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Mass Readings

Catholic Ireland

Liturgical Readings for : Friday, 24th March, 2023
Léachtaí Gaeilge
Next Sunday's Readings

Friday, Fourth Week in Lent

Memorial may be made of St. Macartan, bishop

General Themes: Today opposition to Christianity is violent and bloodstained in some countries of the world. Elsewhere it emphases slander, ridicule and negative publicity.


 A reading from the book of Wisdom              2: 1.12-22
Theme: Let us condemn him the virtuous man to a shameful death.

The godless say to themselves, with their misguided reasoning:
Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man, since he annoys us and opposes our way of life,
reproaches us for our breaches of the law and accuses us of playing false to our upbringing.
He claims to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a son of the Lord.

Before us he stands, a reproof to our way of thinking,

the very sight of him weighs our spirits down;
his way of life is not like other men’s, the paths he treads are unfamiliar.
In his opinion we are counterfeit; he holds aloof from our doings as though from filth; he proclaims the final end of the virtuous as happy and boasts of having God for his father.

Let us see if what he says is true,
let us observe what kind of end he himself will have.
If the virtuous man is God’s son, God will take his part and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies.
Let us test him with cruelty and with torture, and thus explore this gentleness of his and put his endurance to the proof.

Let us condemn him to a shameful death
since he will be looked after – we have his word for it.’

This is the way they reason, but they are misled, their malice makes them blind. They do not know the hidden things of God, they have no hope that holiness will be rewarded, they can see no reward for blameless souls.

The Word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm       Ps 33
Response                            The Lord is close to the broken-hearted.

1. The Lord turns his face against the wicked
to destroy their remembrance from the earth.
The just call and the Lord hears
and rescues them in all their distress.                     Response

2. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted;
those whose spirit is crushed he will save.
Many are the trials of the just man
but from them all the Lord will rescue him.           Response

3. He will keep guard over all his bones,
not one of his bones shall be broken.
The Lord ransoms the souls of his servants.
Those who hide in him shall not be condemned.   Response

Gospel  Acclamation            Joel 2: 12 – 13
Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory!
Now, now – it is the Lord who speaks –
come back to me with all your heart, for I am all tenderness and compassion.
Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory!

Or                                                 Mt 4:4
Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory!
Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory!


The Lord be with you.                                     And with your spirit
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John     7:1-2. 10. 25-30      Glory to you, O Lord   
Theme: They would have arrested him then, but his time had not yet come.

Jesus stayed in Galilee; he could not stay in Judaea because the Jews were out to kill him. As the Jewish feast of Tabernacles drew near, after his brothers had left for the festival, Jesus went up as well, but quite privately, without drawing attention to himself.

Meanwhile some of the people of Jerusalem were saying,
‘Isn’t this the man they want to kill? And here he is, speaking freely, and they have nothing to say to him! Can it be true the authorities have made up their minds that he is the Christ? Yet we all know where he comes from, but when the Christ appears no one will know where he comes from.’

Then, as Jesus taught in the Temple, he cried out:
Yes, you know me and you know where I came from.
Yet I have not come of myself: no, there is one who sent me and I really come from him, and you do not know him, but I know him because I have come from him
and it was he who sent me.’

They would have arrested him then, but because his time had not yet come no one laid a hand on him.

The Gospel of the Lord             Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel Reflection            Fri, 24 March                Fourth Week of Lent         John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

People often ask us where we are from. We ask others what part of the country they are from or if they live in the city what part of the city they are from. We sense that if we know where people are from, we are in possession of information that might help us to understand them. It is not surprising that people often return to where they are from, if only to visit it. They know they are getting in touch with their roots.

In the gospel reading, the people of Jerusalem say of Jesus, ‘We all know where he comes from’. They were aware that he came from a very different kind of place to Jerusalem, from a small village far to the north of Jerusalem, in the region of Galilee. Jesus acknowledges that, in one sense, the people of Jerusalem know where he comes from, but, in a deeper sense, they do not know where he comes from.

As Jesus declares, ‘there is one who sent me, and I really come from him, and you do not know him’. Jesus speaks as one who, ultimately, comes from God, and the people of Jerusalem do not know God as well as they think. It is as if Jesus was saying, ‘the place of my upbringing does not explain who I am’. That is true of us all. We cannot be fully understood on the basis of our place of origin. It is even truer of Jesus. He was not simply the son of a carpenter from Nazareth in Galilee. He was also the Son of God. If there is more to each of us than meets the eye and ear, that is true to a much greater extent of Jesus. There is such a depth to the mystery of Jesus’ identity, that we are always only coming to know him. Part of the adventure of faith is coming to know the Lord more and more. I have always liked the prayer associated with a thirteenth century English bishop,
O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,
may I know thee more clearly,
love thee more dearly and follow thee more nearly, day by day’.


The Scripture Readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd. and used with the permission of the publishers.  http://dltbooks.com/
The Scripture Reflection is made available with our thanks from Reflections on the Weekday Readings 2022-2023: Your word is a lamp for my feet and light for my path by Martin Hogan and published by Messenger Publications 2022  c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop/