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.
|St John of God (1495 - 1550)|
He was born to a poor but devout family in Portugal in 1495. After serving as a soldier under the Emperor Charles V he devoted his life wholly to the service of the poor and the sick. He founded a hospital in Granada and a circle of disciples formed round him, which later became the Order of Hospitallers. He died on 8 March 1550, his 55th birthday. See the articles in Wikipedia
and the Catholic Encyclopaedia
|Other saints: Saint Senan, Bishop (488 - 544)|
He is one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. He was born in County Clare, and having travelled and studied in Europe he returned to Ireland, where he established a church and monastery at Inniscarra, in Cork. He then moved back to his native district and eventually founded a monastery (with an exceptionally austere rule) at Scattery, an island off Kilrush, where he died. See the article by Clare Library
|Other saints: Saint Duthac (1000-1065)|
He was born in Tain, in Ross and Cromarty, Scotland. He was educated in Ireland, and was Bishop of Ross.
|Other saints: St Felix (7th century)|
A native of Burgundy, Felix became a bishop in Gaul and offered himself to work for the conversion of the East Angles. In 630 Sigebert, their king, came back from exile and work began.
Felix undertook the mission with the approval of Honorius of Canterbury, and placed his episcopal see at Dunwich, now washed away by the sea. He preached with great success in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: From an ancient Easter homily by Pseudo-Chrysostom|
St John Chrysostom (349 – 407) was elected Patriarch of Constantinople in 397. His sermons and writings did much to explain the Catholic faith and to encourage the living of the Christian life, and his eloquence earned him the surname “Chrystostom” (the Greek for “golden mouth”). The works of a number of other people were collected with St John’s own and travelled down the centuries with them. It is not now possible to discover who the original authors were.
|40 Days and 40 Ways: Friday after Ash Wednesday|
Fasting like yours today
will never make your voice heard on high.
Is that the sort of fast that pleases me,
a truly penitential day for men?
Hanging your head like a reed,
lying down on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call fasting,
a day acceptable to the Lord?
This reading from the third and final part of the Book of Isaiah is an exhortation to true repentance, in the same sense as John the Baptist’s message at the ford of the river Jordan. It proclaims the uselessness of the outward trappings and liturgical appearances of repentance, “hanging your head like a reed, spreading out sackcloth and ashes”, while all the time continuing to maintain social injustice and unjust oppression even of fellow Israelites. They complain that the Lord does not see their fasting; the prophet replies that their fasting is worthless, for fasting has value only as a sign of a true change of values. It is the same lesson as the prophet Haggai proclaimed after the return from exile, when they were making no progress on re-building the Temple, when harvests were failing, food was failing to satisfy, and money was slipping through their pockets.
The same of course applies to us in Lent. There is no point in giving up chocolate if we do not change our ways for the better. Far more valuable is an examination to see where we are failing in our duties and attention to others, harshness, discourtesy, dishonesty, carelessness of the property and rights of others.
The Gospel reading for the day is Mt 9:14-15.
Pick some action or prayer for the Fridays of Lent which will remind you each week that Good Friday is approaching. Perhaps reflect on one Station of the Cross each week.
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)||Isaiah 55:3 ©|
Come to me and listen to my words: hear me, and you shall have life. I will make a covenant with you, this time for ever, to love you faithfully as I have loved David.
|Noon reading (Sext)||(Jeremiah 3:12,14) ©|
Come back, says the Lord, and I will frown on you no more, since I am merciful and I shall not keep my resentment for ever. Come back, disloyal children, says the Lord.
|Afternoon reading (None)||James 1:27 ©|
In the eyes of God our Father, pure unspoilt religion is this: coming to the help of orphans and widows when they need it, and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world.