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: 3. Liturgical Colour: Violet.
|Other saints: Saint Kieran|
Kieran, or Ciarán of Saighir, was an Irish monk and bishop, active in the fifth or sixth century, and one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. He is the patron saint of the diocese of Ossory. See the article in Wikipedia
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: St Basil the Great (330 - 379)|
St Basil the Great, or Basil of Caesarea, was one of the three men known as the Cappadocian Fathers. The others are his younger brother, St Gregory of Nyssa, and St Gregory Nazianzen. They were active after the Council of Nicaea, working to formulate Trinitarian doctrine precisely and, in particular, to pin down the meaning and role of the least humanly comprehensible member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Basil was the leader and organizer; Gregory of Nazianzus was the thinker, the orator, the poet, pushed into administrative and episcopal roles by circumstances and by Basil; and Gregory of Nyssa, Basil’s brother, although not a great stylist, was the most gifted of the three as a philosopher and theologian. Together, the Cappadocian Fathers hammered out the doctrine of the Trinity like blacksmiths forging a piece of metal by hammer-blows into its perfect, destined shape. They were champions – and successful champions – of orthodoxy against Arianism, a battle that had to be conducted as much on the worldly and political plane as on the philosophical and theological one.
In addition to his role in doctrinal development, Basil is also the father of Eastern monasticism. He moderated the heroic ascetic practices that were characteristic of earlier monastic life, to the point where they could be part of a life in which work, prayer and ascetic practices could be in harmonious balance. Knowledge of Basil’s work and Rule spread to the West and was an influence on the founding work of St Benedict.
The works of Basil that appear in the Second Readings are mostly from his works on the Holy Spirit, but there are also extracts from his monastic Rule.
|40 Days and 40 Ways: Monday, 3rd week of Lent|
“Bathe, and you will become clean.” So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, as Elisha had told him to do. And his flesh became clean once more like the flesh of a little child. Returning to Elisha with his whole escort, he went in and stood before him. “Now I know” he said “that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel.” (2 K 5:13-15a)
2 K 5:1-15a
The Solemnity of the Annunciation to Mary falls on this day in 2019. It has its own readings, but we continue our reflections on the Lenten readings set for the day.
The lively story of the healing of Naaman is, of course, the background to Jesus’s declaration in the synagogue at Nazareth that he has come to heal not so much the Jews as gentiles. The story is beautifully told. One striking feature is that Naaman must have been a nice man. The little Israeli girl whom he gave to his wife as a servant wants to do her best by him; she had obviously not been ill-treated by him as many female prisoners of war were ill-treated. The King of Syria loads him with presents to give to the King of Israel in the hope of a cure. His servants give him the affectionate title of ‘Father’. Admittedly he does throw a bit of a tantrum when he turns up with his Humvees, and Elisha does not even deign to come out to meet him – understandable, for the sparkling rivers of Damascus are much more attractive than the muddy Jordan. After the end of our reading the same behaviour continues, for when Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, runs after him Naaman gives Gehazi a handsome tip (Gehazi gets his leprosy too for his impertinence and greed). Finally, in gratitude to the God of Israel, Naaman takes home a load of Israeli soil to stand on while he worships the God who cured him.
The Gospel reading of the day is Lk 4:24-30.
Pray the appropriate decade of the Rosary.
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)||Wisdom 11:23-24 ©|
Lord, you are merciful to all, because you can do all things and overlook men’s sins so that they can repent. Yes, you love all that exists, you hold in abhorrence nothing of what you have made.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Ezekiel 18:23 ©|
Am I likely to take pleasure in the death of a wicked man – it is the Lord who speaks – and not prefer to see him renounce his wickedness and live?
|Afternoon reading (None)||Isaiah 58:6,7 ©|
Is not this the sort of fast that pleases me – it is the Lord who speaks – to share your bread with the hungry, and shelter the homeless poor, to clothe the man you see to be naked and not turn from your own kin?