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: 3. Liturgical Colour: Violet.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: Tertullian (c.155 - c.240)|
Tertullian was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. Like St Augustine of Hippo some two centuries later, he was of Berber origin. His is the first substantial body of Christian writing in Latin, the language of the western Roman Empire. He played an important part in the shaping of Christian doctrine, which is to say, taking what happened in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and working on understanding it, making sense of it, even inventing the words with which to make sense of it – such as “Trinity”. He was a noted apologist, or explainer of the faith to non-Christians, and in a predominantly pagan world he was insistent against diluting Christianity by compromise with paganism. He eventually found the Catholic Church too lax in its ways and too ready (for example) to forgive those who had apostasized in time of persecution, and he joined the puritan Montanist sect. Nevertheless, his work was an important step in the hammering out of doctrine and St Cyprian referred to him simply as “the Master”.
|40 Days and 40 Ways: Thursday, 3rd week of Lent|
He was casting out a devil and it was dumb; but when the devil had gone out the dumb man spoke, and the people were amazed. But some of them said, “It is through Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that he casts out devils”. (Lk 11:14-15)
The Gospel reading is the record of the conversation in which the opponents of Jesus are compelled to acknowledge that he has the power to cast out evil spirits, but they attribute this power to an alliance with the prince of evil spirits, Beelzebub. In the present reading from Jeremiah the prophet is attesting that the People of Israel have always, since the very beginning of the People at the Exodus, stubbornly refused to obey the commands of God.
Jeremiah had the unenviable task, as the forces of Babylon gathered and came ever nearer, of giving the inhabitants of Jerusalem one final warning that their only hope of avoiding total destruction by the massive Babylonian military machine was to return to fidelity to the Lord. His warning went unheeded, and Israel continued to hope for help from foreign alliances, with the politico-religious implication that other gods were more powerful than the Lord their own God.
As a reading for us during Lent there is the implication that we are wrong to seek our delight and joy in any other worldly attraction rather than in fidelity to the Spirit poured into our hearts at baptism.
The Gospel reading of the day is Lk 11:14-23.
Spend some time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
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.