Thursday of the 3rd Week of Lent
First Reading – Jer 7:23-28
Thus says the LORD: This is what I commanded My people: Listen to My voice; then I will be your God and you shall be My people. Walk in all the ways that I command you, so that you may prosper. But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed. They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts and turned their backs, not their faces, to Me. From the day that your fathers left the land of Egypt even to this day, I have sent you untiringly all My servants the prophets. Yet they have not obeyed Me nor paid heed; they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers. When you speak all these words to them, they will not listen to you either; when you call to them, they will not answer you. Say to them: This is the nation that does not listen to the voice of the LORD, its God, or take correction. Faithfulness has disappeared; the word itself is banished from their speech.
Responsorial Psalm – Ps 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9 (R. 8)
R. If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to Him. R.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For He is our God,
and we are the people He shepherds, the flock He guides. R.
Oh, that today you would hear His voice:
“Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted Me;
they tested He though they had seen Hy works.” R.
Gospel – Lk 11:14-23
Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute, and when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke and the crowds were amazed. Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, He drives out demons.” Others, to test Him, asked Him for a sign from Heaven. But He knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons. If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe. But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils. Whoever is not with Me is against Me, and whoever does not gather with Me scatters.”
St. Jean de Brébeuf, priest and mártir (†1649). One of eight Jesuit missionary from France who evangelized among the native peoples of North America, particularly of the Huron tribe, and were captured, tortured and killed by the Iroquois over a period of seven years. This is the date marks his individual death in present-day Midland, Canada. The collective feast feast of the North American Martyrs is celebrated on September 26 in Canada and October 19 in the General Calendar.
St. Hilary, bishop, and St. Tatian, deacon, martyrs. According to ancient tradition, they suffered martyrdom by decapitation in Aquileia, Italy, during the time of Emperor Numerianus, (circa 284).
St. Heribert of Cologne, bishop (†1021). He was chancellor of Emperor Otto III of Germany, before being appointed Archbishop of Cologne, an honour which he unwillingly accepted. He founded the Benedictine Abbey of Deutz.
St. Eusebia, abbess (†c. 680). After her father’s death she entered monastic life, along with her mother, St. Rictrudes. While yet an adolescent, she succeeded her grandmother, the widowed St. Gertrude the Elder, in the office of abbess of Hamay-sur-la-Scarpe, in Marchiennes, France.
Blessed John Sordi, Bishop and martyr (†1181). Noble from Cremona, he became a Benedictine religious and was exiled for his fidelity to the Pope. He was elected Bishop of Mantua and later of Vicenza. He died defending the liberty of the Church, killed by a hired assassin.
Blessed Robert Dalby, priest and martyr (†1589). English Protestant minister who converted and received priestly ordination in Rheims, France. Returning to England, he was imprisoned and condemned to death for exercising his ministry.
St. Julian of Anazarbus, martyr (†fourth century). After prolonged torture, he was bound in a sack with serpents and thrown into the sea in Cilicia, present-day Turkey.