Daily Mass Readings + Gospel Reflection - John 8:51-59 - March 30, 2023 - Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Daily Mass Readings + Gospel Reflection - John 8:51-59 - March 30, 2023 - Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent

    Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent
    Lectionary: 254

    Reading 1

    Gn 17:3-9
    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."

    Responsorial Psalm
    Ps 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
    Ps 95:8
    If today you hear his voice,
    harden not your hearts.


    Jn 8:51-59
    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.

     Gospel Reflection

    In John 8:51-59, Jesus engages in a heated discussion with the Jews who cannot understand or accept his teachings. Jesus states that whoever follows his word will never see death, but the Jews accuse him of blasphemy and being possessed by a demon.

    As Catholics, we are called to follow Jesus' teachings and to trust in his promise of eternal life. However, like the Jews in this passage, we may struggle to understand or accept certain aspects of our faith. It is important to remember that faith is not always easy and that we must remain open and receptive to the teachings of Christ.

    We must also be careful not to fall into the same trap as the Jews, who refused to believe in Jesus despite the overwhelming evidence before them. It is easy for us to become entrenched in our own beliefs and to reject anything that does not align with them. Instead, we must approach our faith with humility and a willingness to learn and grow.

    Ultimately, this passage reminds us that our faith is not just a set of beliefs or rituals, but a relationship with the living God. Jesus' promise of eternal life is not just a fairy tale, but a reality that we can experience through our trust and devotion to him. May we all seek to deepen our relationship with Christ and to trust in his words, even when it is difficult to do so.


    Dear God, our Heavenly Father,

    We come before you with humble hearts, asking for your guidance and grace as we reflect on your Word in John 8:51-59. We thank you for the life and teachings of your Son, Jesus Christ, who through his death and resurrection has given us the gift of eternal life.

    Lord, we pray that you open our hearts and minds to the message in this passage. We see how the religious leaders of the time doubted Jesus and questioned his authority, but he affirmed that his teachings come from you. We are reminded to never doubt or question Jesus, for he speaks with divine authority and truth.

    We also see Jesus state that “before Abraham was, I am,” revealing his divine identity as God’s Son. We pray that we never forget the divine nature of Jesus and his importance in our lives as our Savior and Redeemer.

    We ask for your help in increasing our faith and trust in Jesus, and in transforming our hearts to be more like his. May we always be guided by his teachings, and may they be a constant source of light and hope in our lives.

    We pray for all those who continue to doubt and reject Jesus, that your Holy Spirit may touch their hearts and draw them closer to him. May they come to know the joy and peace that comes through a life of faith in our Lord.

    We make this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.


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