Sunday 24 March 2019    (other days)
3rd Sunday of Lent 

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.

Other saints: Saint Macartan (- 506)
He was a convert from paganism and a companion of St Patrick, who made him bishop of Clogher in 454. He is the patron saint of the diocese.

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: Third Sunday of Lent
And God said to Moses, “I Am who I Am. This” he added “is what you must say to the sons of Israel: ‘I Am has sent me to you’.” And God also said to Moses, “You are to say to the sons of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’. This is my name for all time; by his name I shall be invoked for all generations to come.’” (Ex 3:14-15)
  Ex 3:1-8, 13-15
  In our Lenten progress through the story of God’s people we come to the crucial moment of the revelation of God’s name to Moses. This is a decisive moment, because to give your name is a sign of trust and friendship. Someone who has your name has power over you in all kinds of ways, so you give it only to those you trust. The Hebrews, descendants of Abraham, are at a low point, a mere oppressed rabble of immigrants, lacking land or security, marked out for extermination by a powerful bureaucratic state. It is as though God had waited for this moment to raise them up, to create them as a coherent group with a leader who could stand up for them in God’s name. God does not yet give the meaning of the name; perhaps “I Am who I Am” even means “You mind your own business”. It is something to do with Being, and the Greek translation of the Bible understands it as ‘Pure Being’, ‘the One who Is’. In the Hebrew Bible the meaning of the name is given later on Sinai, after Israel’s worship of the Golden Bull, when God passes before Moses crying out the name, “The Lord, the Lord, a God of mercy and forgiveness”. This is the meaning which will echo down the Bible in passage after passage. What qualities in God are most important to you in your approach to God?
  1 Co 10:1-6, 10-12
  As in the previous two Sundays, the second reading moves the first reading into a higher gear. God revealed his name to Moses in the desert, led the Israelites across the sea and cared for them in the desert with manna for food and water from the rock to drink. now Paul explains to us that the real meaning of the rock is Christ who nourishes us. How is Christ “the rock that followed them”? Paul uses the current rabbinic explanation of the two accounts of Moses striking the rock for water: it is not two accounts of the same incident, but they are separate incidents. The same rock accompanied the Israelites on their journey through the desert. However, Paul is writing to chide the Corinthians on their undisciplined behaviour, especially at the Eucharist. Despite the wonders that accompanied the Israelites, the desert wanderings were a time of infidelity and rebellion which even the God of mercy and forgiveness was compelled to correct. Let the Corinthians learn their lesson! Even though their Christian life was marked by plentiful gifts of the Spirit, they must repent of their wild behaviour. Is Christ a rock that follows you around in life? Does he give you water?
  Lk 13:1-9
  We have seen Luke’s stress on Jesus’s message of repentance and forgiveness. At the beginning of Jesus’s ministry Peter must admit his sinfulness before he is called to be an apostle. At the end the good thief acknowledges his guilt and is welcomed into Jesus’s kingdom. This Gospel reading, with its historical examples and its parable, reinforces the Old Testament lesson of repentance, the constant theme with Luke. In the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector the latter wins through: his prayer is only “God, be merciful to me, a sinner”. Every proclamation of the gospel in Luke’s Acts of the Apostles ends with an appeal for repentance. Repentance means not simply bewailing our sins but doing something about it, changing our way of life, our scale of values. However, we are made in the image of God, and cannot expect God’s forgiveness unless we too follow God’s example and show the same forgiveness to others. The sinful woman who loved much was forgiven much (Lk 7:36-50). nor is Luke the only evangelist to stress this point. Matthew adds at the end of the Lord’s Prayer the saying of Jesus which underlines the importance of the single petition, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive others”.
  1. What is the most rotten part of your fig tree that you really need to change? Would the sacrament of reconciliation help?
  2. What sort of injury do you find it hardest to forgive? An affront to your pride, your pocket or your person? Is there anyone you have not forgiven?
  Email or call some family member whom you have neglected recently.
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)1 Thessalonians 4:1,7 ©
My brethren, we urge you and appeal to you in the Lord Jesus to make more and more progress in the kind of life that you are meant to live: the life that God wants, as you learnt from us, and as you are already living it. We have been called by God to be holy, not to be immoral.

Noon reading (Sext)Isaiah 30:15,18 ©
For thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel: ‘Your salvation lies in conversion and tranquillity, your strength will come from complete trust.’ The Lord is waiting to be gracious to you, to rise and take pity on you, for the Lord is a just God. Happy are all who hope in him.

Afternoon reading (None)Deuteronomy 4:29-31 ©
You will seek the Lord your God, and if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul, you shall find him. In your distress, all that I have said will overtake you, but at the end of days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to his voice. For the Lord your God is a merciful God and will not desert or destroy you or forget the covenant he made on oath with your fathers.
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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