Daily Prayer for March 5

Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32, RSV

Lord our God, we come to you as a little flock, asking you to accept us and keep us as your own, whom you will redeem in your time. Protect us always so that we remain strong in faith. Strengthen us in the faith that you are with us, helping us. Grant that your people may come to the light, to the honor of your name. So we entrust ourselves to your hands this night. Be with us, Lord our God, through your Spirit. Amen.

 

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Welcoming the Outsider / Dar la Bienvenida al Forastero

Each one of us has probably passed judgment on others in one way or another. When we all gather our judgments together, we create a culture where some people are in and others are out. 

The foreigner mentioned in today’s Gospel, Naaman the Syrian, was outside the group of God’s chosen people both religiously and culturally. The widow at Zarephath in Sidon is another example of someone who belonged to one of the groups on the peripheries who also had no place among the law-abiding and religiously devout Israelites of the day. In fact the Gospel can be read as a deep reflection on the human tendency to classify the people who we will allow to be part of our group and those we will not.

Jesus makes it clear that he is attracted to the “outsider.” He delights to show mercy. His love seeks out the ones who need and desire his tenderness, because they are so poor that they have nothing other than the God who loves them.

Recently, I was praying in a downtown chapel before I walked into the court house where I had been impaneled on a Grand Jury. I had been growing increasingly uncomfortable at the experience of being read the law and shown the evidence that others had broken the law. It was unsettling that they were not law-abiding citizens, and in fact, in some cases, had caused grievous harm to someone else. Where was God in their lives? I asked myself. Where was grace? I unconsciously began to view myself as “separate” from the people whose cases I heard. I belonged, they did not. 

Jesus has helped me to understand that again and again in the Gospel he proclaims himself as the God of the outcast, the left behind, the marginalized, the lost, the blind, the lame, the thief on the cross dying at his side, the sinner at the table beside him. I prayed that I would never lose sight of the fact that in truth I am one of these poor ones, a sinner so in need of Jesus’ mercy, and who, without his gratuitous gift, would be lost. 

Jesus’ neighbors in Nazareth used their favor to foster division among the people and to keep others out. May we use the gift of our faith and our relationship with Jesus to invite others in, so that we may all be welcome to gather around Jesus as one body.

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Probablemente cada uno de nosotros haya juzgado a los demás de una forma u otra. Cuando todos reunimos nuestros juicios, creamos una cultura en la que algunas personas están dentro y otras fuera.

El forastero mencionado en el Evangelio de hoy, Naamán el Sirio, estaba fuera del grupo del pueblo elegido de Dios, tanto religiosa como culturalmente. La viuda de Sarepta en Sidón es otro ejemplo de alguien que pertenecía a uno de los grupos de las periferias que tampoco tenía lugar entre los israelitas respetuosos de la ley y religiosamente devotos de la época. De hecho, el Evangelio puede leerse como una profunda reflexión sobre la tendencia humana a clasificar a las personas a las que dejaremos formar parte de nuestro grupo y a las que no.

Jesús deja claro que se siente atraído por el “forastero”. Se deleita en mostrar misericordia. Su amor busca a quienes necesitan y desean su ternura, porque son tan pobres que no tienen nada más que al Dios que los ama.

Recientemente, estaba orando en una capilla del centro de la ciudad antes de entrar al tribunal donde me habían designado para un gran jurado. Me sentía cada vez más incómoda ante la experiencia de que me leyeran la ley y me mostraran pruebas de que otros habían infringido la ley. Era inquietante que no fueran ciudadanos respetuosos de la ley y, de hecho, en algunos casos, hubieran causado un daño grave a otra persona. ¿Dónde estaba Dios en sus vidas? Me pregunté a mí misma. ¿Dónde estaba la gracia? Inconscientemente comencé a verme como “separada” de las personas cuyos casos escuchaba. Yo pertenecía, y ellos no.

Jesús me ha ayudado a comprender que una y otra vez en el Evangelio se proclama como el Dios de los rechazados, de los abandonados, de los marginados, de los perdidos, de los ciegos, de los cojos, del ladrón en la cruz que muere a su lado, del pecador en la mesa a su lado. Recé para nunca perder de vista que en verdad soy uno de estos pobres, una pecadora tan necesitada de la misericordia de Jesús y que, sin su don gratuito, estaría perdida.

Los vecinos de Jesús en Nazaret usaron su favor para fomentar la división entre la gente y mantener a otros fuera. Que podamos usar el don de la fe y nuestra relación con Jesús para invitar a otros a entrar, para que todos seamos bienvenidos a reunirnos alrededor de Jesús como un solo cuerpo.

Comunicarse con la autora

Sr. Kathryn J. Hermes

Sr. Kathryn James Hermes, FSP, is an author and offers online evangelization as well as spiritual formation for people on their journey of spiritual transformation and inner healing. Website: www.touchingthesunrise.com My Books: https://touchingthesunrise.com/books/
Public Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/srkathrynhermes/ HeartWork Spiritual Formation Group: https://touchingthesunrise.com/heartwork/

Feature Image Credit: Steve Mushero, unsplash.com/photos/man-in-gray-jacket-and-black-pants-sitting-on-concrete-bench-KRz74kJIvmM

Monday of the Third Week of Lent

Reading 1 2 Kgs 5:1-15ab

Naaman, the army commander of the king of Aram,
was highly esteemed and respected by his master,
for through him the LORD had brought victory to Aram.
But valiant as he was, the man was a leper.
Now the Arameans had captured in a raid on the land of Israel
a little girl, who became the servant of Naaman’s wife.
“If only my master would present himself to the prophet in Samaria,”
she said to her mistress, “he would cure him of his leprosy.”
Naaman went and told his lord
just what the slave girl from the land of Israel had said.
“Go,” said the king of Aram.
“I will send along a letter to the king of Israel.”
So Naaman set out, taking along ten silver talents,
six thousand gold pieces, and ten festal garments.
To the king of Israel he brought the letter, which read:
“With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you,
that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

When he read the letter,
the king of Israel tore his garments and exclaimed:
“Am I a god with power over life and death,
that this man should send someone to me to be cured of leprosy?
Take note! You can see he is only looking for a quarrel with me!”
When Elisha, the man of God,
heard that the king of Israel had torn his garments,
he sent word to the king:
“Why have you torn your garments?
Let him come to me and find out
that there is a prophet in Israel.”

Naaman came with his horses and chariots
and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house.
The prophet sent him the message:
“Go and wash seven times in the Jordan,
and your flesh will heal, and you will be clean.”
But Naaman went away angry, saying,
“I thought that he would surely come out and stand there
to invoke the LORD his God,
and would move his hand over the spot,
and thus cure the leprosy.
Are not the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar,
better than all the waters of Israel?
Could I not wash in them and be cleansed?”
With this, he turned about in anger and left.

But his servants came up and reasoned with him.
“My father,” they said,
“if the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary,
would you not have done it?
All the more now, since he said to you,
‘Wash and be clean,’ should you do as he said.”
So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times
at the word of the man of God.
His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

He returned with his whole retinue to the man of God.
On his arrival he stood before him and said,
“Now I know that there is no God in all the earth,
except in Israel.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 42:2, 3; 43:3, 4

R. (see 42:3) Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
As the hind longs for the running waters,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling-place.
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?

Verse Before the Gospel See Ps 130:5, 7

I hope in the LORD, I trust in his word;
with him there is kindness and plenteous redemption.

Gospel Lk 4:24-30

Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth:
“Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel
in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

St. Casimir of Poland


St. Casimir of Poland

Feast date: Mar 04

On March 4, the Catholic Church honors Saint Casimir Jagiellon, a prince whose life of service to God has made him a patron saint of Poland, Lithuania, and young people.

In 1984, Pope John Paul II addressed Lithuanian pilgrims commemorating the 500th anniversary of the prince’s death. He said the Church “proclaimed Casimir a saint and placed him before us not only to be venerated but also that we might imitate his heroic virtues and follow his example of holiness.”

“His witness of great faith and fervent piety continues to have special meaning for us today,” the Pope said, noting especially the “challenging call” he offers to young people.

“His life of purity and prayer beckons you to practice your faith with courage and zeal, to reject the deceptive attractions of modern permissive society, and to live your convictions with fearless confidence and joy.”

Casimir Jagiellon was born in 1458, the third of thirteen children born to Poland’s King Casimir IV and his wife Elizabeth of Austria. He and several of his brothers studied with the priest and historian John Dlugosz, whose deep piety and political expertise influenced Casimir in his upbringing.

The young prince had a distaste for the luxury of courtly life, and instead chose the way of asceticism and devotion. He wore plain clothes with a hair shirt beneath them, slept frequently on the ground, and would spend much of the night in prayer and meditation on the suffering and death of Christ.

Casimir showed his love for God through these exercises of devotion, and also through his material charity to the poor. He was known as a deeply compassionate young man who felt others’ pains acutely.

The young prince was only 13 years old when his father was asked by the Hungarians to offer his son as their new king. Casimir was eager to aid the Hungarians in their defense against the Turks, and went to be crowned. This plan was unsuccessful, however, and he was forced to return to Poland.

After his return Casimir resumed his studies with Dlugosz, while developing a canny grasp of politics by observing his father’s rule. In 1479 the king left Poland to attend to state business in Lithuania, leaving Prince Casimir in charge of the realm between 1481 and 1483.

Advisers to the prince joined his father in trying to convince Casimir to marry. But he preferred to remain single, focusing his life on the service of God and the good of his people.

After experiencing symptoms of tuberculosis, Casimir foresaw his death and prepared for it by deepening his devotion to God. He died en route to Lithuania on March 4, 1484, and was buried with a copy of a Marian hymn he frequently recited. Pope Adrian VI canonized him in 1522.

Five centuries after his death, Pope John Paul II recalled how St. Casimir “embraced a life of celibacy, submitted himself humbly to God’s will in all things, devoted himself with tender love to the Blessed Virgin Mary and developed a fervent practice of adoring Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament.”

“To all,” the Pope said, “he was a shining example of poverty and of sacrificial love for the poor and needy.”

Daily Prayer for March 4

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1–2, NIV

Lord, our God and Father, we thank you for letting us walk in the way of Jesus Christ, for helping us on the way to the Cross. Come what may, we belong to the Savior, and we are your children. We want to be joyful and full of faith, full of hope, full of patience, for your mercy leads us on. In all we experience how often we can say, “Thanks be to God. He has helped us here, he has helped there, he helps every day in spite of all the evil in the world. Praise and thanks and honor be to him forever!” Amen.

 

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He Understands Us Well / Dios Nos Entiende Bien

Jesus came to save. From what? From sin, yes. From death, yes. But he goes to the very root cause of those things in every word and action of his life – and the root is hypocrisy and egoism, which is pride. In order to restore and defend man’s authentic relationship with God, Jesus must cleanse us from everything that gets in the way of that relationship, particularly whatever detracts from authentic faith and sincere worship. He came to save us from ourselves and our own contradictions.

The Temple officials directed their fellow Jews in the proper rituals, but had allowed the provision for that worship to gradually become adulterated with unholy practices. So when Jesus sees how the Temple has become a place of buying and selling, greed and worldly ambition (the businesses that provided proper sacrifices and the currency exchange making a lot of money for themselves), he cannot bear the hypocrisy that is detracting from true worship and sacrifice.

In his righteous anger, Jesus demonstrates uncharacteristic outrage. The very few times in the Gospel that we see Christ angry, it is to condemn hypocrisy. Hypocrites are holding themselves outside of the Kingdom, even as they claim to be at the pinnacle of it. We are all prone to this, due to the effects of Original Sin; by thinking of ourselves as exemplary citizens of God’s Kingdom, we are subtly seeking to be rulers of our own kingdom.

We are created to be Temples of the Lord’s Presence, but too often we allow lesser things to gradually occupy us and obscure the One Thing That Matters. Even if we are doing all the proper things on the outside, our hearts can become distracted and filled with lesser things.

Jesus understands us well. He knows the needs and desires and contradictions of our hearts and the many ways we fall as we try to walk in His ways. While our failures may surprise us, they do not surprise him. While we may forget we need to be saved and cannot save ourselves, he is ever our strong Savior, redeeming and refreshing and reminding us that we need to get up and look anew in the right direction.

And he delights to come to our aid! Lent is a time when we repent and ask the Lord to dust us off and clean our glasses so that we can see aright who we are and who He calls us to be, and adjust our course. We do not need to be perfect before we place all our confidence in Him – it is in placing all our confidence in Him that we grow in the way of perfection. He allows us to see our need so that we can entrust ourselves completely to His Heart, aching and beating and burning and pouring Itself out completely for love of us. This Lent, we can open ourselves anew to His Presence within us and entrust all our needs to Him.

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Jesús vino a salvarnos. ¿De qué? Del pecado, sí. De la muerte, sí. Pero va a la mera raíz de esas cosas en cada palabra y acción de su vida – y la raíz es la hipocresía y el egoísmo, que es el orgullo. Para restaurar y defender la auténtica relación del hombre con Dios, Jesús debe limpiarnos de todo lo que se interpone en esa relación, particularmente de lo que resta valor a la fe auténtica y al culto sincero. Vino a salvarnos de nosotros mismos y de nuestras propias contradicciones.

Los funcionarios del templo dirigieron a sus compañeros judíos en los rituales apropiados, pero habían permitido que la disposición para ese culto se fuera adulterando gradualmente con prácticas impías. Por eso, cuando Jesús ve cómo el Templo se ha convertido en un lugar de compra y venta, de avaricia y ambición mundana (los negocios que proporcionaban sacrificios adecuados y el cambio de moneda les hacía ganar mucho dinero para sí mismos), no puede soportar la hipocresía que le resta valor al verdadero culto y sacrificio.

En su justa ira, Jesús demuestra una indignación inusual. Las poquísimas veces en el Evangelio que vemos a Cristo enojado es para condenar la hipocresía. Los hipócritas se mantienen fuera del Reino, incluso cuando afirman estar en la cima del mismo. Todos somos propensos a esto, debido a los efectos del Pecado Original; al considerarnos ciudadanos ejemplares del Reino de Dios, sutilmente buscamos ser gobernantes de nuestro propio reino.

Fuimos creados para ser Templos de la Presencia del Señor, pero con demasiada frecuencia permitimos que cosas menores nos ocupen gradualmente y oscurezcan lo Único que Importa. Incluso si estamos haciendo todas las cosas correctas en el exterior, nuestros corazones pueden distraerse y llenarse de cosas menores.

Jesús nos comprende bien. Conoce las necesidades, los deseos y las contradicciones de nuestro corazón y las muchas maneras en que caemos al tratar de caminar en Sus caminos. Si bien nuestros fracasos pueden sorprendernos, no lo sorprenden a Él. Si bien a veces nos olvidamos que necesitamos ser salvados y que no podemos salvarnos a nosotros mismos, Él es siempre nuestro Salvador fuerte, redimiendo, refrescando y recordándonos que debemos levantarnos y mirar de nuevo en la dirección correcta.

¡Y le encanta venir a nuestro auxilio! La Cuaresma es una temporada en la que nos arrepentimos y le pedimos al Señor que nos quite el polvo y limpie nuestros vasos para que podamos ver correctamente quiénes somos y quién nos llama a ser, y ajustar nuestro rumbo. No tenemos que ser perfectos antes de poner toda la confianza en Él; es al poner toda la confianza en Él que crecemos en el camino de la perfección. Él nos permite ver nuestra necesidad para que podamos confiarnos completamente a Su Corazón, que duele, late, arde y se derrama completamente por amor a nosotros. Esta Cuaresma podemos abrirnos de nuevo a Su Presencia dentro de nosotros y confiarle todas nuestras necesidades.

Comunicarse con la autora

Kathryn Mulderink, MA, is married to Robert, Station Manager for Holy Family Radio. Together they have seven children (including Father Rob), and seven grandchildren. She is President of the local community of Secular Discalced Carmelites and has published five books and many articles. Over the last 30 years, she has worked as a teacher, headmistress, catechist, Pastoral Associate, and DRE, and as a writer and voice talent for Catholic Radio. Currently, she serves the Church by writing and speaking, and by collaborating with various parishes and to lead others to encounter Christ and engage their faith. Her website is www.KathrynTherese.com

Feature Image Credit: Martha Martinez, https://cathopic.com/photo/2106-lamb-of-god

Third Sunday of Lent

Reading I Ex 20:1-17

In those days, God delivered all these commandments:
“I, the LORD, am your God, 
who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.
You shall not have other gods besides me.
You shall not carve idols for yourselves 
in the shape of anything in the sky above 
or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; 
you shall not bow down before them or worship them.
For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, 
inflicting punishment for their fathers’ wickedness 
on the children of those who hate me, 
down to the third and fourth generation; 
but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation 
on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.
For the LORD will not leave unpunished 
the one who takes his name in vain.

“Remember to keep holy the sabbath day.
Six days you may labor and do all your work, 
but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD, your God.
No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter, 
or your male or female slave, or your beast, 
or by the alien who lives with you.
In six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, 
the sea and all that is in them; 
but on the seventh day he rested.
That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

“Honor your father and your mother, 
that you may have a long life in the land 
which the LORD, your God, is giving you.
You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, 
nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass, 
nor anything else that belongs to him.”

OR: 

Ex 20:1-3, 7-8, 12-17

In those days, God delivered all these commandments:
“I, the LORD am your God, 
who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.
You shall not have other gods besides me.

“You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.
For the LORD will not leave unpunished 
the one who takes his name in vain.

“Remember to keep holy the sabbath day.
Honor your father and your mother, 
that you may have a long life in the land 
which the Lord, your God, is giving you.
You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, 
nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass, 
nor anything else that belongs to him.”

Responsorial Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11

R. (John 6:68c)  Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
    refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
    giving wisdom to the simple.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the command of the LORD is clear,
    enlightening the eye.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
    enduring forever;
the ordinances of the LORD are true,
    all of them just.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
They are more precious than gold,
    than a heap of purest gold;
sweeter also than syrup
    or honey from the comb.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.

Reading II 1 Cor 1:22-25

Brothers and sisters:
Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 
but we proclaim Christ crucified, 
a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 
but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, 
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, 
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Verse Before the Gospel Jn 3:16

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.

Gospel Jn 2:13-25

Since the Passover of the Jews was near,
Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, 
as well as the money changers seated there.
He made a whip out of cords
and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, 
and spilled the coins of the money changers
and overturned their tables, 
and to those who sold doves he said,
“Take these out of here, 
and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”
His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, 
Zeal for your house will consume me.
At this the Jews answered and said to him,
“What sign can you show us for doing this?”
Jesus answered and said to them, 
“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
The Jews said, 
“This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, 
and you will raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking about the temple of his body.
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, 
his disciples remembered that he had said this, 
and they came to believe the Scripture 
and the word Jesus had spoken.

While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, 
many began to believe in his name 
when they saw the signs he was doing.
But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, 
and did not need anyone to testify about human nature.
He himself understood it well.

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Third Sunday of Lent

Reading I Ex 17:3-7

In those days, in their thirst for water,
the people grumbled against Moses,
saying, “Why did you ever make us leave Egypt?
Was it just to have us die here of thirst 
with our children and our livestock?”
So Moses cried out to the LORD, 
“What shall I do with this people?
a little more and they will stone me!”
The LORD answered Moses,
“Go over there in front of the people, 
along with some of the elders of Israel, 
holding in your hand, as you go, 
the staff with which you struck the river.
I will be standing there in front of you on the rock in Horeb.
Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it 
for the people to drink.”
This Moses did, in the presence of the elders of Israel.
The place was called Massah and Meribah, 
because the Israelites quarreled there
and tested the LORD, saying,
“Is the LORD in our midst or not?”

Responsorial Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9

R. (8)  If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
    let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
    let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
    and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
    “Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
    as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
    they tested me though they had seen my works.”
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Reading II Rom 5:1-2, 5-8

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have been justified by faith, 
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 
through whom we have gained access by faith 
to this grace in which we stand, 
and we boast in hope of the glory of God.

And hope does not disappoint, 
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts 
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For Christ, while we were still helpless, 
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, 
though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

Verse Before the Gospel Cf. Jn 4:42, 15

Lord, you are truly the Savior of the world;
give me living water, that I may never thirst again.

Gospel Jn 4:5-42

Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, 
near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Jacob’s well was there.
Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.
It was about noon.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
Jesus said to her,
“Give me a drink.”
His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
The Samaritan woman said to him,
“How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”
—For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.—
Jesus answered and said to her,
“If you knew the gift of God
and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, ‘
you would have asked him 
and he would have given you living water.”
The woman said to him, 
“Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep; 
where then can you get this living water?
Are you greater than our father Jacob, 
who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself 
with his children and his flocks?”
Jesus answered and said to her, 
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; 
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; 
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty 
or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Jesus said to her,
“Go call your husband and come back.”
The woman answered and said to him,
“I do not have a husband.”
Jesus answered her,
“You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’
For you have had five husbands, 
and the one you have now is not your husband.
What you have said is true.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, I can see that you are a prophet.
Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; 
but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus said to her,
“Believe me, woman, the hour is coming
when you will worship the Father
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You people worship what you do not understand; 
we worship what we understand, 
because salvation is from the Jews.
But the hour is coming, and is now here, 
when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; 
and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship him
must worship in Spirit and truth.”
The woman said to him,
“I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ; 
when he comes, he will tell us everything.”
Jesus said to her,
“I am he, the one speaking with you.”

At that moment his disciples returned, 
and were amazed that he was talking with a woman, 
but still no one said, “What are you looking for?” 
or “Why are you talking with her?”
The woman left her water jar 
and went into the town and said to the people, 
“Come see a man who told me everything I have done.
Could he possibly be the Christ?”
They went out of the town and came to him.
Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat.”
But he said to them,
“I have food to eat of which you do not know.”
So the disciples said to one another, 
“Could someone have brought him something to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“My food is to do the will of the one who sent me
and to finish his work.
Do you not say, ‘In four months the harvest will be here’?
I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest.
The reaper is already receiving payment 
and gathering crops for eternal life, 
so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together.
For here the saying is verified that ‘One sows and another reaps.’
I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; 
others have done the work, 
and you are sharing the fruits of their work.” 

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him
because of the word of the woman who testified, 
“He told me everything I have done.”
When the Samaritans came to him,

they invited him to stay with them; 
and he stayed there two days.
Many more began to believe in him because of his word, 
and they said to the woman, 
“We no longer believe because of your word; 
for we have heard for ourselves, 
and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”

OR:

Jn 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42

Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, 
near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Jacob’s well was there.
Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.
It was about noon.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
Jesus said to her,
“Give me a drink.”
His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
The Samaritan woman said to him, 
“How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”
—For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.—
Jesus answered and said to her,
“If you knew the gift of God
and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, ‘
you would have asked him 
and he would have given you living water.”
The woman said to him, 
“Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep; 
where then can you get this living water?
Are you greater than our father Jacob, 
who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself 
with his children and his flocks?”
Jesus answered and said to her, 
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; 
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; 
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty 

or have to keep coming here to draw water.

“I can see that you are a prophet.
Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; 
but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus said to her,
“Believe me, woman, the hour is coming
when you will worship the Father 
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You people worship what you do not understand; 
we worship what we understand, 
because salvation is from the Jews.
But the hour is coming, and is now here, 
when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; 
and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship him 
must worship in Spirit and truth.”
The woman said to him,
“I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ; 
when he comes, he will tell us everything.”
Jesus said to her,
“I am he, the one who is speaking with you.”

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him.
When the Samaritans came to him,
they invited him to stay with them; 
and he stayed there two days.
Many more began to believe in him because of his word, 
and they said to the woman, 
“We no longer believe because of your word;
for we have heard for ourselves, 
and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Third Sunday of Lent

Year B Readings 

Scrutiny Year A Readings

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

St. Katharine Drexel


St. Katharine Drexel

Feast date: Mar 03

On March 3, the universal Church celebrates the feast of St. Katharine Drexel, a Philadelphia heiress who abandoned her family’s fortune to found an order of sisters dedicated to serving the impoverished African American and American Indian populations of the United States.

Katharine was born November 26, 1858 into a wealthy and well-connected banking family. The family’s wealth, however, did not prevent them from living out a serious commitment to their faith. 

Her mother opened up the family house three times a week to feed and care for the poor, and her father had a deep personal prayer life. Both parents encouraged their daughters to think of the family’s wealth not as their own, but as a gift from God which was to be used to help others.

During the summer months, Katharine and her sisters would teach catechism classes to the children of the workers on her family’s summer estate. The practice would prepare her for a life of service, with a strong focus on education and attention to the poor and vulnerable.

While traveling with her family through the Western U.S., Katharine witnessed the poor living conditions of the Native Americans. Eventually, while still a laywoman, she would give much of her own money to fund the missions and schools in these seriously deprived areas.

Eventually, however, the young heiress would give more than just funding to these much-needed missions and schools. She would decide to devote her whole life to the social and spiritual development of black and American Indian communities.

The inspiration for this work came to her during a visit to Rome, where she was granted an audience with Pope Leo XIII. During that time, Katharine had been considering a vocation to cloistered contemplative life as a nun. But when she asked Pope Leo XIII to send missionaries to Wyoming, he told Katharine she should undertake the work herself.

In February of 1891, she made her first vows in religious life – formally renouncing her fortune and her personal freedom for the sake of growing closer to God in solidarity with the victims of injustice. 

Although African-Americans had been freed from slavery, they continued to suffer serious abuse and were often prevented from obtaining even a basic education. Much the same situation held in the case of the native American Indians, who had been forcibly moved into reservations over the course of the 19th century.

Katharine founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for the purpose of living with these communities while helping them acquire education and grow in faith.

Between 1891 and 1935 she led her order in the founding and maintenance of almost 60 schools and missions, located primarily in the American West and Southwest. Among the prominent achievements of Drexel and her order is New Orleans’ Xavier University, the only historically black Catholic college in the U.S.

Katharine was forced into retirement for the last 20 years of her life after she suffered a severe heart attack. Although she was no longer able to lead her order, she left the sisters with her charism of love and concern for the missions.

She died on March 3, 1955 and was canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 1, 2000.

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