Daily Bible Reading - March 21, 2024

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Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.

5th WEEK OF LENT

Psalter: Week 1 / (Violet)

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 105: 4-5, 6-7, 8-9: The Lord remembers his covenant forever.

1st Reading: Genesis 17: 3-9

Abram fell face down and God said to him, “This is my Covenant with you: you will be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer will you be called Abram, but Abraham, because I will make you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you more and more famous; I will multiply your descendants; nations shall spring from you, kings shall be among your descendants.

And I will establish a covenant, an everlasting Covenant between myself and you and your descendants after you; from now on I will be your God and the God of your descendants after you, for generations to come. I will give to you and your descendants after you the land you are living in, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession and I will be the God of your race.”

God said to Abraham, “For your part, you shall keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation after generation.

Gospel: John 8: 51-59

Truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never experience death.” The Jews replied, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died and the prophets as well, but you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never experience death.’

Who do you claim to be? Do you claim to be greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets who also died?” Then Jesus said, “If I were to praise myself, it would count for nothing.

But he who gives glory to me is the Father, the very one you claim as your God, although you don’t know him. I know him, and if I were to say that I don’t know him, I would be a liar like you. But I know him and I keep his word.

As for Abraham, your ancestor, he looked forward to the day when I would come; and he rejoiced when he saw it.” The Jews then said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?”

And Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” They then picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and left the temple.

REFLECTION:

“Love and goodness.”

We are called to use words to communicate goodness and love that we might become God’s instruments of salvation in the world today. In the Gospel of John, Jesus is presented as God’s eternal Word who is also the full expression of the Father’s love and goodness. The divine love and goodness, which God always communicates, has always been there from the beginning. Love and goodness are profoundly connected with God’s divine name, the “I am,” which Jesus invoked in today’s Gospel. People were angry because Jesus appeared to associate himself with God’s divine name, implying his divine sonship. Those people who wanted to stone Jesus could not accept Jesus’ words because their own understanding of their innate goodness was blurred. People who could no longer express their innate goodness are considered to be spiritually dead. However, those who communicate their love and goodness from within are spiritually alive. As Jesus’ followers, we must keep Jesus’ words while being challenged to utter words that mirror our innate goodness.

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