FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT
DOUBLE, FIRST CLASS / ROSE or PURPLE
Lent is half over, and Easter is enticingly near. This Sunday is a foretaste of Easter joy. Knowing the ebb and flow on intensity even in our best efforts, God deals with us tenderly in rhythms of consolation and desolation. So today, the thoughts of freedom and joy come in the middle of Lent. But the joy does more than cushion our failing energies and needle our lagging spirits. It is a positive, meaningful joy, born of our fruitful life in Christ and of our sweet freedom as His purchased children. The Eucharistic banquet of heavenly Bread, foreshadowed by the multiplied loaves and fishes and become now the Bread of Life for the whole Christian world, adds to our Laetare joy the quiet gladness of every festive meal.
INTROIT (Isa. 66:10-11)Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and come together all you who love her. rejoice with joy, you who have been in sorrow, that you may exalt, and be filled from the abundance of your consolation.
Ps. 121:1. I rejoice at the tidings that were told me, "We shall go into the house of the Lord."
V. Glory be . . .
O Almighty God, we are being justly punished for our sins, but comfort us with Your grace, that we may live. Through Our Lord . . .
EPISTLE (Gal. 4:22-31)
Brethren: For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman and the other by a free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh: but he of the free woman was by promise. Which things are said by an allegory. For these are the two testaments. The one from Mount Sinai, engendering unto bondage, which is Agar. For Sina is a mountain in Arabia, which hath affinity to that Jerusalem which now is: and is in bondage with her children. But that Jerusalem which is above is free: which is our mother. For it is written:
Rejoice, thou barren, that bearest not: break forth and cry thou that travailest not: for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that hath a husband.
Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born according to the flesh persecuted him that was after the spirit: so also it is now. But what saith the scripture? "Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman." So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman but of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free.
GRADUAL (Ps. 121:1, 7)
I rejoice at the tidings that were told me, "We shall go into the house of the Lord." V. May peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your towers.
TRACT (Ps. 124:1-2)
They who trust in the Lord are like Mount Sion; he who dwells in Jerusalem shall never be moved.
V. Mountains are round about it, and the Lord is round about His people, from henceforth and forever.
GOSPEL (John 6:1-15)
At that time, After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw the miracles which he did on them that were diseased. Jesus therefore went up into a mountain: and there he sat with his disciples.
Now the pasch, the festival day of the Jews, was near at hand. When Jesus therefore had lifted up his eyes and seen that a very great multitude cometh to him, he said to Philip: "Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" And this he said to try him: for he himself knew what he would do.
Philip answered him: "Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them that every one may take a little." One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to him: "There is a boy here that hath five barley loaves and two fishes. But what are these among so many?" Then Jesus said: "Make the men sit down."
Now, there was much grass in the place. The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves: and when he had given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down. In like manner also of the fishes, as much as they would. And when they were filled, he said to his disciples: "Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost." They gathered up therefore and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which remained over and above to them that had eaten.
Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: "This is of a truth the prophet that is to come into the world." Jesus therefore, when he knew that they would come to take him by force and make him king, fled again into the mountains, himself alone.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON (Ps. 134:3, 6)
Praise the Lord, for He is good; sing praise to His name, for He is sweet. All He has willed, He has done in heaven and on earth.
Look with favor upon these offerings, O Lord, that they may be an aid to our devotion and to our salvation. Through Our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON (Ps. 121:3-4)
Jerusalem was built as a city with compact unity; to it the tribes went up, the tribes of the Lord, to give praise to Your name, O Lord.
O merciful God, we never fail to be nourished by Your Sacrament. May we offer it with true devotion and receive it always with faith. Through Our Lord . . .