March 25, 2020
First Reading: Job 24:13–17
L Job notes how those who are evil seek to hide in darkness.
A reading from the 24th chapter of Job.
“There are those who rebel against the light,
who are not acquainted with its ways,
and do not stay in its paths.
The murderer rises before it is light,
that he may kill the poor and needy,
and in the night he is like a thief.
The eye of the adulterer also waits for the twilight,
saying, ‘No eye will see me’;
and he veils his face.
In the dark they dig through houses;
by day they shut themselves up;
they do not know the light.
For deep darkness is morning to all of them;
for they are friends with the terrors of deep darkness.
Second Reading: 1 John 3:11–15
L John writes that love is essential for those who have heard the Gospel.
A reading from the third chapter of John’s First Letter.
For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
Third Reading: Matthew 23:29–36
L Jesus condemns those who persecuted the prophets before Him.
A reading from the 23rd chapter of Matthew.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
Passion: Mark 14:1, 53–65
P This Lent, we are looking at the events of our Lord’s Passion through the eyes of some of the people who witnessed it. Today, we read the words of the people who unwittingly called for Jesus’ death, the sacrifice for all sin.
The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Mark, the 14th chapter.
It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest [Jesus] by stealth and kill Him. . . .
And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. And Peter had followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but they found none. For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimony did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness against Him, saying,
C We heard Him say, “I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.”
P Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have You no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against You?” But He remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
A I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.
P And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? You have heard His blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned Him as deserving death. And some began to spit on Him and to cover His face and to strike Him, saying to Him,
P And the guards received Him with blows.