DAILY MASS READINGS (April 2, 2020)

MEMORIAL OF ST. PEDRO CALUNGSOD, YOUNG MARTYR AND CATECHIST (CYCLE A, Red)

Reading 1 (GENESIS 17:3-9)

A reading from the Book of Genesis

When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him:
“My covenant with you is this:
you are to become the father of a host of nations.
No longer shall you be called Abram;
your name shall be Abraham,
for I am making you the father of a host of nations.
I will render you exceedingly fertile;
I will make nations of you;
kings shall stem from you.
I will maintain my covenant with you
and your descendants after you
throughout the ages as an everlasting pact,
to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
I will give to you
and to your descendants after you
the land in which you are now staying,
the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession;
and I will be their God.”

God also said to Abraham:
“On your part, you and your descendants after you
must keep my covenant throughout the ages.”

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9)

R. (8a)  The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations –
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

Verse Before The Gospel (PSALM 95:8)

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

If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.

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

Gospel (JOHN 8:51-59)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Jesus said to the Jews:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word will never see death.” 
So the Jews said to him,
“Now we are sure that you are possessed.
Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say,
‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’
Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? 
Or the prophets, who died?
Who do you make yourself out to be?” 
Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me,
of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’
You do not know him, but I know him.
And if I should say that I do not know him,
I would be like you a liar.
But I do know him and I keep his word. 
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad.” 
So the Jews said to him,
“You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
So they picked up stones to throw at him;
but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: In the First Reading (Genesis 17:3-9), God decrees and promises a covenant with Abraham: the traditional circumcision of the Jews eight days after their birth. This signifies God’s faithfulness to Abraham, that his descendants shall be as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. No wonder from Abram, his name was changed into “Abraham”, which means “father of the multitude”. In the Gospel (John 8:51-59), Jesus affirms the doubtful Jews that he comes from the Father. The Jews in return didn’t comprehend with his statements, especially when they criticized him for making himself greater than Abraham. Yet Jesus continues to persuade them that he came from God, and his mission is not of his will, but the One who sent him. In the end, they picked up stones to put him to death, but he escaped through their midst. The Passiontide commemorates the hiding of Jesus because he, the God-made-visible, wants to reveal the plan of salvation of the invisible God at the hour of his Passion, Death, and Resurrection, which we will commemorate the following week (Holy Week and Paschal Triduum). No wonder the images and crucifixes are veiled in purple. As we continue living up our Lenten devotions and sacrifices, let us truly recognize Christ as the Son of God the Father, the ‘face of the Father’s mercy’ (MV 1), and the Lord of our everyday lives.

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