Thursday 14 March 2019    (other days)
Thursday of the 1st week of Lent 

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: 1. Liturgical Colour: Violet.

About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:

Second Reading: Saint Asterius of Amasea (c.350 - c.410)
Asterius was made Bishop of Amasea between 380 and 390 AD, after having been a lawyer. He was born in Cappadocia and probably died in Amasea in modern Turkey, then in Pontus. Little is known about him, but his lively and vigorous sermons paint a clear picture of the life of the period.

40 Days and 40 Ways: Thursday, 1st week of Lent
Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him. (Mt 7:7-8)
  Est 4:17
  The theme of today’s Gospel reading is ‘Ask and you will receive’, and to this corresponds Esther’s prayer in the first reading. The Book of Esther gives us a short, somewhat improbable, story of a Jewish woman who becomes Queen of Persia. An enemy persuades the King to issue a decree for the ethnic cleansing of all Jews in the far-flung Persian Empire, and Esther is left with the task of persuading her magnificent husband to withdraw the decree. It is an Arabian nights sort of story, full of palace intrigue, favouritism and sudden reversals, written during the post-exilic Persian period to show God’s care for those who obey the Law. Originally written in Hebrew, it was enlarged by the addition of some passages to the Greek version, of which today’s reading is part of one. Before Esther ventures into the royal presence to confront her husband and charm him into reversing the decree of destruction, she has fasted almost to the point of fainting away, and now prays passionately for divine help. The King of course grants her request, and Esther then sets about arranging the execution of the enemy who had persuaded him to issue the decree.
  The prayer is marked by Esther’s sense of her own unworthiness before the divine majesty, and her complete dependence on the divine will.
  The Gospel reading for the day is Mt 7:7-12.
  Clean up a neglected space in the house as a symbol of cleaning up a neglected aspect of your life.
Dom Henry Wansbrough

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 55:6-7 ©
Seek the Lord while he is still to be found, call to him while he is still near. Let the wicked man abandon his way, the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn back to the Lord who will take pity on him, to our God who is rich in forgiving.

Noon reading (Sext)Deuteronomy 30:2-3 ©
If you return to the Lord your God, if you obey his voice with all your heart and soul in everything I enjoin on you today, you and your children, then the Lord your God will bring back your captives and will have pity on you.

Afternoon reading (None)Hebrews 10:35-36 ©
Continue to have confidence, since the reward is so great. You will need endurance to do God’s will and gain what he has promised.
Scripture readings taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.
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