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Thursday 4 April 2019    (other days)
Thursday of the 4th week of Lent 
 (optional commemoration of Saint Isidore, Bishop, Doctor)

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 Isidore of Seville (560 - 636)
He was born in Seville in about 560 and after his father’s death he was educated by his brother Leander, Archbishop of Seville. He was instrumental in converting the Visigothic kings from the Arian heresy; he was made Archbishop of Seville after his brother’s death; and he took a prominent part in councils at Toledo and Seville. The Council of Toledo, in particular, laid great emphasis on learning, with all bishops in the kingdom commanded to establish seminaries and to encourage the teaching of Greek and Hebrew, law and medicine. He promoted the study of Aristotle, long before the Arabs discovered him and centuries before 13th-century Christian philosophers discovered him through the Arabs.
  He embarked on the project of writing an encyclopaedia of universal knowledge but did not live to complete it. See the articles in the Catholic Encyclopaedia and Wikipedia.
Other saints: St Benedict 'The Black' (1526 - 1589)
Southern Africa
Benedict was born in 1526, the son of Christopher and Diana, an Ethiopian couple who were kept as slaves in Sicily. When Benedict reached the age of 18, he was set free and after a while he joined a hermit called Jerome. His reputation for holiness was spread throughout the area and people flocked to him all the time. Eventually he moved to a Franciscan monastery where he spent the rest of his life serving his brothers as a cook. Even though he was a lay brother and without education, he was chosen to be their Superior and, at the end of his term of 6 years, he went back to the kitchen. People kept on visiting him seeking his advice and the help of his prayers. He died on 4 April, 1589. Humility, spirit of service, wisdom and powerful intercession were the special gifts bestowed on Benedict “The Black”. See the articles in the Catholic Encyclopaedia and Wikipedia.

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

Second Reading: Pope St Leo the Great (- 461)
Leo was born in Etruria and became Pope in 440. He was a true shepherd and father of souls. He constantly strove to keep the faith whole and strenuously defended the unity of the Church. He repelled the invasions of the barbarians or alleviated their effects, famously persuading Attila the Hun not to march on Rome in 452, and preventing the invading Vandals from massacring the population in 455.
  Leo left many doctrinal and spiritual writings behind and a number of them are included in the Office of Readings to this day. He died in 461.

40 Days and 40 Ways: Thursday, 4th week of Lent
But Moses pleaded with the Lord his God... So the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. (Ex 32:11, 14)
  Ex 32:7-14
  The choice of this first reading prepares for the sentence in the Gospel reading, “Your accuser will be Moses, in whom you have set your hope”. For the People of God Moses was the intercessor par excellence, who could bend even the will of God. At this moment of the sacred covenant on Sinai, when Moses is still bringing down from the mountain the confirmation of the marriage covenant set in stone, the people blow everything by making a golden bull to worship. In Canaanite lore the golden bull is the footstool of Baal, on which that god of storm, thunder and lightning stands to hurl his thunderbolts. The story attempts to belittle it by calling it no more than a “calf” – in line with Aaron’s pathetic excuse: “I threw the gold into the fire and out came this calf” (Ex 32:24).
  So effective was the intercession of Moses that (in the narrative which follows this reading) he was granted what many see as the greatest single moment of revelation during the Exodus, the revelation of the meaning of the name of God, “a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in faithful love and constancy” (Ex 34:6), a definition which echoes down the Bible.
  The Gospel reading of the day is Jn 5:31-47.
  Action:
  Invite round a lonely person for a shared experience, perhaps on TV.
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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