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Today’s Readings – Monday of Week 4 of Lent - First Reading

Commentary on Isaiah 65:17-21

Isaiah speaks of a coming Utopia, a totally new world full of joy and gladness. It is a world without pain or sadness, a world of prosperity and plenty. The dream is of a restored Jerusalem after the exile, and of an even greater Messianic kingdom after that.

The reading comes from the last part of Third Isaiah, a part of the book not written by Isaiah the prophet. Chapters 65 and 66 form an apocalyptic collection, and date mainly from the period after the exile in Babylon when a remnant of the Jews had returned to Jerusalem (while it is not often said, many of the exiles stayed behind in Babylon because life was quite comfortable for them there).

In the writing of the earlier prophets, messianic happiness was foreseen as a return to … Continue

Yesterday’s Readings – Sunday of Week 4 of Lent - Laetare Sunday (A)

Commentary on 1 Samuel 16:1,6-7,10-13; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41

On this fourth Sunday in Lent, we celebrate the Mass for the second of the three “Scrutinies”. As described in last Sunday’s commentary, the Scrutinies are special rites that help prepare the Elect (also called … Continue

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