March 28: Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Anonymous French Master: Jeremiah Being Stoned to DeathKoninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, c 1297-1320

Readings for Mass
First Reading: Jeremiah 11:18-20
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 7:2-3, 9-10, 11-12
Gospel: John 7:40-53

God is my shield, who saves the upright in heart (NRSV, Ps 7:10).

Let us pray.

Father, you reveal yourself to us at every moment, even from the first moment in our mother’s womb, through your Word, who challenges us to accept and to grow in your life. Even though you reveal yourself once and for all in each moment, because of our finite human condition intensified by the sin of the world, we can only grow gradually in understanding as in grace. Even the psalmists and your prophets, so sensitive to your presence and your call, only see in part. They often cry out for you to swoop down and rescue them from an oppressive situation and then to wreak vengeance on those who maltreat them.

Father, you anticipate all our needs. You have in every situation one gift that you offer to us even before we ask: a share in your divine life. This gift is all we ever need. It does not rescue us however bleak the situation may be. Rather it empowers us to transform the darkest moment into blessing for ourselves and others. Strengthened by your grace, Father, we can always be victors even as Jesus was victor on the cross.

Psalmist and prophet sometimes call upon you to take vengeance on their enemies. Father, when we committed the most heinous of crimes by crucifying your beloved Son and banishing him from this world, what was your response? Through your power given to him, Jesus passed in triumph through death to new life and you, Father, poured out your Spirit upon all humankind, as you always do, through the Word, now risen from the dead, that we might in every instance be able to say “yes” to your gift of life.

Father, the gift of your life is salvation in every moment and your vengeance is rather forgiveness to all who will accept it and share it with others.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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