Friday of the Second Week of Lent
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, who redeemed us by Your death and resurrection – have mercy on us.
+ You went up to Jerusalem to endure the passion and enter into glory; lead Your people into the paschal feast of eternal life.
+ Your heart was pierced with a lance; heal the wounds of our human weakness.
+ You made Your cross the tree of life; share Your victory with all who profess You as Saviour and Lord.
+ You gave eternal life to the repentant thief; pardon all our sins.
Purify us, almighty God, through our whole-hearted endeavour to renew our lives, so that we may approach Easter with single-minded devotion. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
A Reading from the Old Testament: Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a (NLT)
Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph — a beautiful robe. But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.
Soon after this, Joseph’s brothers went to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem. When they had been gone for some time, Jacob said to Joseph, “Your brothers are pasturing the sheep at Shechem. Get ready, and I will send you to them.”
So Joseph followed his brothers to Dothan and found them there.
When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. “Here comes the dreamer!” they said. “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”
But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him,” he said. “Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.” Reuben was secretly planning to rescue Joseph and return him to his father.
So when Joseph arrived, his brothers ripped off the beautiful robe he was wearing. Then they grabbed him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it. Then, just as they were sitting down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of camels in the distance coming toward them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking a load of gum, balm, and aromatic resin from Gilead down to Egypt.
Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime. Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother — our own flesh and blood!” And his brothers agreed. So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt.
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son; so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life. (John 3:16)
A Reading from the Gospels: Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46 (NLT)
“Now listen to another story. A certain landowner planted a vineyard, built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice, and built a lookout tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country. At the time of the grape harvest, he sent his servants to collect his share of the crop. But the farmers grabbed his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. So the landowner sent a larger group of his servants to collect for him, but the results were the same.
“Finally, the owner sent his son, thinking, ‘Surely they will respect my son.’
“But when the tenant farmers saw his son coming, they said to one another, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Come on, let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ So they grabbed him, dragged him out of the vineyard, and murdered him.
“When the owner of the vineyard returns,” Jesus asked, “what do you think he will do to those farmers?”
The religious leaders replied, “He will put the wicked men to a horrible death and lease the vineyard to others who will give him his share of the crop after each harvest.”
Then Jesus asked them, “Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures?
‘The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.’
I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will produce the proper fruit.
When the leading priests and Pharisees heard this parable, they realized he was telling the story against them — they were the wicked farmers. They wanted to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowds, who considered Jesus to be a prophet.
Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.
May the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen