MARCH 13 Mon Lenten Weekday6 2 Kgs 5:1-15ab/Lk 4:24-30
14 Tue Lenten Weekday Dn 3:25, 34-43/Mt 18:21-35
15 Wed Lenten Weekday Dt 4:1, 5-9/Mt 5:17-19
16 Thu Lenten Weekday Jer 7:23-28/Lk 11:14-23
17 Fri Lenten Weekday [St Patrick, Bishop] Hos 14:2-10/Mk 12:28-34
18 Sat Lenten Weekday
[St Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop Doctor ] Hos 6:1-6/Lk 18:9-14
19 SUN 4th SUNDAY OF LENT
1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a/Eph 5:8-14/Jn 9:1-41 or 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38
Last week’s weekday readings ended with the story of the Prodigal Son; this week’s end with the tax collector who prays in the temple and finds mercy. There are also readings from the Book of Hosea this week; he’s the prophet whose unbroken love for his unfaithful wife reminds us of God’s relationship with humanity. God wants us back.
The Sunday’s readings from cycle A, the Temptation of Jesus and his Transfiguration are basic catechetical teachings. The 3rd Sunday readings, from the Book of Exodus and John’s multi-leveled account of the meeting of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well, prepare us to meet him in sacraments.
The story of Naaman the Syrian general (Monday) is also a multi-leveled story. Naaman’s appreciation of the saving water of the Jordan recalls the mystery of baptism, celebrated in the Easter mysteries.
Naaman and the Samaritan woman, both interesting characters, remind us that sacraments are meant for complicated people who are drawn gradually into the mysterious reality of God’s grace.
Sacraments can be easily forgotten or unappreciated, simple signs as they are. They draw on the natural world, which can also be unappreciated, as we are learning today.
Can a renewed appreciation of nature lead to a greater understanding of the sacraments? Can figures like the Samaritan woman and Naaman Can figures like the Samaritan woman and Naaman remind us that the sacraments are meant for people immersed in their own time and place?