MARCH 6 Mon Lenten Weekday
Dn 9:4b-10/Lk 6:36-38
7 Tue Lenten Weekday [Sts Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs] Is 1:10, 16-20/Mt 23:1-12
8 Wed Lenten Weekday [St John of God, Religious] Jer 18:18-20/Mt 20:17-28
9 Thu Lenten Weekday [St Frances of Rome, Religious] Jer 17:5-10/Lk 16:19-31
10 Fri Lenten Weekday Gn 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a/Mt 21:33-43, 45-46
11 Sat Lenten Weekday Mi 7:14-15, 18-20/Lk 15:1-3, 11-32
12 SUN 3rd SUNDAY OF LENT Ex 17:3-7/Rom 5:1-2, 5-8/Jn 4:5-42
Our readings for this week, beginning with the Old Testament reading from Isaiah, 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 read on Saturday,
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 and often become optional memorials, as is the case of the saints this week. .
The mercy Jesus calls for is not just acceptable or normal; it’s Godlike. Can any of us be as merciful as God? But there’s no watering down the challenging, radical words we hear in our lenten readings.
Lent’s not meant to make us comfortable; it sets our sights on loving more, and it sets the bar higher than we like. Like the Olympic games, lent calls for our best, and more. A bigger prize than a gold medal is at stake.