Friday of the Third Week of Lent

Official Translation

Reading 1 - Hosea 14.2-10

Thus says the LORD:
Israel, return to Lord your God;
for you have fallen because of your sin.
Take words with you,
and return to the Lord.
Tell him, “Forgive all our sins,
and accept that which is good:
so we might offer bulls from our stalls.
Assyria cannot save us.
We will not ride on horses;
nor will we say anymore
to the work of our hands, ‘Our gods!’
for in you the fatherless finds mercy.”

“I will heal their waywardness,” says the Lord,
“I will love them freely.
My anger is turned away from them.
I will be like the dew to Israel.
He will blossom like the lily,
and send down his roots like the Lebanon cedar.
His branches will spread,
and his beauty will be like the olive tree,
and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar.
Men will dwell in his shade.
They will revive like the grain,
and blossom like the vine.
Their fragrance will be like the wine of Lebanon.

Ephraim, what has he to do anymore with idols?
I answer, and will take care of him.
‘I am like a green fir tree’?
from me your fruit is found.”

Who is wise, that he may understand these things?
Who is prudent, that he may know them?
For the ways of the Lord are straight,
and the righteous walk in them;
But the sinners stumble in them.

Responsorial – Psalm 81.6c-8a, 8bc-9, 10-11ab, 14+17 Resp. 11a+9a

R. I am the Lord, your God. Listen to me!

I heard a tongue that I did not know.
“I removed his shoulder from the burden.
His hands were freed from the basket.
You called in trouble, and I delivered you.”

R. I am the Lord, your God. Listen to me!

I answered you with thunder in the secret place.
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.
Hear, my people, and I will testify to you,
Israel, if you would listen to me!

R. I am the Lord, your God. Listen to me!

There shall be no strange god among you,
nor shall you worship any foreign god.
I am the Lord, your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

R. I am the Lord, your God. Listen to me!

Oh that my people would listen to me,
that Israel would walk in my ways!
I would feed them with the finest of the wheat.
I would satisfy you with honey out of the rock.

R. I am the Lord, your God. Listen to me!

Gospel – Mark 12.28-34

One of the scribes came,
and asked Jesus,
“Which commandment is the first of all?”
Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, Israel,
the Lord our God, is Lord alone:
you shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your mind,
and with all your strength.’
This is the first commandment.

The second is like it,
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no other commandment
greater than these.”
The scribe said to him,
“Truly, teacher,
you have said well that he is one,
and there is none other but he,
and to love him with all the heart,
and with all the understanding,
with all the soul,
and with all the strength,
and to love their neighbor as themself,
is more important than all
whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
When Jesus saw that he answered wisely,
he said to him,
“You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
No one dared ask him any question after that.

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