April 4-10: 5th Week of Lent

APRIL 4 Mon Lenten Weekday [Saint Isidore] 

Dn 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or 13:41c-62/Jn 8:12-20 

5 Tue Lenten Weekday [St Vincent Ferrer,] Nm 21:4-9/Jn 8:21-30 

6 Wed Lenten Weekday Dn 3:14-20, 91-92, 95/Jn 8:31-42

7 Thu Lenten Weekday [St John Baptist de la Salle] Gn 17:3-9/Jn 8:51-59 

8 Fri Lenten Weekday Jer 20:10-13/Jn 10:31-42

9 Sat Lenten Weekday Ez 37:21-28/Jn 11:45-56 

10 SUN PALM SUNDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD

Lk 19:28-40 (37)/Is 50:4-7/Phil 2:6-11/Lk 22:14—23:56 or 23:1-49

Our gospel readings for the final weeks of Lent are taken mostly from St. John’s Gospel. Unlike the synoptic gospels, where Jesus’ ministry occurs mainly in Galilee, John sees Jerusalem as the place where Jesus reveals himself. Instead of going from town to town in Galilee, Jesus goes from feast to feast into Jerusalem. 

In fact, his Jerusalem ministry is why Jesus is welcomed in Galilee, John says: ”When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all he had done in Jerusalem at the feast; for they themselves had gone to the feast.” (John 4: 43)

Jesus teaches in the temple on the feasts; his miracles during the feasts are signs he is their replacement. On the Feast of Pentecost, he healed the paralyzed man at the pool of Siloam. (John 5: 1-18).  On the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7-8 ), which supply most of our gospel readings for the 4th and 5th week of Lent, Jesus reveals himself as the living water come down from heaven and the light of the world. His cure of the man born blind during that feast is a sign of his claim.  

On Friday of this week, the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple, a winter feast, Jesus is challenged again as he teaches in the temple. This Saturday the approaching Feast of Passover is recalled. In the reading from John 11:45-56 Caiaphas, the high priest, makes the fateful prophecy that one man should die instead of a whole people perishing. The sign Jesus gives in response? He raises Lazarus from the dead.

The gospel readings Tuesday- Saturday of this week contain Jesus’ important claims to be greater than Abraham. He is God’s Son, “I Am”. He will be condemned for this claim.

The gospel readings Tuesday- Saturday of this week contain Jesus’ important claims to be greater than Abraham. He is God’s Son, “I Am”. He will be condemned for this claim.

A note in our church calendar advises that two important readings from John’s Gospel can be read in place of any readings this week:

The following readings may be used on any day this week, especially in Years B and C when the Gospel of the Man Born Blind is not read on the Fourth Sunday of Lent: Mi 7:7-9/Jn 9:1-41 (243).

The following readings may be used on any day this week, especially in Years B and C when the Gospel of Lazarus is not read on the Fifth Sunday of Lent: 2 Kgs 4:18b-21, 32-37/Jn 11:1-45 (250).

I’ll be commenting on the Gospel of the Man Born Blind on Monday and the Gospel of Lazarus later in the week.

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