The Holy Family R.C. Church Mossend  

Readings for Mass



1 Samuel 16:1.6-7.10-13


God sends the prophet Samuel on an important mission. Samuel is to find and anoint the future king of Israel . But when Samuel finds the man he thinks is just right for the job, God tells him that he has made a mistake. God's advice is: Don't judge by how important a person might seem, for I look into the heart. The prophet listens to God's advice. He chooses the youngest son of Jesse of Bethlehem. This shepherd boy is athletic and handsome. Yet only God sees in David the potential to be Israel 's greatest king and the ancestor of the Messiah.


The Lord said to Samuel, Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen myself a king among his sons. When Samuel arrived, he caught sight of Eliab and thought, Surely the Lords anointed one stands there before him, but the Lord said to Samuel, Take no notice of his appearance or his height for I have rejected him; God does not see as man sees; man looks at appearances but the Lord looks at the heart. Jesse presented his seven sons to Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, The Lord has not chosen these. He then asked Jesse, Are these all the sons you have? He answered, There is still one left, the youngest; he is out looking after the sheep. Then Samuel said to Jesse, Send for him; we will not sit down to eat until he comes. Jesse had him sent for, a boy of fresh complexion, with fine eyes and pleasant bearing. The Lord said Come, anoint him, for this is the one. At this, Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him where he stood with his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord seized on David and stayed with him from that day on.


Ephesians 5:8-14


As we move forward to Easter during this Lenten season, we have thought about the meaning of Baptism. This reading reminds us of the courage we need to have as followers of Christ. The world is not an easy place to share the good news, but it needs to see the light of Christ's truth in us.


You were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord; be like children of light, for the effects of the light are seen in complete goodness and right living and truth. Try to discover what the Lord wants of you, having nothing to do with the futile works of darkness but exposing them by contrast. The things which are done in secret are things that people are ashamed even to speak of; but anything exposed by the light will be illuminated and anything illuminated turns into light. That is why it is said:


  Wake up from your sleep,

  rise from the dead,

  and Christ will shine on you.


John 9:1-41 (or >< 9:1.6-9.13-17.34-38)


John's story of the man born blind weaves together the themes of light, sight, and insight. Jesus heals the man so that he can see. However, the Pharisees remain blind because they refuse to see who Jesus really is. They are more concerned about the Sabbath laws than they are about a fellow human being in need.

The blind man gains not only his sight but also insight. When Jesus identifies himself as the Son of Man, a title for the Messiah, the man says, "I do believe, Lord." And he worships Jesus. As we worship Jesus in the Eucharist, our eyes are opened to see Christ in others.


>As Jesus went along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.< His disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, for him to have been born blind?' 'Neither he nor his parents sinned,' Jesus answered, 'he was born blind so that the works of God might be displayed in him.


  'As long as the day lasts

  I must carry out the work of the one who sent me;

  the night will soon be here when no one can work.

  As long as I am in the world

  I am the light of the world.'



Having said this, > he spat on the ground, made a paste with the spittle, put this over the eyes of the blind man and said to him, 'Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam' (a name that means 'sent'). So the blind man went off and washed himself, and came away with his sight restored.


His neighbours and people who earlier had seen him begging said, 'Isn't this the man who used to sit and beg?' Some said, 'Yes, it is the same one.' Others said, 'No, he only looks like him.' The man himself said, 'I am the man.'< So they said to him, 'Then how do your eyes come to be open?' 'The man called Jesus' he answered 'made a paste, daubed my eyes with it and said to me, "Go and wash at Siloam"; so I went, and when I washed I could see.' They asked, 'Where is he?' 'I don't know' he answered.


>They brought the man who had been blind to the Pharisees. It had been a Sabbath day when Jesus made the paste and opened the man's eyes, so when the Pharisees asked him how he had come to see, he said, 'He put a paste on my eyes, and I washed, and I can see.' Then some of the Pharisees said, 'This man cannot be from God: he does not keep the Sabbath.' Others said, 'How could a sinner produce signs like this?' And there was disagreement among them. So they spoke to the blind man again, 'What have you to say about him yourself, now that he has opened your eyes?' 'He is a prophet' replied the man.<


However, the Jews would not believe that the man had been blind and had gained his sight, without first sending for his parents and asking them, 'Is this man really your son who you say was born blind? If so, how is it that he is now able to see?' His parents answered, 'We know he is our son and we know he was born blind, but we don't know how it is that he can see now, or who opened his eyes. He is old enough: let him speak for himself.' His parents spoke like this out of fear of the Jews, who had already agreed to expel from the synagogue anyone who should acknowledge Jesus as the Christ. This was why his parents said, 'He is old enough; ask him.'


So the Jews again sent for the man and said to him, 'Give glory to God! For our part, we know that this man is a sinner.' The man answered, 'I don't know if he is a sinner; I only know that I was blind and now I can see.' They said to him, 'What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?' He replied, 'I have told you once and you wouldn't listen. Why do you want to hear it all again? Do you want to become his disciples too?' At this they hurled abuse at him: 'You can be his disciple,' they said 'we are disciples of Moses: we know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this man, we don't know where he comes from.' The man replied, 'Now here is an astonishing thing! He has opened my eyes, and you don't know where he comes from! We know that God doesn't listen to sinners, but God does listen to men who are devout and do his will. Ever since the world began it is unheard of for anyone to open the eyes of a man who was born blind; if this man were not from God, he couldn't do a thing.' > 'Are you trying to teach us,' they replied 'and you a sinner through and through, since you were born!' And they drove him away.


Jesus heard they had driven him away, and when he found him he said to him, 'Do you believe in the Son of Man?' 'Sir,' the man replied 'tell me who he is so that I may believe in him.' Jesus said, 'You are looking at him; he is speaking to you.' The man said, 'Lord, I believe', and worshipped him.<


Jesus said:


  'It is for judgement

  that I have come into this world,

  so that those without sight may see

  and those with sight turn blind.'


Hearing this, some Pharisees who were present said to him, 'We are not blind, surely?' Jesus replied:


  'Blind? If you were,

  you would not be guilty,

  but since you say, "We see",

  your guilt remains.'



Ezekiel 37:12-14


Ezekiel was called by God to be a prophet during the exile of the Israelites in Babylon . They took comfort in his vision of resurrection, a prediction of the restoration of their homeland. God would raise them from their graves of despair to new life.

The graves of the dead that we hear about in Ezekiel are not Israelites only; they are all of us who are in some way dead, not living fully enough the life of Christ, and in need of redemption.


The Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel . And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this - it is the Lord who speaks.


Romans 8:8-11


We have the promise of eternal life from God. Even if our bodies die, we will not become a lifeless pile of dry bones. God who raised Jesus from the dead will also raise us. The Spirit remains alive in us forever because we belong to Christ.


People who are interested only in unspiritual things can never be pleasing to God. Your interests, however, are not in the unspiritual, but in the spiritual, since the Spirit of God has made his home in you. In fact, unless you possessed the Spirit of Christ you would not belong to him. Though your body may be dead it is because of sin, but if Christ is in you then your spirit is life itself because you have been justified; and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then he who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.


John 11:1-45 (or >< 11:3-7.17.20-27.33-45)


Those of us who have lost a beloved family member or friend know how Martha and Mary must have felt. Their brother Lazarus died. And Jesus did not protect them from the pain of mourning. In fact, Jesus wept, too, and was deeply troubled. But death is never the end of the story for Jesus or those who believe in him.

"I am the resurrection and the life," Jesus tells Martha. At Jesus' command, Lazarus, all bound up in burial wrappings, slowly emerges from the tomb. What a scene that must have been! And what a promise to us!


There was a man named Lazarus who lived in the village of Bethany with the two sisters, Mary and Martha, and he was ill. It was the same Mary, the sister of the sick man Lazarus, who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair. > The sisters sent this message to Jesus, 'Lord, the man you love is ill.' On receiving the message Jesus said, 'This sickness will end not in death but in God's glory, and through it the Son of God will be glorified.'


Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, yet when he heard that Lazarus was ill he stayed where he was for two more days before saying to the disciples, 'Let us go to Judaea .'< The disciples said, 'Rabbi, it is not long since the Jews wanted to stone you; are you going back again?' Jesus replied:


  'Are there not twelve hours in the day?

  A man can walk in the daytime without stumbling

  because he has the light of this world to see by;

  but if he walks at night he stumbles,

  because there is no light to guide him.'


He said that and then added, 'Our friend Lazarus is resting, I am going to wake him.' The disciples said to him, 'Lord, if he is able to rest he is sure to get better.' The phrase Jesus used referred to the death of Lazarus, but they thought that by 'rest' he meant 'sleep', so Jesus put it plainly, 'Lazarus is dead; and for your sake I am glad I was not there because now you will believe. But let us go to him.' Then Thomas - known as the Twin - said to the other disciples, 'Let us go too, and die with him.'


>On arriving, Jesus found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days already.< Bethany is only about two miles from Jerusalem , and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to sympathise with them over their brother. > When Martha heard that Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus, 'If you had been here, my brother would not have died, but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant you.' 'Your brother' said Jesus to her 'will rise again.' Martha said, 'I know he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.' Jesus said:


  'I am the resurrection and the life.

  If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live,

  and whoever lives and believes in me

  will never die.

  Do you believe this?'


'Yes, Lord,' she said 'I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.'<


When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in a low voice, 'The Master is here and wants to see you.' Hearing this, Mary got up quickly and went to him. Jesus had not yet come into the village; he was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who were in the house sympathising with Mary saw her get up so quickly and go out, they followed her, thinking that she was going to the tomb to weep there.


Mary went to Jesus, and as soon as she saw him she threw herself at his feet, saying, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.' At the sight of her tears, and those of the Jews who followed her, > Jesus said in great distress, with a sigh that came straight from the heart, 'Where have you put him?' They said, 'Lord, come and see.' Jesus wept; and the Jews said, 'See how much he loved him!' But there were some who remarked, 'He opened the eyes of the blind man, could he not have prevented this man's death?' Still sighing, Jesus reached the tomb: it was a cave with a stone to close the opening. Jesus said, 'Take the stone away.' Martha said to him, 'Lord, by now he will smell; this is the fourth day.' Jesus replied, 'Have I not told you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?' So they took away the stone. Then Jesus lifted up his eyes and said:


  'Father, I thank you for hearing my prayer.

  I knew indeed that you always hear me,

  but I speak

  for the sake of all these who stand round me,

  so that they may believe it was you who sent me.'


When he had said this, he cried in a loud voice, 'Lazarus, here! Come out!' The dead man came out, his feet and hands bound with bands of stuff and a cloth round his face. Jesus said to them, 'Unbind him, let him go free.'


Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what he did believed in him.<



Isaiah 50:4-7


For Christians, all of today's readings give us ways of looking at Jesus Christ as the Suffering Servant. The Suffering Servant in Isaiah has qualities that later generations would see in Jesus. He is the one whose ear is always open to receive God's word. He is the one who does not rebel or turn back when his enemies persecute him. Jesus is the one who says, "The Lord God is my help. . . I

shall not be put to shame."


  The Lord Yahweh has given me

  a disciples tongue.

  So that I may know how to reply to the wearied

  he provides me with speech.

  Each morning he wakes me to hear,

  to listen like a disciple.

  The Lord Yahweh has opened my ear.


  For my part, I made no resistance,

  neither did I turn away.

  I offered my back to those who struck me,

  my cheeks to those who tore at my beard;

  I did not cover my face

  against insult and spittle.


  The Lord Yahweh comes to my help,

  so that I am untouched by the insults.

  So, too, I set my face like flint;

  I know I shall not be shamed.


Philippians 2:6-11

Paul's noble description of Jesus Christ is really a hymn. It describes Jesus as the one who willingly gave up everything to fulfill God's plan for our salvation. Jesus did not come among us expecting to live grandly, as a king or "Numero Uno," although that is exactly what he was. Even though he was God, he came among us as the lowest of all, to show us that God's love does not depend on riches or honor. Paul tells us that this must be our attitude, too. Our love must be like God's love.


His state was divine,

yet he did not cling

to his equality with God

but emptied himself

to assume the condition of a slave,

and became as men are;

and being as all men are,

he was humbler yet,

even to accepting death,

death on a cross.

But God raised him high

and gave him the name

which is above all other names

so that all beings

in the heavens, on the earth and in the underworld,

should bend the knee at the name of Jesus

and that every tongue should acclaim

Jesus Christ as Lord,

to the glory of the Father.




Acts 10:34.37-43

Peter speaks with the wonderful freedom of an Easter Christian! He knows now that God's message of salvation is for all people. It is not limited to any one nation. Filled with enthusiasm, Peter gives his own witness to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. He rejoices in his own call to preach the good news of Jesus Christ risen from the dead.

Peter addressed Cornelius and his household: 'You must have heard about the recent happenings in Judaea ; about Jesus of Nazareth and how he began in Galilee , after John had been preaching baptism. God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil. Now I, and those with me, can witness to everything he did throughout the countryside of Judaea and in Jerusalem itself: and also to the fact that they killed him by hanging him on a tree, yet three days afterwards God raised him to life and allowed him to be seen, not by the whole people but only by certain witnesses God had chosen beforehand. Now we are those witnesses - we have eaten and drunk with him after his resurrection from the dead - and he has ordered us to proclaim this to his people and to tell them that God has appointed him to judge everyone, alive or dead. It is to him that all the prophets bear this witness: that all who believe in Jesus will have their sins forgiven through his name.'


Colossians 3:1-4

Today's second reading gives us good advice: Look up to the risen Christ. Seek the values of his kingdom. Don't get trapped in false values. Be faithful until the day when we all will appear with Christ in his glory. Name one value of Jesus and tell how you will be especially faithful to it during Easter week.

Since you have been brought back to true life with Christ, you must look for the things that are in heaven, where Christ is, sitting at God's right hand. Let your thoughts be on heavenly things, not on the things that are on the earth, because you have died, and now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God. But when Christ is revealed - and he is your life - you too will be revealed in all your glory with him.


John 20:1-9

The gospel story of the empty tomb proclaims a joyful freedom theme. Jesus is free from the bonds of death! Mary Magdalene is freed from fear and becomes a witness to his resurrection. Peter and John are free to believe that their Lord is risen from the dead. The dawn of Easter frees us from fear and the darkness of sin. Alleluia!

It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. 'They have taken the Lord out of the tomb' she said 'and we don't know where they have put him.'


So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in. Simon Peter who was following now came up, went right into the tomb, saw the linen cloths on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed. Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead.




Acts 2:42-47

What an example of community life our reading from Acts describes! We see how the early Christians shared four basic activities that drew them together. They lived by the teachings of the Twelve, who had been taught by Jesus himself. They shared their possessions with one another. They prayed together daily in the Temple . Lastly, they gathered to celebrate the Eucharist in their homes.



The whole community remained faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.


The many miracles and signs worked through the apostles made a deep impression on everyone.


The faithful all lived together and owned everything in common; they sold their goods and possessions and shared out the proceeds among themselves according to what each one needed.


They went as a body to the Temple every day but met in their houses for the breaking of bread; they shared their food gladly and generously; they praised God and were looked up to by everyone. Day by day the Lord added to their community those destined to be saved.


1 Peter 1:3-9

The second reading, written to those who had recently become baptized Christians, helps them to appreciate who they now are. Their Baptism gives them the courage to be different from those who do not have the gift of faith. These Christian converts love Jesus and believe in him, even though they have never seen him. They rejoice greatly as they grow in resurrection faith.


Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy has given us a new birth as his sons, by raising Jesus Christ from the dead, so that we have a sure hope and the promise of an inheritance that can never be spoilt or soiled and never fade away, because it is being kept for you in the heavens. Through your faith, God's power will guard you until the salvation which has been prepared is revealed at the end of time. This is a cause of great joy for you, even though you may for a short time have to bear being plagued by all sorts of trials; so that, when Jesus Christ is revealed, your faith will have been tested and proved like gold - only it is more precious than gold, which is corruptible even though it bears testing by fire - and then you will have praise and glory and honour. You did not see him, yet you love him; and still without seeing him, you are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described, because you believe; and you are sure of the end to which your faith looks forward, that is, the salvation of your souls.


John 20:19-31

What a surprise for the disciples! The risen Christ comes to them through locked doors, breathes on them, and says, "Receive the Holy Spirit." By the power of the Spirit, the disciples will forgive sins and communicate the peace of Jesus himself. However, there is another part to this gospel story. The story revolves around Thomas but it is also about us. Sometimes we are like Thomas and miss the most important part of our faith, belief in Jesus! But "blest" are we who are guided in faith by the Holy Spirit.

In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, 'Peace be with you,' and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, 'Peace be with you.


  'As the Father sent me,

  so am I sending you.'


After saying this he breathed on them and said:


  'Receive the Holy Spirit.

  For those whose sins you forgive,

  they are forgiven;

  for those whose sins you retain,

  they are retained.'


Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. When the disciples said, 'We have seen the Lord', he answered, 'Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.' Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. 'Peace be with you' he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Doubt no longer but believe.' Thomas replied, 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him:


  'You believe because you can see me.

  Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.'


There were many other signs that Jesus worked and the disciples saw, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name.




Acts 2:14.22-33

What a powerful feeling it is to stand up before a vast crowd of people and tell them exactly what you believe! That's what we hear Peter doing as he speaks. His voice rings out fearlessly as he insists that the crucified Jesus is the Messiah sent by God. Jesus is the holy one foretold by David. He is the conqueror of death itself. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter stirred up the people with the wonder of God's word.


On the day of Pentecost Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed the crowd in a loud voice: Men of Israel, listen to what I am going to say: Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God by the miracles and portents and signs that God worked through him when he was among you, as you all know. This man, who was put into your power by the deliberate intention and foreknowledge of God, you took and had crucified by men outside the Law. You killed him, but God raised him to life, freeing him from the pangs of Hades; for it was impossible for him to be held in its power since, as David says of him:


  I saw the Lord before me always,

  for with him at my right hand nothing can shake me.

  So my heart was glad

  and my tongue cried out with joy;

  my body, too, will rest in the hope

  that you will not abandon my soul to Hades

  nor allow your holy one to experience corruption.

  You have made known the way of life to me,

  you will fill me with gladness through your presence.


Brothers, no one can deny that the patriarch David himself is dead and buried: his tomb is still with us. But since he was a prophet, and knew that God had sworn him an oath to make one of his descendants succeed him on the throne, what he foresaw and spoke about was the resurrection of the Christ: he is the one who was not abandoned to Hades, and whose body did not experience corruption. God raised this man Jesus to life, and all of us are witnesses to that. Now raised to the heights by Gods right hand, he has received from the Father the Holy Spirit, who was promised, and what you see and hear is the outpouring of that Spirit.


1 Peter 1:17-21

The second reading reminds us that we have been redeemed through the blood of Christ. In return, we are to conduct ourselves with reverence on our faith journey. If we have an attitude of reverence, we will not take our faith lightly. We will be sincere in our study of our faith. We will be open to God and his will for us. We will seek to understand and participate in the Mass and the sacraments because there we meet the One who suffered, died, and rose for us.


If you are acknowledging as your Father one who has no favourites and judges everyone according to what he has done, you must be scrupulously careful as long as you are living away from your home. Remember, the ransom that was paid to free you from the useless way of life your ancestors handed down was not paid in anything corruptible, neither in silver nor gold, but in the precious blood of a lamb without spot or stain, namely Christ; who, though known since before the world was made, has been revealed only in our time, the end of the ages, for your sake. Through him you now have faith in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory for that very reason - so that you would have faith and hope in God.


Luke 24:13-35

As two downhearted disciples journey to Emmaus, a stranger joins them. To him they pour out all their crushed hopes about Jesus who has been crucified and whom they miss so much. After listening carefully to their story, the stranger tells them that they are slow to "believe all that the prophets have announced." He then explains the Scripture to them.


Two of the disciples of Jesus were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem , and they were talking together about all that had happened. Now as they talked this over, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; but something prevented them from recognising him. He said to them, 'What matters are you discussing as you walk along?' They stopped short, their faces downcast.


Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, 'You must be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days.' 'What things?' he asked. 'All about Jesus of Nazareth' they answered 'who proved he was a great prophet by the things he said and did in the sight of God and of the whole people; and how our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified. Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free. And this is not all: two whole days have gone by since it all happened; and some women from our group have astounded us: they went to the tomb in the early morning, and when they did not find the body, they came back to tell us they had seen a vision of angels who declared he was alive. Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.'


Then he said to them, 'You foolish men! So slow to believe the full message of the prophets! Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory?' Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself.


When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay with them. 'It is nearly evening' they said 'and the day is almost over.' So he went in to stay with them. Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, 'Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?'


They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem . There they found the Eleven assembled together with their companions, who said to them, 'Yes, it is true. The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.' Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.




Acts 2:14.36-41

Today we hear about the consequences of Peter's fiery proclamation of the Good News. His listeners face the truth: their sins have crucified the Messiah. Deeply shaken, they respond to Peter's message by repenting of their sins A large number seek to be baptized! They open their hearts to God's word and allow themselves to be changed by it.

To repent is to turn away from a wrong direction or an evil way. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can turn away from sin. Remember to pray for the help of the Holy Spirit.

On the day of Pentecost Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed the crowd with a loud voice: The whole House of Israel can be certain that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ.

Hearing this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the apostles, What must we do, brothers? You must repent, Peter answered and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise that was made is for you and your children, and for all those who are far away, for all those whom the Lord our God will call to himself. He spoke to them for a long time using many arguments, and he urged them, Save yourselves from this perverse generation. They were convinced by his arguments, and they accepted what he said and were baptised. That very day about three thousand were added to their number.


1 Peter 2:20-25

Today's reading issues a challenge to Christian slaves of the first century and to all of us, who should be slaves, or servants, of God. We are called to follow Jesus' way of life. This means that we must suffer patiently for doing good, just as Jesus suffered for us. His wounds healed us. Now our wounds?from insults, threats, rejection?can help to heal others, as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus .

The merit, in the sight of God, is in bearing punishment patiently when you are punished after doing your duty.This, in fact, is what you were called to do, because Christ suffered for you and left an example for you to follow the way he took. He had not done anything wrong, and there had been no perjury in his mouth. He was insulted and did not retaliate with insults; when he was tortured he made no threats but he put his trust in the righteous judge. He was bearing our faults in his own body on the cross, so that we might die to our faults and live for holiness; through his wounds you have been healed. You had gone astray like sheep but now you have come back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.


John 10:1-10

We are all familiar with the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. But in this reading from John's Gospel, Jesus first refers to himself as "the gate" through which the sheep come to safety. The thieves are those people who try to enter God's kingdom by some other gate. The sheep are those who recognize Jesus as the only door to the green pasture of eternal and abundant life.


Jesus said: 'I tell you most solemnly, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but gets in some other way is a thief and a brigand. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock; the gatekeeper lets him in, the sheep hear his voice, one by one he calls his own sheep and leads them out. When he has brought out his flock, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice. They never follow a stranger but run away from him: they do not recognise the voice of strangers.'


Jesus told them this parable but they failed to understand what he meant by telling it to them.


So Jesus spoke to them again:


  'I tell you most solemnly,

  I am the gate of the sheepfold.

  All others who have come

  are thieves and brigands;

  but the sheep took no notice of them.

  I am the gate.

  Anyone who enters through me will be safe:

  he will go freely in and out

  and be sure of finding pasture.

  The thief comes

  only to steal and kill and destroy.

  I have come

  so that they may have life

  and have it to the full.'



© 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman and Todd,

and Doubleday and Co Inc., and used by permission.



Lent 2009



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