Weekly Readings April/May/June 2020

These reflections on the weekday Bible readings are by Canon Mervyn Tower, parish priest of Corpus Christi, Headington, Oxford.

Wednesday 1 April
Fifth Week of Lent
Daniel 3.14–20,24–25,28
Daniel 3
John 8.31–42

Jesus’ statement that truth and freedom come from believing in him prompts the response about Abraham and the freedom that being his descendants brings. Jesus develops this as he declares that his opponents are not real sons of Abraham and act as slaves in that they do not accept him (Gospel: Jn 8.31–42). True freedom, consisting in worshipping the One God, is shown in the refusal of the exiled men to bow down before the golden statue and their being thrown in the burning fiery furnace. Typical of Apocalyptic Literature, the story is set in an earlier period from that in which it is written. Its purpose is to remind those persecuted by Antiochus IV Epiphanes (168–164 BCE) in the time of the Maccabees to remain steadfast. God will reward them (First Reading: Dan. 3.14–20,24–25,28). As we approach the liturgical celebration of Holy Week, we pray that we may find freedom and truth as we focus on the One God.

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