MONDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT
OPENING INSIGHT Ps 31:7-8
As for me, I trust in the LORD. Let me be glad and rejoice in your mercy, for you have seen my affliction.
SCRIPTURE READING Isaiah 65:17-21
Thus says the LORD: Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. But be glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping or the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the child shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
Soul Search: How grateful am I to God for all His works?
O God, who renew the world through mysteries beyond all telling, grant, we pray, that your Church may be guided by your eternal design and not be deprived of your help in this present age. Through our Lord. . .
TUESDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT
OPENING INSIGHT Is 55:1
All who are thirsty, come to the waters, says the Lord. Though you have no money, come and drink with joy.
SCRIPTURE READING John 5:1-16
There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Hebrew called Bethzatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of invalids, blind, lame, paralyzed. One man was there, who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been lying there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is troubled, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your pallet, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his pallet and walked. Now that day was the sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the sabbath, it is not lawful for you to carry your pallet.” But he answered them, “The man who healed me said to me, ‘Take up your pallet and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your pallet, and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterward, Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse befall you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. And this was why the Jews persecuted Jesus, because he did this on the sabbath.
Soul Search: Do I always seek spiritual assistance in all my undertakings?
May the venerable exercises of holy devotion shape the hearts of your faithful, O Lord, to welcome worthily the paschal mystery and proclaim the praises of your salvation. Through our Lord. . .
WEDNESDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT
OPENING INSIGHT Ps 69:14
I pray to you, O LORD, for a time of your favour. In your great mercy, answer me, O God, with your salvation that never fails.
SCRIPTURE READING Isaiah 49:8-15
Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the LORD has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his afflicted. But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?” Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.
Soul Search: Do I recognise God’s loving presence in times of difficulties…?
O God, who reward the merits of the just and offer pardon to sinners who do penance, have mercy, we pray, on those who call upon you, that the admission of our guilt may serve to obtain your pardon for our sins. Through our Lord. . .
THURSDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT
OPENING INSIGHT Ps 105:3-4
Let the hearts that seek the LORD rejoice; turn to the LORD and his strengthened; constantly seek his face.
SCRIPTURE READING Exodus 32:7-14
But Moses begged the LORD his God, and said, “O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent he brought them forth, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you did swear by your own self, and did say to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it for ever.’” And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do to his people.
Soul Search: How much do I pray for people; for the good of my brothers and sisters?
We invoke your mercy in humble prayer, O Lord, that you may cause us, your servants, corrected by penance and schooled by good works, to persevere sincerely in your commands and come safely to the paschal festivities. Through our Lord. . .
FRIDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT
OPENING INSIGHT Ps 54:3-4
O God, save me by your name; by your power, defend my cause. O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth.
SCRIPTURE READING Wisdom 2:1a.12-22
Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen at the end of his life; for if the righteous man is God’s son, he will help him, and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries. Let us test him with insult and torture, that we may find out how gentle he is, and make trial of his forbearance. Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to what he says, he will be protected.” Thus they reasoned, but they were led astray, for their wickedness blinded them, and they did not know the secret purposes of God, nor hope for the wages of holiness, nor discern the prize for blameless souls.
Soul Search: Am I willing to hold unto my faith in times of temptations?
O God, who have prepared fitting helps for us in our weakness, grant, we pray, that we may receive their healing effects with joy, and reflect them in a holy way of life. Through our Lord. . .
SATURDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT
OPENING INSIGHT Ps 18:5.7
The waves of death rose about me; the pains of the netherworld surrounded me. In my anguish I called to the Lord and from his holy temple he heard my voice.
SCRIPTURE READING Jeremiah 11:18-20
The LORD made it known to me and I knew; then you did show me their evil deeds. But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. I did not know it was against me they devised schemes, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.” But, O LORD of hosts, who judge righteously, who test the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause.
Soul Search: Do I take vengeance upon myself or leave it for the Lord?
May the working of your mercy, O Lord, we pray, direct our hearts aright, for without your grace, we cannot find favour in your sight. Through our Lord. . .
MONDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT
OPENING INSIGHT Ps 56:2
Have mercy on me, O God, for people assail me; they fight me all day long and oppress me.
SCRIPTURE READING John 8:1-11
At that time: Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple; all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in their midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.”
Soul Search: Am I compassionate towards people? Do I condemn people?
O God, by whose wondrous grace we are enriched with every blessing, grant us so to pass from former ways to newness of life, that we may be made ready for the glory of the heavenly Kingdom. Through our Lord. . .
TUESDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT
OPENING INSIGHT Ps 27:14
Wait for the LORD; be strong; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD!
SCRIPTURE READING John 8:21-30
At that time: Jesus said to the Pharisees, “I go away, and you will seek me and die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.” Then said the Jews, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.” They said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Even what I have told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you and much to judge; but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” They did not understand that he spoke to them of the Father. So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me. And he who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.” As he spoke thus, many believed in him.
Soul Search: Do I believe that God is always with me? Am I doing what is pleasing to Him?
Grant us, we pray, O Lord, perseverance in obeying your will, that in our days the people dedicated to your service may grow in both merit and number. Through our Lord. . .
WEDNESDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT
OPENING INSIGHT Ps 18:48-49
My deliverer from angry nations, you set me above my assailants; you saved me from the violent man, O LORD.
SCRIPTURE READING John 8:31-42
At that time: Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.” They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do what Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did. You do the works of your father.” They said to him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.”
Soul Search: Does God’s word find a place in my life? Am I true to myself and to others?
Enlighten, O God of compassion, the hearts of your children, sanctified by penance, and in your kindness grant those you stir to a sense of devotion, a gracious hearing when they cry out to you. Through our Lord. . .
THURSDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT
OPENING INSIGHT Heb 9:15
Christ is mediator of a New Covenant, so that by means of his death, those who are called may receive the promise of an eternal inheritance.
SCRIPTURE READING Genesis 17:3-9
In those days: Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you, and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.”
Soul Search: Have I been faithful to my Lenten resolutions?
Be near, O Lord, to those who plead before you, and look kindly on those who place their hope in your mercy, that, cleansed from the stain of their sins, they may persevere in holy living and be made full heirs of your promise. Through our Lord. . .
FRIDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT
OPENING INSIGHT Ps 31:10.16.18
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in distress. Deliver me from the hands of my enemies and those who pursue me. O Lord, let me never be put to shame, for I call on you.
SCRIPTURE READING Jeremiah 20:10-13
I hear many whispering. Terror is on every side! “Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” say all my familiar friends, watching for my fall. “Perhaps he will be deceived, then we can overcome him, and take our revenge on him.” But the LORD is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble, they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonour will never be forgotten. O LORD of hosts, who test the righteous, who see the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause. Sing to the LORD; praise the LORD! For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hand of evildoers.
Soul Search: Do I commit my cause to God? Do I believe in the God who delivers?
Pardon the offences of your peoples, we pray, O Lord, and in your goodness set us free from the bonds of the sins we have committed in our weakness. Through our Lord. . .
SATURDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT
OPENING INSIGHT Ps 22:20.7
O Lord, do not stay afar off; my strength, make haste to help me! For I am a worm and no man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
SCRIPTURE READING Ezekiel 37:21-28
Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all sides, and bring them to their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. They shall not defile themselves any more with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. “My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow my ordinances and be careful to observe my statutes. They shall dwell in the land where your fathers dwelt that I gave to my servant Jacob; they and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there for ever; and David my servant shall be their prince for ever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My dwelling place shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I the LORD sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary is in the midst of them for evermore.”
Soul Search: Do I pray for peace and unity in the world? What can I contribute in making peace?
O God, who have made all those reborn in Christ a chosen race and a royal priesthood, grant us, we pray, the grace to will and to do what you command, that the people called to eternal life may be one in the faith of their hearts and the homage of their deeds. Through our Lord. . .
Adapted from: “The Daily Missal
| Year of publication: 2012, | (Paulines Publications Africa)