MARCH 14 Mon Lenten Weekday. Dn 9:4b-10/Lk 6:36-38
15 Tue Lenten Weekday Is 1:10, 16-20/Mt 23:1-12
16 Wed Lenten Weekday Jer 18:18-20/Mt 20:17-28
17 Thu Lenten Weekday [St. Patrick) Jer 17:5-10/Lk 16:19-31
18 Fri Lenten Weekday (St. Cyril of Jerusalem) Gn 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28/Mt 21:33-46
19 Sat ST JOSEPH, Solemnity2 Sm 7:4-5, 12-14, 16/Rom 4:13, 16-18, 22/Mt 1:16, 18-24
20 SUN THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT Ex 3:1-8a, 13-15/1 Cor 10:1-6, 10-12/Lk 13:1-9
or, for Year A, Ex 17:3-7/Rom 5:1-2, 5-8/Jn 4:5-42 or 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42
Our readings for this week, beginning with the Old Testament reading from Daniel, proclaim the mercy of God. The New Testament readings on Monday, Thursday and Saturday are from St. Luke– a gospel of mercy. Jesus proclaims God’s mercy, especially extended to the poor. The story of the Prodigal Son, Luke’s great parable of God’s mercy, is usually read on Saturday, but not this year since the readings for the Feast of St. Joseph are read.
Matthew’s Gospel for Wednesday reminds us that temptations about power, so obvious in the story of Jesus’ temptations, also occur in his disciples, like James and John. Can we see it too in the elder brother from the Parable of the Prodigal Son?
The readings from the Old and New Testaments complement each other during Lent. Celebrations of the saints are fewer, but they can’t be totally omitted because they remind us that the gospel takes form in generations after the time of Jesus. The feast of St. Patrick recalls the coming of the gospel to Ireland. Cyril of Jerusalem is one of the great bishops of that holy city.The Feast of St. Joseph celebrates the spouse of Mary and the foster-father of Jesus.
Readings from cycle A can be substituted for the reading cycle of the year, especially when a community is preparing new members for Baptism. The gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Lent in cycle A is the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, a key story for Lenten catechesis. Cycle A is also a good source for the catechesis of children.