tuesday 31 March 2020
St. Benjamin was a saint of great faith and trust in the Lord, and one of the first Christian martyrs. St. Benjamin is a great example of having courage in declaring one’s faith, and is the patron saint of deacons.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 26: 14
Wait for the Lord; be strong; be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord!
Grant us, we pray, O Lord, perseverance in obeying your will, that in our days the people dedicated to your service may grow in both merit and number. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Numbers 21:4-9
The Israelites left Mount Hor by the road to the Sea of Suph, to skirt the land of Edom. On the way the people lost patience. They spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? For there is neither bread nor water here; we are sick of this unsatisfying food.’ At this God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel. The people came and said to Moses, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede for us with the Lord to save us from these serpents.’ Moses interceded for the people, and the Lord answered him, ‘Make a fiery serpent and put it on a standard. If anyone is bitten and looks at it, he shall live.’ So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived.
R/ O Lord, listen to my prayer and let my cry for help reach you.
- O Lord, listen to my prayer and let my cry for help reach you. Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress. Turn your ear towards me and answer me quickly when I call.
- The nations shall fear the name of the Lord and all the earth’s kings your glory, when the Lord shall build up Zion again and appear in all his glory. Then he will turn to the prayers of the helpless; he will not despise their prayers.
- Let this be written for ages to come that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord; for the Lord leaned down from his sanctuary on high. He looked down from heaven to the earth that he might hear the groans of the prisoners and free those condemned to die.
Gospel Acclamation: Jn 8:12
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory! I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life. Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
Gospel: John 8:21-30
Jesus said to the Pharisees: ‘I am going away; you will look for me and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come. The Jews said to one another, ‘Will he kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, “Where I am going, you cannot come”?’ Jesus went on: ‘You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I have told you already: You will die in your sins. Yes, if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.’ So they said to him, ‘Who are you?’ Jesus answered: ‘What I have told you from the outset. About you I have much to say and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is truthful, and what I have learnt from him I declare to the world. They failed to understand that he was talking to them about the Father. So Jesus said: ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He and that I do nothing of myself: what the Father has taught me is what I preach; he who sent me is with me, and has not left me to myself, for I always do what pleases him.’ As he was saying this, many came to believe in him.
Prayer over the Offerings
We offer you, O Lord, the sacrifice of conciliation, that, being moved to compassion, you may both pardon our offences and direct our wavering hearts. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Jn 12: 32
When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to myself, says the Lord.
Prayer after Communion
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, ever seeking what is divine, we may always be worthy to approach these heavenly gifts. Through Christ our Lord.
In what seems to be Jesus’ final statement to the Pharisees, he seems to insist on the mandate given to Him by the Father. He questions their unbelieving attitude. After hearing all that we have about Jesus do we still wallow in the theatre of unbelief? Do we still feel that the hour to turn to the Lord is not yet at hand? Jesus is insisting on saving us, and He will never give up on us until he has claimed us all for His glory. As we prepare to enter into the experience of the saving passion of Jesus, are you convinced of your need for repentance? Many heard Jesus today and believed that He proclaimed the truth. The truth is that we need His salvation. Turn to the Lord and you will be saved.