FIRST READING
A reading from the Book of Genesis (GENESIS 1:1-2:2)
“God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”

in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.* the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. And God said, “let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. And God said, “let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the firmament and separated the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. And God said, “let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. And God said, “let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. And God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the firmament of the heavens.” So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the cattle according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.* And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done.
The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 104:1-2a.5-6.10 and12.13- 14.24 and 35c (R. cf. 30)
R/. Lord, send forth your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, how great you are,
clothed in majesty and honour,
wrapped in light as with a robe! R.

You set the earth on its foundation,
immovable from age to age.
You wrapped it with the depths like a cloak;
the waters stood higher than the mountains. R.

You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
they flow in between the hills.
There the birds of heaven build their nests;
from the branches they sing their song. R.

From your dwelling you water the hills;
by your works the earth has its fill.
You make the grass grow for the cattle
and plants to serve mankind’s need.
That he may bring forth bread from the earth. R.

How many are your works, O Lord!
In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your creatures.
Bless the Lord, O my soul. R.

SECOND READING
“The sons of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea.”
A reading from the Book of Exodus (Exodus 14:15-15:1)

In those days: The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. Lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the sons of Israel may go on dry ground through the sea. And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.” Then the angel of God who went before the host of Israel moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them, coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness; and the night passed without one coming near the other all night. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the sons of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And in the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down upon the host of the Egyptians, and discomfited the host of the Egyptians, clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily; and the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from before Israel; for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.” So Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its usual flow when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled into it, and the Lord routed the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen and all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not so much as one of them remained. But the sons of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the seashore. And Israel saw the great work which the Lord did against the Egyptians, and the people feared the Lord; and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses. Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.”
The word of the Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Exodus 15: 1b-2.3-4.5-6. 17- 18 (R. 1b)
R/. I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously.

I will sing to the Lord,
for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him. R/.

The LORD is a man of war; the Lord is his name.
Pharaoh’s chariots and his host he cast into the sea;
and his picked officers are sunk in the Red Sea. R.

The floods cover them;
they went down into the depths like a stone
Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power,
your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy. R.

You will bring your people in,
and plant them on your own mountain,
the place, O Lord, which you have made for your abode,
the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established.
The Lord will reign for ever and ever. R.

THIRD READING
“Come to me that your soul may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant.”
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 55 :1-11)

Thus says the Lord: “Ho, every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, merciful love for David. Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. Behold, you shall call nations that you know not, and nations that knew you not shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you. “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I intend, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Isaiah 12:2-3.4bcde.5-6 (R. 3)
R/. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. R.

“Give thanks to the Lord,
call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the nations,
proclaim that his name is exalted.” R.

“Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be known in all the earth.
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” R.

EPISTLE
Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again.”
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (Romans 6 :3-11)

Brethren: All of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our former man was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For he who has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
The word of the Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 118 : 1-2.15c- 17.22-23
R/. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

Give praise to the Lord, for he is good;
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.” R.

“The Lord’s right hand has done mighty deeds;
His right hand is exalted.
The Lord’s right hand has done mighty deeds.”
I shall not die, I shall live
And recount the deeds of the Lord. R.

The stone that the builders rejected
Has become the cornerstone.
By the Lord has this been done,
A marvel in our eyes. R.

GOSPEL
From the Gospel of Matthew 28:1-8

After the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the LORD descended from Heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy; and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Hail!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
The Gospel of the Lord

Today’s Reflection
The enemies of Jesus put him to death unjustly. They thought they had seen the end of him. He would no longer cause them sleepless nights. They were wrong. On the third day, he came charging from the grave, alive. He had risen! His body was not in the grave. This time around, he would never die again. Death had no power any more over him. He would live forever. He had gained definitive victory over death. But the victory was not his alone. It was also that of his follows. Just as he died and rose from death, and because of that, they too would rise from death, never more to die. His resurrection was the pledge of their own resurrection. “Dying he destroyed our death, rising he restored our life.” Alleluia!

Holy Saturday

Posted by 12 Apostles Parish central Area Abuja on Saturday, April 11, 2020

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