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: 4. Liturgical Colour: Violet.
|Other saints: Blessed John Anne (- 1589)|
It is hard to know who he was. He may have been John Amias, born at Wakefield in Yorkshire, where he married and had a family: on his wife’s death he divided his property among his children and left for the Continent to become a priest. In this case the surname “Anne” would be an alias. But equally he may have been William Anne, youngest son of John and Katherine Anne, of Frickley near Wakefield.
In any case, on 22 June 1580 a widower calling himself “John Amias” entered the English College at Rheims to study for the priesthood. He was ordained a priest in Rheims Cathedral on 25 March 1581 and on 5 June he set out for Paris and then England, as a missionary, in the company of another priest, Edmund Sykes. Little is known of his missionary life. Towards the end of 1588 he was arrested at the house of a Mr. Murton at Melling in Lancashire and imprisoned in York Castle. He was hanged, drawn and quartered outside York on 16 March 1589, together with a fellow priest, Robert Dalby. Both were beatified by Pope Pius XI on 15 December 1929.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: Pope St Leo the Great (- 461)|
Leo was born in Etruria and became Pope in 440. He was a true shepherd and father of souls. He constantly strove to keep the faith whole and strenuously defended the unity of the Church. He repelled the invasions of the barbarians or alleviated their effects, famously persuading Attila the Hun not to march on Rome in 452, and preventing the invading Vandals from massacring the population in 455.
Leo left many doctrinal and spiritual writings behind and a number of them are included in the Office of Readings to this day. He died in 461.
|40 Days and 40 Ways: Thursday, 4th week of Lent|
But Moses pleaded with the Lord his God... So the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. (Ex 32:11, 14)
The choice of this first reading prepares for the sentence in the Gospel reading, “Your accuser will be Moses, in whom you have set your hope”. For the People of God Moses was the intercessor par excellence, who could bend even the will of God. At this moment of the sacred covenant on Sinai, when Moses is still bringing down from the mountain the confirmation of the marriage covenant set in stone, the people blow everything by making a golden bull to worship. In Canaanite lore the golden bull is the footstool of Baal, on which that god of storm, thunder and lightning stands to hurl his thunderbolts. The story attempts to belittle it by calling it no more than a “calf” – in line with Aaron’s pathetic excuse: “I threw the gold into the fire and out came this calf” (Ex 32:24).
So effective was the intercession of Moses that (in the narrative which follows this reading) he was granted what many see as the greatest single moment of revelation during the Exodus, the revelation of the meaning of the name of God, “a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in faithful love and constancy” (Ex 34:6), a definition which echoes down the Bible.
The Gospel reading of the day is Jn 5:31-47.
Invite round a lonely person for a shared experience, perhaps on TV.
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)||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.