LENTEN JOURNEY IN DAILY LITURGY: 5th WEEK
During this fifth and final full week of Lent, the liturgical readings, day after day, tell of the lowering storm clouds that next week will break open. We are taught on Monday that every sin is pardonable by Christ. Tuesday’s readings point to the division between Jesus and his enemies that is becoming more critical, more sharp. There are references in both readings to “being lifted up.” Wednesday’s Mass reminds us that the hatred against Christ is growing; the three young men in the fiery furnace are a reminder of what Jesus will endure. In Thursday’s Gospel, Jesus states that he is divine, greater than Abraham; the hostile listeners react by trying to kill him for blasphemy. On Friday, we learn that his enemies continue to try to arrest him and to stone him because of his statement of unity with God himself. Saturday’s Gospel is an important one: it reports how the death sentence of Jesus was determined. The High Priest decided that national security justified the elimination of one man. Jesus went into hiding.