SUNday 19 MARCH
4th Sunday of Lent,
Psalter week IV
Entrance Antiphon Cf. Is 66: 10-11
Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her. Be joyful, all who were in mourning; exult and be satisfied at her consoling breast.
O God, who through your Word, reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way, grant, we pray, that with prompt devotion and eager faith, the Christian people may hasten toward the solemn celebrations to come. 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: 1 Samuel 16:1,6-7,10-13
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 Lord’s anointed 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.
R/ The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose. Near restful waters he leads me, to revive my drooping spirit.
He guides me along the right path; he is true to his name. If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear. You are there with your crook and your staff; with these you give me comfort.
You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes. My head you have anointed with oil; my cup is overflowing.
Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life. In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell for ever and ever.
Second reading: Ephesians 5: 8-14
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.
Gospel Acclamation: Ephesians 5: 8-14
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God! I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life. Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!
Gospel: John 4:5-16,19-26,39-42
Jesus came to the Samaritan town called Sychar, near the land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well is there and Jesus, tired by the journey, sat straight down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink.’ His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘What? You are a Jew and you ask me, a Samaritan, for a drink?’ – Jews, in fact, do not associate with Samaritans. Jesus replied: ‘If you only knew what God is offering and who it is that is saying to you: Give me a drink, you would have been the one to ask, and he would have given you living water.’ ‘You have no bucket, sir,’ she answered ‘and the well is deep: how could you get this living water? Are you a greater man than our father Jacob who gave us this well and drank from it himself with his sons and his cattle?’ Jesus replied: ‘Whoever drinks this water will get thirsty again; but anyone who drinks the water that I shall give will never be thirsty again: the water that I shall give will turn into a spring inside him, welling up to eternal life.’ ‘Sir,’ said the woman ‘give me some of that water, so that I may never get thirsty and never have to come here again to draw water. I see you are a prophet, sir. Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, while you say that Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.’ Jesus said: ‘Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know: for salvation comes from the Jews. But the hour will come – in fact it is here already – when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth: that is the kind of worshipper the Father wants. God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth.’ The woman said to him, ‘I know that Messiah – that is, Christ – is coming; and when he comes he will tell us everything.’ ‘I who am speaking to you,’ said Jesus ‘I am he.’ Many Samaritans of that town had believed in him on the strength of the woman’s testimony when she said, ‘He told me all I have ever done’, so, when the Samaritans came up to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed for two days, and when he spoke to them many more came to believe; and they said to the woman, ‘Now we no longer believe because of what you told us; we have heard him ourselves and we know that he really is the saviour of the world.’
Prayer over the Offerings
We place before you with joy these offerings which bring eternal remedy, O Lord, praying that we may both faithfully revere them and present them to you, as is fitting, for the salvation of all the world. Through Christ our Lord.
The Lord anointed my eyes: I went, I washed, I saw and I believed in God.
Prayer after Communion
O God, who enlighten everyone who comes into this world, illuminate our hearts, we pray, with the splendour of your grace, that we may always ponder what is worthy and pleasing to your majesty and love you in all sincerity. Through Christ our Lord.
The Gospel of this fourth Sunday of Lent presents Jesus as the “son of man”, the one who came into the world to dispel the darkness and heal all our blindness, both physical and spiritual. But the healing that he performs on a man born blind does not delight everyone; it even creates controversy around his person. Some are unhappy with his action because they like to rejoice in the misfortune of others. They like to see others languish in suffering. This proves to what extent some people work for the shackling and the misfortune of others in our societies. May the Lord preserve us from such a blindness that would prevent us not only from seeing in Jesus the prophet of God, but also from rejoicing in the happiness of others.