Sunday, 24 March 2019 : Third Sunday of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Exodus 3 : 1-8a, 13-15

Moses pastured the sheep of Jethro, his father-in-law, priest of Midian. One day he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the Mountain of God. The Angel of YHVH appeared to him by means of a flame of fire in the middle of a bush. Moses saw that although the bush was on fire it did not burn up.

Moses thought, “I will go and see this amazing sight, why is the bush not burning up?” YHVH saw that Moses was drawing near to look, and God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” He replied, “Here I am.” YHVH said to him, “Do not come near; take off your sandals because the place where you are standing is holy ground.” And God continued, “I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.”

Moses hid his face lest his eyes look on God. YHVH said, “I have seen the humiliation of My people in Egypt and I hear their cry when they are cruelly treated by their taskmasters. I know their suffering. I have come down to free them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them up from that land to a beautiful spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.”

Moses answered God, “If I go to the Israelites and say to them : ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ they will ask me : ‘What is His Name?’ What shall I answer them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO AM. This is what you will say to the sons of Israel : ‘I AM sent me to you.’”

God then said to Moses, “You will say to the Israelites : ‘YHVH, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me.’ That will be My Name forever, and by this Name they shall call upon Me for all generations to come.”

Alternative reading (Readings from Year A)

Exodus 17 : 3-7

But the people thirsted for water at Rephidim and grumbled against Moses, “Why did you make us leave Egypt to have us die of thirst with our children and our cattle?”

So Moses cried to YHVH, “What shall I do with the people? They are almost ready to stone me!” YHVH said to Moses, “Go ahead of the people and take with you the elders of Israel. Take with you the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you on the rock at Horeb. You will strike the rock and water will flow from it and the people will drink.”

Moses did this in the presence of the elders of Israel. The place was called Massah and Meribah because of the complaints of the Israelites, who tested YHVH saying, “Is YHVH with us or not?”

Friday, 22 March 2019 : 2nd Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Genesis 37 : 3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28

Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other children, for he was the son of his old age and he had a coat with long sleeves made for him. His brothers who saw that their father loved him more than he loved them, hated him and could no longer speak to him in a friendly way.

His brothers had gone to pasture their father’s flock at Shechem, and Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers are pasturing the flock at Shechem.” So Joseph went off after his brothers and found them at Dothan. They saw him in the distance and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.

They said to one another, “Here comes the specialist in dreams! Now is the time! Let us kill him and throw him into a well. We will say a wild animal devoured him. Then we will see what his dreams were all about!” But Reuben heard this and tried to save him from their hands saying, “Let us not kill him; shed no blood! Throw him in this well in the wilderness, but do him no violence.” This he said to save him from them and take him back to his father.

So as soon as Joseph arrived, they stripped him of his long-sleeved coat that he wore and then took him and threw him in the well, now the well was empty, without water. They were sitting for a meal when they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, their camels laden with spices, balm and myrrh, which they were taking down to Egypt.

Judah then said to his brothers, “What do we gain by killing our brother and hiding his blood? Come! We will sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother and our own flesh!” His brothers agreed to this. So when the Midianite merchants came along they pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the well. For twenty pieces of silver they sold Joseph to the Midianites, who took him with them to Egypt.

Sunday, 17 March 2019 : Second Sunday of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Genesis 15 : 5-12, 17-18

Then YHVH brought Abram outside and said to him, “Look up at the sky and count the stars if you can. Your descendants will be like that.”

Abram believed YHVH Who, because of this, held him to be an upright man. And He said, “I am YHVH Who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.” Then Abram asked, “My Lord, how am I to know that it shall be mine?”

YHVH replied, “Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtle dove and a young pigeon.” Abram brought all these animals, cut them in two, and laid each half facing its other half, but he did not cut the birds in half. The birds of prey came down upon them, but Abram drove them away. As the sun was going down, a deep sleep came over Abram, and a dreadful darkness took hold of him.

When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot and a flaming torch passed between the halves of the victims. On that day YHVH made a Covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this country from the river of Egypt to the Great River, the Euphrates.”

Saturday, 16 March 2019 : 1st Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Deuteronomy 26 : 16-19

On this day, YHVH, your God, commands you to fulfil these norms and these commandments. Obey them now and put them into practice with all your heart and with all your soul.

Today YHVH has declared to you that He will be your God, and so you shall follow His ways, observing His norms, His commandments and His laws, and listening to His voice. Today YHVH has declared that you will be His very own people even as He had promised you, and you must obey all His commandments.

He, for His part, will give you honour, renown and glory, and set you high above all the nations He has made, and you will become a nation consecrated to YHVH, your God, as He has declared.

Sunday, 10 March 2019 : First Sunday of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Deuteronomy 26 : 4-10

Then the priest shall take the large basket from your hands and place it before the altar of YHVH, your God, and you shall say these words before YHVH, “My father was a wandering Aramean. He went down to Egypt to find refuge there, while still few in number; but in that country, he became a great and powerful nation.”

“The Egyptians maltreated us, oppressed us and subjected us to harsh slavery. So we called to YHVH, the God of our ancestors, and YHVH listened to us. He saw our humiliation, our hard labour and the oppression to which we were subjected. He brought us out of Egypt with a firm hand, manifesting His power with signs and awesome wonders. And He brought us here to give us this land flowing with milk and honey.”

“So now I bring and offer the first fruits of the land which You, YHVH, have given me.”

Thursday, 7 March 2019 : Thursday after Ash Wednesday, Memorial of St. Perpetua and St. Felicity, Martyrs (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Deuteronomy 30 : 15-20

See, I set before you on this day life and good, evil and death. I command you to love YHVH, your God and follow His ways. Observe His commandments, His norms and His laws, and you will live and increase, and YHVH will give you His blessing in the land you are going to possess.

But if your heart turns away and does not listen, if you are drawn away and bow before other gods to serve them, I declare on this day that you shall perish. You shall not last in the land you are going to occupy on the other side of the Jordan.

Let the heavens and the earth listen, that they may be witnesses against you. I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, choose life that you and your descendants may live, loving YHVH, listening to His voice, and being one with Him. In this life for you and length of days in the land which YHVH swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Thursday, 21 February 2019 : 6th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Genesis 9 : 1-13

God blessed Noah and his sons and he said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. Fear and dread of you will be in all the animals of the earth and in all the birds of the air, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. They are given to you. Everything that moves and lives shall be food for you; as I gave you the green plants, I have now given you everything. Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is its blood.”

“But I will also demand a reckoning for your lifeblood. I will demand it from every animal; and from man, too, I will demand a reckoning for the life of his fellow man. He who sheds the blood of man shall have his blood shed by man; for in the image of God has God made man. As for you, be fruitful and increase. Abound on the earth and be master of it.”

God spoke to Noah and his son, “See I am making a covenant with you and with your descendants after you; also with every living animal with you : birds, cattle, that is, with every living creature of the earth that came out of the Ark. I establish My covenant with you. Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I make between Me and you, and every animal living with you for all future generations. I set My bow in the clouds and it will be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.”