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Sunday, March 21, 2021

Catholic Daily Reading + Reflection: 21 March 2021 - Great Is One Who Loves


Catholic Daily Reading + Reflection: 21 March 2021 - Great Is One Who Loves






Mass Readings for Sunday March 21, 2021



Fifth Sunday of Lent B
Vestment: Violet
Today’s Rosary: The Glorious Mystery

Death Anniversary: BAUCHI: Bishop Malachy John Goltok – 21/3/15



Theme of the Sunday: Great is one who loves! The word of God this Sunday prepares us for Easter, for the passion and death and resurrection of Christ. It is not easy to understand why it happened. The gospel sees the death of Jesus as the manifestation of his love. The human being fulfills his goal and grows to maturity only when he is capable of love, when, that is, he gives his life for others. What for the world is defeat and shame, for him is victory and glory. The second reading gives us an invitation to follow Christ, a journey full of difficulties. He went ahead of us and knows our uncertainties and fears. The first reading gives us the prophecy of Jeremiah regarding the new covenant we are living in today, and the spirit of Christ provides us with strength to give our lives as he gave his.

Entrance Antiphon Ps 43:1-2
Give me justice, O God, and plead my cause against a nation that is faithless. From the deceitful and cunning rescue me, for you, O God, are my strength.

The Gloria in excelsis (Glory to God in the highest) is not said.

Collect
By your help, we beseech you, Lord our God, may we walk eagerly in that same charity with which, out of love for the world, your Son handed himself over to death. Through our Lord. . .





FIRST READING 
“I will make a new covenant,…and I will remember their sin no more.”
A reading from the Book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

“Behold, The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land Egypt, my covenant which they broke, and I showed myself their Master, says the Lord. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

The word of the Lord



RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm51:3-4.12-13.14-15(R. 12b)
R/. Create a pure heart for me, O God.

Have mercy on me, O God,
According to your merciful love;
According to your great compassion,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me completely from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin. R.

Create a pure heart for me, O God;
Renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence;
Take not your holy spirit from me. R.



Restore in me the joy of your salvation;
Sustain in me a willing spirit.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
That sinners may return to you. R.





SECOND READING 
“He learnt obedience, and he became the source of eternal salvation.”
A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 5:7-9)

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learnt obedience through what he suffered; and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.

The word of the Lord.



VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL John12:26
Glory and praise to you, O Christ. If any one serves me, he must follow me, says the Lord; and where I am, there shall my servant be also. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.



GOSPEL
“If a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it bears much fruit.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 12:20-33)

At that time: Among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus. And Jesus answered them. “The hour has come for the son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly. I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the father will honour him. Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowed standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Other said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgement of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out; and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” He said this to show by what death he was to die. 

The Gospel of the Lord. *



OR





FIRST READING
“I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live. ”
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 37: 12-14)

Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you home into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done it, says the Lord.

The word of the Lord.



RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 130:1-2.3-4.5-7a.7b-8 (R. 7b)
R. With the Lord there is mercy, in him is plentiful redemption.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice!
O let your ears be attentive
to the sound of my pleading. R.

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
But with you is found forgiveness,
that you may be revered. R.

R. With the Lord there is mercy, in him is plentiful redemption.



I long for you, O Lord,
my soul longs for his word.
My soul hopes in the Lord
more than watchmen for daybreak.
More than watchmen for daybreak,
let Israel hope for the Lord. R.

For with the Lord there is mercy,
in him is plentiful redemption.
It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities. R.



SECOND READING 
“The Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you. ”
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the   Romans (Romans 8:8-11)

Brethren: Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God really dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit who dwells in you.

The word of the Lord.



VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL John 11:25a.26
Glory and praise to you, O Christ. I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord: he who believes in me shall never die. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.



GOSPEL
“I am the resurrection and the life. ”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 11:1-45)

At that time: A certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So * the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go into Judea again.” *

The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were but now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any one walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if any one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” Thus he spoke, and then he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awake him out of sleep.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead; and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

* Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.* Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. * When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary sat in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.”*

When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying quietly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Then Mary, when she came where Jesus was and saw him, fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, * he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled; and he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb; it was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odour, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that you have sent me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him.

The Gospel of the Lord. *

Shorter form: John 11:3-7.17.20-27.33b-45. Read between *



Prayer of the Faithful
I will write my law on their hearts.

PRIEST: God our Father wants our conversion, which means a change of heart. We pray to him this Lent for all the graces necessary for our life as full Christians.

READER:
For the leaders of the Church, (pause) through their proclamation of Christ’s saving gospel, may all Christians realize that death to selfishness is a pre-condition of living the life of grace. (pause) Father, hear our prayer; and create a new heart within us we pray Oh Lord.

For the leaders of government, (pause) may they appreciate that unless they share with others less fortunate than themselves, our world will never know peace and harmony. (pause) Father, hear our prayer; and create a new heart within us we pray Oh Lord.

For those who suffer hardship, (pause) may the see their difficulties as the grain of mustard seed dying in order to produce the new life of hope and trust in Christ. (pause) Father, hear our prayer; and create a new heart within us we pray Oh Lord.



For all Christians, especially this community, (pause) may they understand in faith that Christian happiness can be born out of pain suffered in union with God’s Son. (pause) Father, hear our prayer; and create a new heart within us we pray Oh Lord.

We pray in silence to the Lord for our own intentions.


PRIEST: Father, give us the grace to understand that it is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen



Today’s Reflation:


As we drew closer to Holy Week, we recall God’s promise to make a new covenant with us in which His law shall be no longer written on stone, but inscribed in our hearts.  Christ is the new covenant who creates pure hearts for us and gives us steadfast spirits. We are reminded that we have to give up our old ways of life in order to gain life in this new covenant. A grain has to be buried in the ground in order to become a rich harvest. Let us not forget the words of Christ, “If anyone serves Me, My Father will honour him” (John 12:26). Who are we to disrespect the ones whom God Himself has honoured by their service to Him? Among those who have served Christ and Mary, the mother of Christ, and the saints.



Personal Devotional for Lent Sunday:

We are gifted in different ways, but by the same God and our gifts are meant to be put into use for the glory of God. Therefore, when you refuse to use your gift(s) or stop others from using their gift(s), you will be doing the world and yourself a disservice and most importantly you will be disrespecting God who has generously endowed you with these gifts. Take a deep inner look at yourself and see the gifts you have that are lying dormant and yearning to be put into use. Activate them and use them for God's glory and be ready to let others use their own gifts which you do not have for the glory of God too.

Today, make use of that your gift for the good of others and more importantly to the glory of God. You have freely received from God, therefore, be willing and ready to use the gifts freely for the good of humanity. Do not let your gift waste away anymore.










Catholic Daily Reading + Reflection: 21 March 2021 - Great Is One Who Loves




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