Word of the day
Reading of the day
A reading from the Book of Wisdom
The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans
Brothers and sisters:
Hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
For Christ, while we were still helpless,
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person,
though perhaps for a good person
one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
How much more then, since we are now justified by his Blood,
will we be saved through him from the wrath.
Indeed, if, while we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son,
how much more, once reconciled,
will we be saved by his life.
Not only that,
but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Gospel of the day
From the Gospel according to John
Jesus said to the crowds:
"Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day."
Words of the Holy Father
What is God’s will, incarnated in Jesus?. To seek and to save the one who is lost. And in prayer, we ask that God’s seeking may be successful, that his universal plan of salvation may be accomplished, firstly in each of us, and then in the entire world. Have you thought about what it means that God seeks me? Each one of us can say: ‘But does God seek me?’ — ‘Yes! he seeks you! He seeks me’: he seeks each one of us, personally. But God is great! How much love there is behind all this. God knocks upon the door of our heart with his love. Why? To attract us, to attract us to him and to carry us forward on the path of salvation. God is close to each of us, with his love, to lead us by the hand to salvation. How much love there is behind this! Therefore, by praying “thy will be done”, we are not called to subserviently bow our head as if we were slaves. No! God wants us to be free; his love frees us. Indeed, the “Our Father” is the prayer of children, not of slaves; but of children who know their father’s heart and are certain of his loving plan. Woe to us if, in uttering these words, we should shrug our shoulders as a sign of surrender to a destiny we find repellant and that we are unable to change. On the contrary, it is a prayer that is filled with ardent trust in God who wants good, life and salvation for us. A courageous, even militant prayer, because there are many, too many realities in the world that are not in accordance with God’s plan. (General audience, 20 march 2019)