 Ways” by Henry Wansbrough, 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)||Isaiah 53:2-3 ©|
Like a sapling he grew up in front of us, like a root in arid ground. Without beauty, without majesty (we saw him), no looks to attract our eyes; a thing despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering, a man to make people screen their faces; he was despised and we took no account of him.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Isaiah 53:4-5 ©|
And yet ours were the sufferings he bore, ours the sorrows he carried. But we, we thought of him as someone punished, struck by God, and brought low. Yet he was pierced through for our faults, crushed for our sins. On him lies a punishment that brings us peace, and through his wounds we are healed.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Isaiah 53:6-7 ©|
We had all gone astray like sheep, each taking his own way, and the Lord burdened him with the sins of all of us. Harshly dealt with, he bore it humbly, he never opened his mouth, like a lamb that is led to the slaughter-house, like a sheep that is dumb before its shearers never opening its mouth.