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.
|Other saints: St Zeno of Verona (d. 371)|
Zeno, a native of North Africa, was appointed bishop of Verona (Northern Italy) in 362. He ministered to his people for about nine years, distinguishing himself for his leadership skills and good pastoral approach. He was close to his people and cared for the poor. In his writings he described many liturgical practices of his Church especially during Holy Week. He preached much against Arianism and fostered the growth of missionary activity in his area. He died in 371. See the article in Wikipedia
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe (462/7 - 527/ 533)|
Fulgentius was bishop of the city of Ruspe in the Roman province of Africa, which is in modern-day Tunisia. At that time Africa and parts of the Near East were ruled by the Vandals, who were Arians, calling themselves Christians but denying the divinity of Christ. As a result Fulgentius’ early career was marked by a series of flights from persecution, as Catholics tried to maintain their faith under Vandal rule. It was a complicated time. In 499 he was tortured for saying that Jesus was both God and man; the next year the Vandal king Thrasamund, impressed by his talents, invited him to return from exile and become a bishop (Fulgentius declined, since he knew that Thrasamund had ordered that none but Arians should be bishops); two years later he was persuaded to become bishop of Ruspe in Tunisia but shortly afterwards he was exiled to Sardinia. Thrasamund invited him back in 515 to debate against the Arians but exiled him again in 520.
In 523, following the death of Thrasamund and the accession of his Catholic son Hilderic, Fulgentius was allowed to return to Ruspe and try to convert the populace back to the faith. He worked to reform many of the abuses which had infiltrated his old diocese in his absence. The power and effectiveness of his preaching were so profound that his archbishop, Boniface of Carthage, wept openly every time he heard Fulgentius preach, and publicly thanked God for giving such a preacher to his church.
|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 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 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.