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Mass Readings

Catholic Ireland

Liturgical Readings for : Saturday, 1st April, 2023
Léachtaí Gaeilge
Next Sunday's Readings

Saturday of  the Fifth Week in Lent

General Themes: When God called Abraham, a wandering Aramean shepherd, to gather together himself and his family and leave Ur of the Chaldeans and follow God’s calling, he did. Thus giving rise to God’s people, eventually to us too.

Today: Memorial may be made to St Ceallach, (Celsus), Irish bishop


A reading from the prophet Ezekiel            37:21-28
Theme: I will make them into one nation.

The Lord says this:
I am going to take the sons of Israel from the nations where they have gone. I shall gather them together from everywhere and bring them home to their own soil. I shall make them into one nation in my own land and on the mountains of Israel, and one king is to be king of them all; they will no longer form two nations, nor be two separate kingdoms. They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and their filthy practices and all their sins. I shall rescue them from all the betrayals they have been guilty of; I shall cleanse them; they shall be my people and I will be their God.

My servant David will reign over them, one shepherd for all; they will follow my observances, respect my laws and practise them.
They will live in the land that I gave my servant Jacob, the land in which your ancestors lived.
They will live in it, they, their children, their children’s children, for ever. David my servant is to be their prince for ever.

I shall make a covenant of peace with them, an eternal covenant with them.
I shall resettle them and increase them; I shall settle my sanctuary among them for ever.
I shall make my home above them; I will be their God, they shall be my people.
And the nations will learn that I am the Lord the sanctifier of Israel, when my sanctuary is with them for ever.’

The Word of the Lord.            Thanks be to God

Responsorial Psalm          Jer 31
Response                               The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.

1. O nations, hear the word of the Lord,
proclaim it to the far-off coasts.
Say: ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him and guard him
as a shepherd guards his flock.’                          Response           

2. For the Lord has ransomed Jacob,
has saved him from an overpowering hand.
They will come and shout for joy on Mount Zion,
they will stream to the blessings of the Lord.  Response           

3. Then the young girls will rejoice and will dance,
the men, young and old, will be glad.
I will turn their mourning into joy.
I will console them, give gladness for grief.     Response         

Gospel  Acclamation            Jn 3: 16
Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory!
God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son; everyone who believes in him has eternal life.
Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory!

or                                                  Ez 18: 31
Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory!
Shake off all your sins – it is the Lord speaks- and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.
Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory!


The Lord be with you.                             And with your spirit
A reading from the holy Gospel according to
John       11:45-56          Glory to you, O Lord
Theme: To gather together in unity the scattered children of God.

Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what Jesus did believed in him, but some of them went to tell the Pharisees what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and Pharisees called a meeting.
‘Here is this man working all these signs’ they said ‘and what action are we taking? If we let him go on in this way everybody will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy the Holy Place and our nation.’
One of them, Caiaphas, the high priest that year, said,
You don’t seem to have grasped the situation at all; you fail to see that it is better for one man to die for the people, than for the whole nation to be destroyed’.

He did not speak in his own person, it was as high priest that he made this prophecy that Jesus was to die for the nation – and not for the nation only, but to gather together in unity the scattered children of God. From that day they were determined to kill him. So Jesus no longer went about openly among the Jews, but left the district for a town called Ephraim, in the country bordering on the desert, and stayed there with his disciples.

The Jewish Passover drew near, and many of the country people who had gone up to Jerusalem to purify themselves looked out for Jesus, saying to one another as they stood about in the Temple,
‘What do you think? Will he come to the festival or not?’

The Gospel of the Lord.          Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel Reflection         Sat. 1st April       Fifth Week of Lent       John 11:45-56

There is a focus on unifying people in both of today’s readings.

In the first reading, God speaking through the prophet Ezekiel expresses his intention to gather the people of Israel together who were then scattered among the nations. They will form one nation on their own soil with one king over them all.

The gospel reading declares that Jesus died to gather together in unity the scattered children of God, and that includes both Jews and non-Jews. In the following chapter of John’s gospel Jesus will declare that when he is lifted up he will draw all people to himself. The risen Lord is always in the business of bringing people together in unity around himself and under God. Any effort that people make on the international stage or at the local level to bring people together in mutual respect and understanding is a sharing in the work of the risen Lord.

In that regard, Pope Francis has been a wonderful inspiration. He visited Iraq and one of the highpoints of that visit was his meeting with the leader of Shia Muslims in Iraq. It is one example of this Pope’s efforts to build bridges with people of other faiths. The Lord is constantly at work trying to gather together in unity the scattered children of God. Any effort we make to cross over to the other side, to meet with those who are different from us and to try and understand them, is a sharing in this work of the Lord. We live in a world where there are many polarizing forces that work to divide people. Our efforts to share in the Lord’s work of gathering people together is all the more important in the face of such polarizing forces.


The Scripture readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and used with the permission of the publishers.  http://dltbooks.com/
The Gospel reflection is available with our thanks from Reflections on the Weekday Readings 2021-2022: My Words Will Not Pass Away by Martin Hogan and published by Messenger Publications  c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop/