DAILY MASS READINGS (April 4, 2019)

THURSDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK OF LENT (CYCLE C, Violet)

Reading 1 (EXODUS 32:7-14)

A reading from the Book of Exodus

The LORD said to Moses,
“Go down at once to your people
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it,
sacrificing to it and crying out,
‘This is your God, O Israel,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’
The LORD said to Moses,
“I see how stiff-necked this people is.
Let me alone, then,
that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.
Then I will make of you a great nation.”

But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying,
“Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt
with such great power and with so strong a hand?
Why should the Egyptians say,
‘With evil intent he brought them out,
that he might kill them in the mountains
and exterminate them from the face of the earth’?
Let your blazing wrath die down;
relent in punishing your people. 
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel,
and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky;
and all this land that I promised,
I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.'”
So the LORD relented in the punishment
he had threatened to inflict on his people.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 106:19-20, 21-22, 23)

R. (4a)  Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Our fathers made a calf in Horeb
and adored a molten image;
They exchanged their glory
for the image of a grass-eating bullock.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt,
Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,
terrible things at the Red Sea.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Then he spoke of exterminating them,
but Moses, his chosen one,
Withstood him in the breach
to turn back his destructive wrath.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.


Verse Before The Gospel (JOHN 3:16)

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

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

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

Gospel (JOHN 5:31-47)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Jesus said to the Jews: 
“If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
But there is another who testifies on my behalf,
and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept human testimony,
but I say this so that you may be saved.
He was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
But I have testimony greater than John’s.
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.
Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.
But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
and you do not have his word remaining in you,
because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
You search the Scriptures,
because you think you have eternal life through them;
even they testify on my behalf.
But you do not want to come to me to have life.

“I do not accept human praise;
moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you. 
I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me;
yet if another comes in his own name,
you will accept him.
How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:
the one who will accuse you is Moses,
in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses,
you would have believed me,
because he wrote about me. 
But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: In the First Reading (Exodus 32:7-14), God saw how his people sinned against him because they have made a golden calf and bowed down before it. But Moses tells the Lord not to destroy them, for they were the chosen ones freed from slavery in Egypt. He acted as their intercessor, so that God would relent in the punishment he wished to inflict upon them. That is why Moses got angry because of the idolatrous act committed by the Israelites. And as a result, he broke the two stone tablets, where the Ten Commandments were written. Finally, the people of Israel feared the Lord God and promised never to make a substitute for him.
In the Gospel (John 5:31-47), Jesus reminds the unbelieving Jews and their leaders on his purpose and mission. He continues to tell them that he was sent by God the Father to do not his own, but the One who sent him. However, these people would not believe in his words, and some persecuted him. But he did not need to be praised by them and to force them to believe in him. Yet he knew those who will believe in him and obey not his, but the Father’s will. Even Moses acknowledged that there is a prophet and teacher greater than him, and that man is Christ himself. Even Saint John the Baptist testified about the Messiah and the Lamb of God. He prepared the way by preaching a baptism of repentance. So all the witnesses before and after Jesus assured that God’s plan of salvation is fulfilled in the Son of Man, who is Christ.
Sometimes it hard for us to accept and listen to Jesus, dear friends. We always say that we have to do things based on only what we want, and not what others want, because we say that they’re for better good. But are these what God wants? Do we really have to be totally free from the moral standards in life, especially those written in Sacred Scripture? Should we exercise full freedom and liberty away from the traditions, principles, rules, and regulations of the Church, the government, etc.? As we journey down this Lenten road, let us follow the example of our Lord Jesus Christ by obeying the will of God and being his witnesses to the world.

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