Entrance Antiphon
The waves of death rose about me; the pains of the netherworld surrounded me. In my anguish I called to the Lord and from his holy temple he heard my voice.

Collect
May the working of your mercy, O Lord, we pray, direct our hearts aright, for without your grace, we cannot find favour in your sight. Through our Lord…

FIRST READING
“I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. ”
A reading from the Book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 11:18-20)

The Lord made it known to me and I knew; then you did show me their evil deeds. But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. I did not know it was against me they devised schemes, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.” But, O Lord of hosts, who judge righteously, who test the heart and the mind, let rue see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause.
The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 7:2-3.9bc-10.11-12 (R. 2a)
R/. O Lord, my God, I take refuge in you.

O Lord, my God, I take refuge in you.
Save and rescue me from all my pursuers,
lest they tear me apart like a lion,
and drag me off with no one to rescue me. R/.

Give judgement for me, O Lord,
for I am just and blameless of heart.
Put an end to the evil of the wicked!
Make the just man stand firm;
it is you who test mind and heart,  
O God of justice! R/.

God is a shield before me,
who saves the upright of heart.
God is a judge, just and powerful and patient,
not exercising anger every day. R.

VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL Luke 8: 15
Glory and praise to you, O Christ. Blessed are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

GOSPEL
“Is the Christ to come from Galilee?”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 7:40-53)

At that time: When they heard the words of Jesus, some of the people said, “This is really the prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ is descended from David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was? So there was a division among the people over him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. The officers then went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this man!” The Pharisees answered them, “Are you led astray, you also? Have any of the authorities or of thy Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, who do not know the law, are accursed.” Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” They re- plied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and you will see that no prophet is to rise from Galilee.” They went each to his own house.
The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection: TAKE REFUGE IN GOD

Beloved in Christ, the responsorial psalm in today’s liturgy offers us words of hope as we continue to battle to bring an end to the deadly corona virus:

The psalmist says:
O Lord, My God, in you I take refuge

When we hear the word “refuge” what should come to our minds quickly is the word Refugees– people who have deserted their own country because of persecution, war, violence or hunger.

They run to a country they believe can offer them peace and security.
Jeremiah in the first reading was lamenting how his own people have made plans to kill him and so he prayed and ask God to take action thereby making God his refuge.

Beloved, today all of us have become like Jeremiah or refugees due to the global spread of the deadly corona virus. Like the Jeremiah or refugees we have no safer country to run to but to our God who is Almighty.

This period as we stay in our homes to prevent a further spread of this virus, let us go to God in prayer for He is our ever present help in time of trouble.
Many of us no doubt are afraid , don’t be afraid! It’s time to take refuge in God, turn to Him, rely upon Him, seek his face, trust in Him.

✓It’s time to hold our Rosary in prayer
✓It’s time to devote time to reading the word of God
✓It’s time to turn to Him with pure hearts
As we turn to him today , + may He grant us strength, comfort, courage, wisdom and healing in this tough period through Christ our Lord. Amen

Reflection by Rev Fr Timothy Ejeh (Fr TimSax)

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