DAILY MASS READINGS (March 12, 2020)

THURSDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK OF LENT (CYCLE A, Violet)

Reading 1 (JEREMIAH 17:5-10)

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah

Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh,
whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He is like a barren bush in the desert
that enjoys no change of season,
But stands in a lava waste,
a salt and empty earth.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It fears not the heat when it comes,
its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.
More tortuous than all else is the human heart,
beyond remedy; who can understand it?
I, the LORD, alone probe the mind
and test the heart,
To reward everyone according to his ways,
according to the merit of his deeds.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6)

R. (40:5a)Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so, the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Verse Before The Gospel (SEE LUKE 8:15)

(Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.)

Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.

(Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.)

Gospel (LUKE 16:19-31)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man’s table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.’
Abraham replied, ‘My child,
remember that you received what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing
who might wish to go from our side to yours
or from your side to ours.’
He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him
to my father’s house,
for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.’
But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.’
He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Then Abraham said,
‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded
if someone should rise from the dead.'”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: The Gospel presents to us one of Jesus’ parables that focuses on the theme of social justice. Two characters are made present: the Rich Man and Lazarus the Poor Beggar. The Rich Man is known by some as Dives, although in reality the word “dives” is Latin for “someone who is rich”. He has all the wealth and material possessions that he can accumulate for the rest of his livelihood. Yet he does not realize that a poor beggar named Lazarus lying on his gate would only eat from the scraps of the leftovers. That is why the rich man has been thrown into the torments of Gehenna, while the poor beggar has been taken into the realm of heaven, where he is now comforted. Even though the rich man tried to persuade Abraham to spare his brothers from suffering the same kind of fate, the patriarch replied that it will be up to their conscience that will decide whether they are to listen to Moses and the prophets and be convinced of the resurrection from the dead. The Prophet Jeremiah reminds us of the justifying ends of the foolish and wise people. It is evident in the reading that the foolish will receive eternal suffering wherein there is no blooming of seasons, while the just will receive eternal glory wherein there is blooming and abundance of time.
Sin is a deliberate act that offends God and separates us from his grace. There are two kinds of sins: commission and omission. Commission is when you deliberately do a certain act that you know it is not right, or in other words, not according to God’s favor. Omission is when you fail to do an act that should be done for the benefit of an individual, group, or all, and it is in favor of God’s will. Lent is the acceptable time to recognize once again our salvation brought by Christ and prepare for its commemoration on Holy Week. This is done through repentance, penance, and conversion from the heart and mind (metanoia). Then we have to live the 3 disciplines of Lent: (1) Fasting and Abstinence also pertains to offering to God sacrifices for the good cause and effect of everyone. (2) Praying harder to avoid temptations that lead to sin, and praying as well for others’ supplications. And (3) Almsgiving is not only about giving donations and some of our possessions to the poor and neglected, but it also focuses on helping others who are in need physically and spiritually, especially those who are experience pains, burdens, and sufferings in life.

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