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: B(II). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Violet.
|40 Days and 40 Ways: Saturday, 1st week of Lent|
The Lord has today made this declaration about you: that you will be his very own people as he promised you, but only if you keep all his commandments. (Dt 26:18)
Deuteronomy is the fifth and final book of the Law, and ends up with a series of blessings and curses for those who keep or do not keep the Law respectively, beginning just after this reading. This is why today’s reading is chosen to pair with the last of Jesus’s six corrections of or adjustments to the Law, which is also all about the perfection of love. Jesus stresses that our love must be perfect, just as that of the heavenly Father is perfect. In the same way we are to love the Lord with all our heart, all our mind, all our strength. This command is repeated in prayer daily by every faithful Jew, as a sort of Credo, a basis of life: the principle by which Israel lives is the love of God. The Law is not constricting but liberating, showing us how to love.
If we put together these two great statements about divine love, and our need and duty to emulate divine love, to make our love as perfect as God’s love, we may turn to Pope Francis’s letter Amoris Laetitia. This letter sums up the thoughts of the Synod on the family: the family is the basic focus of love, the well-spring of love, the place where love is seen at its most basic and also at its fullest. A first thought about family love is that it generates life. Francis relates the two Hebrew words for ‘son’ and ‘build’ (ben and banah): a child is clearly the product of an act of love, building up the family, and indeed the human race, as well as the child himself or herself. A child calls forth the love of parents in the continuous care needed. At least in early days and weeks the whole life of a mother is directed to caring for the child. In this way parental love is the paradigm of love, but still only weakly imaging divine love.
A second dimension of divine love imaged in the family is forgiveness. For many couples the sexual union is the total expression of forgiveness. no family is without offences, and without forgiveness there is no family, and it is in the family that we can be sure of forgiveness.
The Gospel reading for the day is Mt 5:43-48.
Visit or call a sick or bereaved person who needs company.
This passage is an extract from the booklet “40 Days and 40 Ways” by Henry Wansbrough, 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)||Apocalypse 3:19-20 ©|
I am the one who reproves and disciplines all those he loves: so repent in real earnest. Look, I am standing at the door, knocking. If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in to share his meal, side by side with him.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Isaiah 44:21-22 ©|
Remember these things, Jacob, and that you are my servant, Israel. I have formed you, you are my servant; Israel, I will not forget you. I have dispelled your faults like a cloud, your sins like a mist. Come back to me, for I have redeemed you.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Galatians 6:7-8 ©|
What a man sows, he reaps. If he sows in the field of self-indulgence he will get a harvest of corruption out of it; if he sows in the field of the Spirit he will get from it a harvest of eternal life.