Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection March 15, 2024


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R/. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted.

V/. Glory and praise to you, O Christ

R/. Glory and praise to you, O Christ

V/. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

R/. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

At that time: Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him. Now the Jews’ Feast of Booths was at hand. But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.

1.      The hostile spirit between Jesus and the Jews keeps mounting. They seek to kill him. Once again Jesus in the gospel and wisdom in the first reading clarify to us the real reasons for this mounting antagonism.

2.      In Jesus’ own words, it is because they know neither the Father nor His Son. They do not know the Father, the true God who sent His only Son; neither they know the Son who came only from the Father and not of his own accord.

3.      Instead, the Jews were caught up only in the superficial and secondary details like his human birth, the place and conditions of his birth, and his human parents. Now the words of the first reading apply exactly in the case of Jesus. They are hostile to Jesus because they are ungodly.

4.      All the ingredients of this ungodliness perfectly match the case of Jesus. They reason unsoundly. They think he is inconvenient to them as he opposes their actions. He reproaches them for their sins, their base, and unclean ways. He becomes a reproof of their thoughts. The very sight of him becomes a burden to them.

5.       Further, his ways are strange and his life is unlike that of others. He professes to have knowledge of God and boasts that God is his father and he calls himself a child of the Lord. He claims that God will protect the righteous, and recompense the holy and blameless with the prize of happiness and life.

6.      Therefore, they want to test and see whether his words are true. They want to subject him to insult and torture to the extent of a shameful death. Their reasoning is simple: if he is truly righteous and God’s son, he will be protected and delivered from the hands of his adversaries; he will remain gentle and forbearing.

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