Thursday of the 5th Week of Lent
Optional Memorial of St. John Baptist de la Salle, priest (†1719). He founded the Congregation of the Brothers of the Christian Schools for the education of boys from poor families.
First Reading – Gn 17:3-9
When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him: “My covenant with you is this: you are to become the father of a host of nations. No longer shall you be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I am making you the father of a host of nations. I will render you exceedingly fertile; I will make nations of you; kings shall stem from you. I will maintain my covenant with you and your descendants after you throughout the ages as an everlasting pact, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land in which you are now staying, the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God.” God also said to Abraham: “On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages.”
Responsorial Psalm – 105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9 (R.8a)
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered. R.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail. R.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations –
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac. R.
Gospel – Jn 8:51-59
Jesus said to the Jews:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word will never see death.”
So the Jews said to him,
“Now we are sure that you are possessed.
Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say,
‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’
Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?
Or the prophets, who died?
Who do you make yourself out to be?”
Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me,
of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’
You do not know him, but I know him.
And if I should say that I do not know him,
I would be like you a liar.
But I do know him and I keep his word.
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad.”
So the Jews said to him,
“You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
So they picked up stones to throw at him;
but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.
St. Hermann Joseph, priest (†1241/1252). Religious from the Premonstratensian monastery of Steinfeld, Germany; he stood out for his love of the Blessed Virgin and devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
St. Henry Walpole and Blessed Alexander Rawlins, priests and martyrs (†1595). Imprisoned, tortured and hanged for having exercised their priestly ministry during the reign of Elizabeth I of England.
St. Peter Nguyên Văn Luu, priest and martyr (†1861). Condemned to death in Vietnam, in the time of Emperor Tu Ðúc, he joyfully ascended the gallows.
St. Aybert, priest and monk (†1140). He recited the Psalter daily outside the monastery of Crespin, France, and heard the Confessions of penitents who flocked to him.
Blessed Maria Assunta Pallotta, virgin (†1905). Born into a humble Italian family; at age 17 she entered the institute of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Mary, and went on to carry out fruitful apostolic and charitable work in China.
Blessed Edward Oldcorne, priest, and Blessed Ralph Ashley, lay brother, martyrs (†1606). Jesuit religious imprisoned, tortured and hanged, drawn, and quartered during the reign of James I of England.