Readings and Reflection for March 31, Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent


“The Lord is with me as a dread warrior. ”
A reading from the Book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:10-13)

I hear many whispering. Terror is on every side! “Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” say all my familiar friends, watching for my fall. “Perhaps he will be deceived, then we can overcome him, and take our revenge on him.” But the Lord is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble, they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonour will never be forgotten. O Lord of hosts, who test the righteous, who see the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause. Sing to the Lord; praise the Lord! For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hand of evildoers.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm18:1-2a.2bc-3.4-5.6 (R. see 6)
R/. In my anguish I called to the Lord, and he heard me.

I love you, Lord, my strength;
O Lord, my rock, my fortress, my saviour. R/.

My God, my rock where I take refuge;
my shield, my saving strength, my stronghold.
I cry out, “Praised be the Lord!”
and see, I am saved from my foes. R/.

R/. In my anguish I called to the Lord, and he heard me.

The waves of death rose about me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me;
the snares of the grave surrounded me;
the traps of death confronted me. R/.

In my anguish I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry to him reached his ears. R/.

Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
Your words, Lord, Are Spirit and life; you have the words of eternal life.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

“They tried to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands. ”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 10:31-42)

At that time: The Jews took up stones to stone Jesus. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone me?” The Jews answered him, “We stone you for no good work but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came (and Scripture cannot be nullified), do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Again they tried to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands. He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John at first baptised, and there he remained. And many came to him; and they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” And many believed in him there.

The Gospel of the Lord.

“Actions speak louder than words”-that is what Jesus implies in today’s Gospel. The Jews accused him of blasphemy because he claimed to be the Son of God. They understood that rightly to mean that he was a divine Person, equal to God. In their mind, that was blasphemy, and the punishment for it was death. Jesus invited them to look at his actions, the miracles he performed. Who else could do such things if not a divine person? If what he said about himself did not convince them, then his actions should convince them. The Jews were not impressed. They still wanted to arrest him and have him put to death. Every day God’s works abound in the lives of believers. We need faith to be able to see them and recognize them as coming from him.


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