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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Breaking the Word - Weekdays

The weekday readings can sometimes seem a little ‘bread and butter’ compared to the liturgical feast of Sunday. That said, the sustained nourishment, the ‘daily bread’ of the weekday mysteries connotes the Manna that sustained the Israelites on their journey through the desert. These readings are from the Ordo for the Archdiocese of Westminster. Tarcisius Mukuka is a lecturer in Biblical Studies & Exegesis, and Anthony Towey is the Director of the Aquinas Centre in the School of Education, Theology and Leadership at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.