Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Fourth Sunday of Lent



(cf. Isaiah 66:10, 11; Ps. 121 [122]:1)

Rejoice, Jerusalem, and come together all you that love her; rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow, that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolations.
I rejoiced in the things that were said to me: "We shall go into the house of the Lord."
V: Glory to the Father...
Rejoice, Jerusalem...

(Galatians 4:22-31; 5:1a)

It is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. But he of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are spoken about allegorically. For these are the two covenants: one is from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage; this is Hagar. For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in bondage with her children – but the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.
For it is written, "Rejoice, O barren who does not bear; break forth and shout, you who are not in labor! For the children of the desolate are more numerous than those of she who has a husband."
Now we, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now. But what does the scripture say? "Cast out the slave woman and her son; for the son of the slave will not share the inheritance with the son" of the free woman. Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman but of the free woman; and this is the freedom with which Christ has set us free.

(Ps. 121 [122]:1, 7)

I rejoiced in the things that were said to me: "We shall go into the house of the Lord."
V: Peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your towers!

(Ps. 124 [125]:1-2)

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion; he who dwells in Jerusalem shall not be moved forever.
V: Mountains surround it; and the LORD surrounds His people, from this time forward and even forever.

(John 6:1-15)

At that time Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee - which is the Sea of Tiberias. A great multitude was following Him because they were observing the signs He was performing on the sick. So Jesus went on up the mountainside and there He sat down with His disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was near.
Then Jesus, when He lifted up His eyes, and saw a great multitude coming to Him, said to Philip, "Where can we buy bread that these may eat?" (But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He was going to do). Philip answered Him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for each one to get a little."
One of His disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to Him, "There is a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many?" Jesus said, "Make the people recline." (Now there was much grass in the place.)
So the men reclined, in number about five thousand. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, He distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to those reclining; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were all satisfied, He said to his disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost." So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
Then those people, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, "This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!" Then Jesus, because He knew they were going to come and seize Him by force to make Him king, departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.

(Ps. 134 [135]:3, 6)

Praise the LORD, for He is good; sing to His name, for it is sweet. All things whatsoever that He willed, He did in heaven and on earth.

(Ps. 121:4, 5 [122:3 ,4])

Jerusalem has been built as a city, a city which is joined to her together. For to that place the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD: the testimony of Israel to praise the name of the LORD.

Reading 1

(2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23)

In those days, [all the leaders of Judah, and] all the priests and the people added infidelity to infidelity, following all the abominations of the nations; and they defiled the house of the LORD which He had consecrated in Jerusalem. And the LORD God of their fathers sent persistently to them by the hand of His messengers, getting up early and sending, for He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising His words, and ridiculing His prophets, until the anger of the LORD went up against His people until there was no healer.
They burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious vessels, and those who escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon, where they became servants to him and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had accepted its sabbaths. All the days of the desolation it kept sabbath to fulfill the seventy years.
In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,

"Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The LORD God of the heavens has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all His people, may the LORD his God be with him, and let him go up!"
Responsorial Psalm

(Psalm 137 [136]:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6)

R. (6ab) Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!
By the rivers of Babylon, there we sit down, also we weep when we remember Zion.
On the poplars in her midst we hang up our harps.
R. Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!
For our captors there ask us for the words of a song, and our tormentors ask for mirth, saying, "Sing for us a song about Zion!"
R. Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!
How can we sing a song of the LORD in a foreign land?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget!
R. Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!
Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you – If I do not lift up Jerusalem over the top of my joy.
R. Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!

Reading II

(Ephesians 2:4-10)

God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you are saved! – and raised us up together, and seated us together in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; not from works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand so that we might walk in them.

(John 3:14-21)

Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever is believing in Him may not perish but may have eternal life, for God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.
And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest their deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been done in God.

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