Reading 1 (JEREMIAH 20:10-13)

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah

I hear the whisperings of many:
“Terror on every side!
Denounce! let us denounce him!”
All those who were my friends
are on the watch for any misstep of mine.
“Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail,
and take our vengeance on him.”
But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion:
my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.
In their failure they will be put to utter shame,
to lasting, unforgettable confusion.
O LORD of hosts, you who test the just,
who probe mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause.
Sing to the LORD,
praise the LORD,
For he has rescued the life of the poor
from the power of the wicked!

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 18:2-3A, 3BC-4, 5-6, 7)

R. (see 7)  In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
I love you, O LORD, my strength,
O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
R. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
My God, my rock of refuge,
my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim,
and I am safe from my enemies.
R. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
The breakers of death surged round about me,
the destroying floods overwhelmed me;
The cords of the nether world enmeshed me,
the snares of death overtook me.
R. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
In my distress I called upon the LORD
and cried out to my God;
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears. 
R. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.

Verse Before The Gospel (SEE JOHN 6:63C, 68C)

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

Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.

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

Gospel (JOHN 10:31-42)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus.
Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father.
For which of these are you trying to stone me?”
The Jews answered him,
“We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy.
You, a man, are making yourself God.”
Jesus answered them,
“Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, ‘You are gods”‘? 
If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came,
and Scripture cannot be set aside,
can you say that the one
whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world
blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 
If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me;
but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me,
believe the works, so that you may realize and understand
that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
Then they tried again to arrest him;
but he escaped from their power.

He went back across the Jordan
to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained. 
Many came to him and said,
“John performed no sign,
but everything John said about this man was true.”
And many there began to believe in him.

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: Today is Viernes de Dolores, the Friday before Holy Week, which will begin this coming Palm Sunday. It is fitting that we journey with our Blessed Mother, as she experiences the sorrows of the Passion of her Son, and in this, we learn by her example to always remain faithful, humble, and obedient to the will of God the Father. And Jesus Christ, the Son of God, freely empties himself into our existence and is in capable with our human weakness. No wonder in today’s Gospel, he felt the pain of rejection by the Jews at the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple near Solomon’s portico. It was actually his dedication to them that he really is God-sent, meaning what he does such as preaching and performing miracles does not come from his will, but the One who sent him. However the Jews wanted to stone him, for they think of him as blaspheming. But he went through these rejections, and furthermore as we commemorate his Paschal Mystery next week, we would see how he was mocked, insulted, spat upon, beaten, and crucified. Yet he went all through these just to show that we are sinners who need to repent and be converted and transformed by the power of the Cross that redeemed us from our fall into sin. He is the prefiguration of the Prophet Jeremiah in the First Reading who though suffered persecution from the wicked, placed his trust in the Lord God his Father, willingly submitting to his divine plan with faithfulness and humility. Let us have that attitude that in times of distress and trials, may we truly stand firm in our faith in the Lord and submit to his will.

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