March 18

March 18

Saturday of the 3rd Week of Lent

Optional Memorial of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, bishop and Doctor of the Church (†c. 386 Jerusalem). An outstanding catechist and educator in the Faith. He was persecuted by the Arians for his part in their condemnation as heretics, along with the Macedonians.

Mass Readings

First Reading – Hos 6:1-6

“Come, let us return to the LORD it is He who has rent, but He will heal us; He has struck us, but He will bind our wounds. He will revive us after two days; on the third day He will raise us up to live in His presence. Let us know, let us strive to know the LORD; as certain as the dawn is His coming and His judgment shines forth like the light of day! He will come to us like the rain like spring rain that waters the earth.” What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your piety is like a morning cloud like the dew that early passes away. For this reason I smote them through the prophets I slew them by the words of my mouth; For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

Responsorial Psalm – 51:3-4, 18-19, 20-21ab (R. see Hosea 6:6)

R.  It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.

Have mercy on me, O God, in Your goodness;
in the greatness of Your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me. R.

For You are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, You would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, You will not spurn. R.

Be bountiful, O LORD, to Zion in Your kindness
by rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem;
Then shall You be pleased with due sacrifices,
burnt offerings and holocausts. R.

Gospel – Lk 18:9-14

Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. “Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of humanity — greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’ But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Featured Saints

St. Anselm of Lucca, bishop (†1086). Governed the Church of Lucca, Italy, remaining faithful to the Roman See regarding the investiture question. Pope St. Gregory VII sent him as Pontifical Legate to Lombardy.

St. Braulio, bishop (†651). Disciple and friend of St. Isidore of Seville, appointed Bishop of Zaragoza, Spain. He helped his teacher to restore ecclesiastical discipline throughout all of Hispania, particularly by opposing the Arian heresy which still persisted in that region.

St. Salvator Grionesos of Horta, religious (†1567). At age twenty he entered the Franciscan convent of Barcelona, Spain. He suffered the misjudgement and persecution of his confreres because of his gift of miracles.

St. Fridianus, bishop (†c. 588). Native of Ireland, he gathered a community of monks in Lucca, Italy, diverted the course of the Serchio River, to cultivate the land, and converted the Lombards to the Catholic Faith.

St. Edward II, king (+978). Baptized by St. Dunstan, whose guidance he followed as he assumed the throne of England at the age of 13 at the death of his father, King Edgar. He was assassinated only a few years later in a conspiracy to seize the throne.

Blessed Martha Le Bouteiller, virgin (†1883). Religious from the Sisters of the Christians Schools of Mercy, she lived in the monastery of Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte, France, dedicating herself to the humblest offices.

Blessed Celestina of the Mother of God, virgin (†1925). Founded the Congregation of the Daughters of the Poor of St. Joseph of Calasanz in Florence, Italy.

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