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: St Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430)|
Augustine was born in Thagaste in Africa of a Berber family. He was brought up a Christian but left the Church early and spent a great deal of time seriously seeking the truth, first in the Manichaean heresy, which he abandoned on seeing how nonsensical it was, and then in Neoplatonism, until at length, through the prayers of his mother and the teaching of St Ambrose of Milan, he was converted back to Christianity and baptized in 387, shortly before his mother’s death.
Augustine had a brilliant legal and academic career, but after his conversion he returned home to Africa and led an ascetic life. He was elected Bishop of Hippo and spent 34 years looking after his flock, teaching them, strengthening them in the faith and protecting them strenuously against the errors of the time. He wrote an enormous amount and left a permanent mark on both philosophy and theology. His Confessions, as dazzling in style as they are deep in content, are a landmark of world literature. The Second Readings in the Office of Readings contain extracts from many of his sermons and commentaries and also from the Confessions.
|40 Days and 40 Ways: Wednesday, 5th week of Lent|
To the Jews who believed in him Jesus said:
“If you make my word your home
you will indeed be my disciples,
you will learn the truth
and the truth will make you free”. (Jn 8:31-32)
Dn 3:14-20, 24-25, 28
The story given by this reading is a skilfully abbreviated version of the rescue of the three young men, companions of Daniel (alias Belteshazzar), from the fiery furnace. The first six chapters of the Book of Daniel give several stories which, besides entertaining, show the reward of persevering fidelity to the Law and worship of Israel. These stories also lend weight to the revelations given to Daniel in the second half of the Book.
These dramatic stories are not historical, but show the spirit of a period well after the events they describe. The Book of Daniel reflects the time of its composition during the period of the Maccabean persecution, when Antiochus Epiphanes, King of Syria (175-164 BC) was attempting to unify his empire by brutally stamping out local cults and cultures, replacing them with Hellenistic Greek religion and culture, in which the King had at least a share in the honour due to a god. Rejection of this worship, and fidelity to the monotheistic worship of the Lord was therefore a matter of life or death. It stands, therefore, as a moving testimony to the heroic martyrdoms undergone by many at the time, and a conviction that God would rescue those who remained faithful.
This story is linked to Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon (605-562 BC), but the same lesson is taught by the very similar story of Daniel in the Lions’ Den during the reign of Darius the Mede, possibly a confused memory of Darius, King of Persia (522-486 BC).
The Gospel reading of the day is Jn 8:31-42.
Is there a struggling mother you could help?
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)||1 Timothy 2:4-6 ©|
God our saviour wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth. For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and mankind, himself a man, Christ Jesus, who sacrificed himself as a ransom for them all. He is the evidence of this, sent at the appointed time.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Romans 15:3 ©|
Christ did not think of himself. The words of scripture apply to him: the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Hebrews 9:28 ©|
Christ offers himself only once to take the faults of many on himself, and when he appears a second time, it will not be to deal with sin but to reward with salvation those who are waiting for him.