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Mass Readings

Catholic Ireland

Liturgical Readings for : Wednesday, 22nd March, 2023
Léachtaí Gaeilge
Next Sunday's Readings

Wednesday, Fourth Week in Lent

General Themes:  Pride and joy in belonging to the Church should be part of our inheritance as the chosen people built up by the Spirit into a house where God lives, a holy nation and a royal priesthood.


A reading from the prophet  Isaiah      49:8-15
Theme: I have appointed you as covenant of the people to restore the land.

Thus says the Lord:
At the favourable time I will answer you,
on the day of salvation I will help you.
(I have formed you and have appointed you as covenant of the people.)
I will restore the land and assign you the estates that lie waste.
I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out’, to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves’.

On every roadway they will graze,
and each bare height shall be their pasture.
They will never hunger or thirst,
scorching wind and sun shall never plague them;
for he who pities them will lead them and guide them to springs of water.
I will make a highway of all the mountains, and the high roads shall be banked up. Some are on their way from afar, others from the north and the west, others from the land of Sinim.

Shout for joy, you heavens; exult, you earth!
You mountains, break into happy cries! For the Lord consoles his people and takes pity on those who are afflicted.’

For Zion was saying
he Lord has abandoned me, the Lord has forgotten me.’
Does a woman forget her baby at the breast, or fail to cherish the son of her womb?
Yet even if these forget, I will never forget you.’

The Word of the Lord.          Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm        Ps 144
Response                              The Lord is kind and full of compassion.

1. The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all,
compassionate to all his creatures.      Response

2. The Lord is faithful in all his words
and loving in all his deeds.
The Lord supports all who fall
and raises all who are bowed down.    Response

3. The Lord is just in all his ways
and loving in all his deeds.
He is close to all who call him.
who call on him from their hearts.       Response

Gospel  Acclamation                          Jn 3: 16  
Glory and praise to you, O Christ !
God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son; everyone who believes in him has eternal life.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ !

Or                                                                Jn 11: 25, 26
Glory and praise to you, O Christ !
I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord, whoever believes in me will never die.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ !


 The Lord be with you.                         And with your spirit
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John        5.17-30        Glory to you, O Lord    

Theme: As the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son gives life to anyone he chooses.

Jesus said to the Jews,
My Father goes on working, and so do I.’
But that only made the Jews even more intent on killing him, because, not content with breaking the sabbath, he spoke of God as his own Father, and so made himself God’s equal. To this accusation Jesus replied:
‘I tell you most solemnly, the Son can do nothing by himself;
he can do only what he sees the Father doing: and whatever the Father does the Son does too.
For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he does himself,
and he will show him even greater things than these, works that will astonish you.

Thus, as the Father raises the dead and gives them life,

so the Son gives life to anyone he chooses;
for the Father judges no one; he has entrusted all judgement to the Son,
so that all may honour the Son as they honour the Father.
Whoever refuses honour to the Son refuses honour to the Father who sent him.
I tell you most solemnly, whoever listens to my words, and believes in the one who sent me, has eternal life; without being brought to judgement, he has passed from death to life.

I tell you most solemnly,
the hour will come – in fact it is here already – when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and all who hear it will live.
For the Father, who is the source of life, has made the Son the source of life;
and, because he is the Son of Man, has appointed him supreme judge.
Do not be surprised at this, for the hour is coming when the dead will leave their graves at the sound of his voice:
those who did good will rise again to life; and those who did evil, to condemnation.
I can do nothing by myself; I can only judge as I am told to judge, and my judging is just, because my aim is to do not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.’

The Gospel of the Lord.            Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Reflection          Wed 22nd March          Fourth Week of Lent        John 5:17-30

There is a wonderful image of God at the conclusion of today’s first reading from the prophet Isaiah, God like a woman feeding her child at her breast. The bond between the feeding mother and her baby becomes an image of the bond between God and the believing community. As a woman could not forget her baby, God could not forget Israel. To speak adequately of the Lord who ‘is kind and full of compassion’, we need to imagine the best of a mother’s love and of a father’s love. God is neither male nor female. God is Love, and faithful male and female love only give us a glimpse of the Love that is God.

The image of God as woman in the first reading reminds us that we cannot take the language of God as Father in the gospel reading too literally. The primary image of God in the gospel reading is actually as life-giver, and, in human terms, we know that it takes a man and a woman to bring forth new life into the world. ‘The Father raises the dead and gives them life… the Father, who is the source of life, has made the Son the source of life’. Jesus embodies the life-giving power of God. He has come that we may have life and have it to the full. The life the Son brings into the world is the life of God, eternal life. Those who open themselves to the presence of the Son, who believe in him, already live with this life from above, eternal life, and, beyond death, will enter fully into this life. In John’s gospel, the Son, who is God in human form, is the supreme life-giver. His disciples, be they male or female, married or single, are called to share in his life giving work in the world.


The Scripture Readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published 1966 by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and used with the permission of the publishers.  http://dltbooks.com/
The Scripture Reflection is made available with our thanks from Reflections on the Weekday Readings 2022-2023: Your word is a lamp for my feet and light for my path by Martin Hogan and published by Messenger Publications  c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop/