Fourth Sunday of Lent

First Reading

1 Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13

A reading from the first book of Samuel

The Lord said to Samuel,

“Fill your horn with oil and set out;

I will send you to Jesse of Bethlehem,

for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.”

When the sons of Jesse came,

Samuel looked on Eliab and thought,

“Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.”

But the Lord said to Samuel,

“Do not look on his appearance

or on the height of his stature,

because I have rejected him;

for the Lord does not see as mortals see;

they look on the outward appearance,

but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel,

and Samuel said to Jesse,

“The Lord has not chosen any of these.”

Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?”

And he said, “There remains yet the youngest,

but he is keeping the sheep.”

And Samuel said to Jesse,

“Send and bring him;

for we will not sit down until he comes here.”

Jesse sent and brought David in.

Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome.

The Lord said,

“Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.”

Then Samuel took the horn of oil,

and anointed him in the presence of his brothers;

and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David

from that day forward.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Joshua 5:9-12

A reading from the book of Joshua

The people of God went to the promised land and there kept the passover.

The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Today I have taken the shame of Egypt away from you.’

The Israelites pitched their camp at Gilgal and kept the Passover there on the fourteenth day of the month, at evening in the plain of Jericho. On the morrow of the Passover they tasted the produce of that country, unleavened bread and roasted ears of corn, that same day. From that time, from their first eating of the produce of that country, the manna stopped falling. And having manna no longer, the Israelites fed from that year onwards on what the land of Canaan yielded.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Joshua 5:9-12

A reading from the book of Joshua

After the Israelites had crossed over the Jordan river,

and entered the promised land,

the Lord said to Joshua,

“Today I have rolled away from you

the disgrace of Egypt.”

While the Israelites were camped in Gilgal

they kept the Passover

in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month

in the plains of Jericho.

On the day after the Passover; on that very day,

they ate the produce of the land,

unleavened cakes and parched grain.

The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land,

and the Israelites no longer had manna;

they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13

A reading from the first book of Samuel

In the presence of the Lord God, they anointed David king of Israel.

The Lord said to Samuel, ‘Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen myself a king among his sons.’ When Samuel arrived, he caught sight of Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed one stands there before him,’ but the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Take no notice of his appearance or his height for I have rejected him; God does not see as man sees; man looks at appearances but the Lord looks at the heart.’ Jesse presented his seven sons to Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not chosen these.’ He then asked Jesse, ‘Are these all the sons you have?’ He answered, ‘There is still one left, the youngest; he is out looking after the sheep.’ Then Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send for him; we will not sit down to eat until he comes.’ Jesse had him sent for, a boy of fresh complexion, with fine eyes and pleasant bearing. The Lord said, ‘Come, anoint him, for this is the one.’ At this, Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him where he stood with his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord seized on David and stayed with him from that day on.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 22

R. The Lord is my shepherd;

there is nothing I shall want.

The Lord is my shepherd;

there is nothing I shall want.

Fresh and green are the pastures

where he gives me repose.

Near restful waters he leads me,

to revive my drooping spirit. R.

He guides me along the right path;

he is true to his name.

If I should walk in the valley of darkness

no evil would I fear.

You are there with your crook and your staff;

with these you give me comfort. R.

You have prepared a banquet for me

in the sight of my foes.

My head you have anointed with oil;

my cup is overflowing. R.

Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me

all the days of my life.

In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell

for ever and ever. R.

Ps 33:2-7

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

I will bless the Lord at all times,

his praise always on my lips;

In the Lord my soul shall make its boast.

The humble shall hear and be glad. R.

Glorify the Lord with me.

Together let us praise his name.

I sought the Lord and he answered me;

from all my terrors he set me free. R.

Look towards him and be radiant;

let your faces not be abashed.

This poor man called; the Lord heard him

and rescued him from all his distress. R.

Second Reading

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

A reading from the second letter of St Paul to the Corinthians

God reconciled us to himself through Christ.

For anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation; the old creation has gone, and now the new one is here. It is all God’s work. It was God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the work of handing on this reconciliation. In other words, God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself, not holding men’s faults against them, and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled. So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were appealing through us, and the appeal that we make in Christ’s name is: be reconciled to God. For our sake God made the sinless one into sin, so that in him we might become the goodness of God.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

A reading from the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians

If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation:

everything old has passed away;

see, everything has become new!

All this is from God,

who reconciled us to himself through Christ,

and has given us the ministry of reconciliation;

that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself,

not counting their trespasses against them,

and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.

So we are ambassadors for Christ,

since God is making his appeal through us;

we entreat you on behalf of Christ,

be reconciled to God.

For our sake God made Christ to be sin who knew no sin,

so that in Christ we might become the righteousness of God.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Ephesians 5:8-14

A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Ephesians

Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.

You were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord; be like children of light, for the effects of the light are seen in complete goodness and right living and truth. Try to discover what the Lord wants of you, having nothing to do with the futile works of darkness but exposing them by contrast. The things which are done in secret are things that people are ashamed even to speak of; but anything exposed by the light will be illuminated and anything illuminated turns into light. That is why it is said:

Wake up from your sleep,

rise from the dead,

and Christ will shine on you.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Ephesians 5:8-14

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Ephesians

Once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light.

Live as children of light-

for the fruit of the light is found

in all that is good and right and true.

Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness,

but instead expose them.

For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly;

but everything exposed by the light becomes visible,

for everything that becomes visible is light.

Therefore it is said,

“Sleeper, awake!

Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation

John 8:12

Glory to you, Word of God, Lord Jesus Christ!

I am the light of the world, says the Lord;

whoever follows me will have the light of life.

Glory to you, Word of God, Lord Jesus Christ!

John 8:12

Glory to you, Word of God, Lord Jesus Christ!

I am the light of the world, says the Lord;

whoever follows me will have the light of life.

Glory to you, Word of God, Lord Jesus Christ!

Luke 15:18

Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus Christ!

I will rise and go to my Father and tell him:

Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.

Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus Christ!

Luke 15:18

Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus Christ!

I will rise and go to my father and tell him:

Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.

Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus Christ!

Gospel

John 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

The blind man went off and washed himself and came away with his sight restored.

As Jesus went along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. He spat on the ground, made a paste with the spittle, put this over the eyes of the blind man and said to him, ‘Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam’ (a name that means ‘sent’). So the blind man went off and washed himself, and came away with his sight restored.

His neighbours and people who earlier had seen him begging said, ‘Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?’ Some said, ‘Yes, it is the same one.’ Others said, ‘No, he only looks like him.’ The man himself said, ‘I am the man.’

They brought the man who had been blind to the Pharisees. It had been a sabbath day when Jesus made the paste and opened the man’s eyes, so when the Pharisees asked him how he had come to see, he said, ‘He put a paste on my eyes, and I washed, and I can see.’ Then some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man cannot be from God: he does not keep the sabbath.’ Others said ‘How could a sinner produce signs like this?’ And there was disagreement among them. So they spoke to the blind man again, ‘What have you to say about him yourself, now that he has opened your eyes?’ ‘He is a prophet’, replied the man.

‘Are you trying to teach us,’ they replied ‘and you a sinner through and through, since you were born!’ And they drove him away.

Jesus heard they had driven him away, and when he found him he said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied ‘tell me who he is so that I may believe in him’. Jesus said, ‘You are looking at him; he is speaking to you.’ The man said, ‘Lord, I believe’, and worshipped him.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

John 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38

A reading from the holy gospel according to John

As Jesus walked along, he saw a man blind from birth.

He spat on the ground

and made mud with the saliva

and spread the mud on the man’s eyes,

saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam”

(which means Sent).

Then the man who was blind went and washed,

and came back able to see.

The neighbours and those who had seen him before as a beggar

began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?”

Some were saying, “It is he.”

Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.”

He kept saying, “I am the man.”

They brought to the Pharisees the man

 who had formerly been blind.

Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus

 made the mud and opened his eyes.

Then the Pharisees also began to ask him

how he had received his sight.

He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes.

Then I washed, and now I see.”

Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God,

 for he does not observe the sabbath.”

But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner

 perform such signs?”

And they were divided.

So they said again to the blind man,

“What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”

He said, “He is a prophet.”

They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins,

and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.

Jesus heard that they had driven him out,

and when he found him, he said,

“Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

He answered, “And who is he, sir?

Tell me, so that I may believe in him.”

Jesus said to him, “You have seen him,

and the one speaking with you is he.”

He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshipped him.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

John 9:1-41

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

The blind man went off and washed himself and came away with his sight restored.

As Jesus went along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, for him to have been born blind?’ ‘Neither he nor his parents sinned,’ Jesus answered, ‘he was born blind so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

‘As long as the day lasts

I must carry out the work of the one who sent me;

the night will soon be here when no one can work.

As long as I am in the world

I am the light of the world.’

Having said this, he spat on the ground, made a paste with the spittle, put this over the eyes of the blind man and said to him, ‘Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam’ (a name that means ‘sent’). So the blind man went off and washed himself, and came away with his sight restored.

His neighbours and people who earlier had seen him begging said, ‘Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?’ Some said, ‘Yes, it is the same one.’ Others said, ‘No, he only looks like him.’ The man himself said, ‘I am the man.’ So they said to him, ‘Then how do your eyes come to be open?’ ‘The man called Jesus’ he answered ‘made a paste, daubed my eyes with it and said to me, “Go and wash at Siloam”; so I went, and when I washed I could see.’ They asked, ‘Where is he?’ ‘I don’t know’ he answered.

They brought the man who had been blind to the Pharisees. It had been a sabbath day when Jesus made the paste and opened the man’s eyes, so when the Pharisees asked him how he had come to see, he said, ‘He put a paste on my eyes, and I washed, and I can see.’ Then some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man cannot be from God: he does not keep the sabbath.’ Others said, ‘How could a sinner produce signs like this?’ And there was disagreement among them. So they spoke to the blind man again, ‘What have you to say about him yourself, now that he has opened your eyes?’ ‘He is a prophet’ replied the man.

However, the Jews would not believe that the man had been blind and had gained his sight, without first sending for his parents and asking them, ‘Is this man really your son who you say was born blind? If so, how is it that he is now able to see?’ His parents answered, ‘We know he is our son and we know he was born blind, but we don’t know how it is that he can see now, or who opened his eyes. He is old enough: let him speak for himself.’ His parents spoke like this out of fear of the Jews, who had already agreed to expel from the synagogue anyone who should acknowledge Jesus as the Christ. This was why his parents said, ‘He is old enough; ask him.’

So the Jews again sent for the man and said to him, ‘Give glory to God! For our part, we know that this man is a sinner.‘ The man answered, ‘I don’t know if he is a sinner; I only know that I was blind and now I can see.’ They said to him, ‘What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?’ He replied, ‘I have told you once and you wouldn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it all again? Do you want to become his disciples too?’ At this they hurled abuse at him: ‘You can be his disciple,’ they said ‘we are disciples of Moses: we know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this man, we don’t know where he comes from.’ The man replied, ‘Now here is an astonishing thing! He has opened my eyes, and you don’t know where he comes from! We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but God does listen to men who are devout and do his will. Ever since the world began it is unheard of for anyone to open the eyes of a man who was born blind; if this man were not from God, he couldn’t do a thing.’ ‘Are you trying to teach us,’ they replied ‘and you a sinner through and through, since you were born!’ And they drove him away.

Jesus heard they had driven him away, and when he found him he said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied ‘tell me who he is so that I may believe in him.’ Jesus said, ‘You are looking at him; he is speaking to you.’ The man said, ‘Lord, I believe’, and worshipped him.

Jesus said:

‘It is for judgement

that I have come into this world,

so that those without sight may see

and those with sight turn blind.’

Hearing this, some Pharisees who were present said to him, ‘We are not blind, surely?’ Jesus replied:

‘Blind? If you were, you would not be guilty,

but since you say, “We see”,

your guilt remains.’

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

John 9:1-41

A reading from the holy gospel according to John

As Jesus walked along, he saw a man blind from birth.

His disciples asked him,

“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents,

that he was born blind?”

Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned;

he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.

We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day;

night is coming when no one can work.

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

When he had said this, he spat on the ground

and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes,

saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam”

(which means Sent).

Then the man who was blind went and washed, and came back able to see.

The neighbours and those who had seen him before as a beggar

began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?”

Some were saying, “It is he.”

Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.”

He kept saying, “I am the man.”

But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?”

He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes,

‘and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’

Then I went and washed and received my sight.”

They said to him, “Where is he?”

He said, “I do not know.”

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind.

Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.

Then the Pharisees also began to ask him

how he had received his sight.

He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes.

Then I washed, and now I see.”

Some of the Pharisees said,

“This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.”

But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?”

And they were divided.

So they said again to the blind man,

“What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”

He said, “He is a prophet.”

They did not believe that he had been blind

and had received his sight

until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight

and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind?

How then does he now see?”

His parents answered, “We know that this is our son,

and that he was born blind;

but we do not know how it is that now he sees,

nor do we know who opened his eyes.

Ask him; he is of age.

He will speak for himself.”

His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities,

who had already agreed

that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah

would be put out of the synagogue.

Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind,

and they said to him, “Give glory to God!

We know that this man is a sinner.”

He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner.

One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”

They said to him, “What did he do to you?

How did he open your eyes?”

He answered them,

“I have told you already, and you would not listen.

Why do you want to hear it again?

Do you also want to become his disciples?”

Then they reviled him, saying,

“You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses.

We know that God has spoken to Moses,

but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.”

The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing!

You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes.

We know that God does not listen to sinners,

but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will.

Never since the world began has it been heard

that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind.

If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins,

and are you trying to teach us?”

And they drove him out.

Jesus heard that they had driven him out,

and when he found him, he said,

“Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

He answered, “And who is he, sir?

Tell me, so that I may believe in him.”

Jesus said to him, “You have seen him,

and the one speaking with you is he.”

He said, “Lord, I believe.”

And he worshipped him.

Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment

so that those who do not see may see,

and those who do see may become blind.”

Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him,

“Surely we are not blind, are we?”

Jesus said to them,

“If you were blind, you would have no sin.

But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke

Your brother here was dead and has come to life.

The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man,’ they said, ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he spoke this parable to them:

‘A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, “Father, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me.” So the father divided the property between them. A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.

‘When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch, so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs. And he would willingly have filled his belly with the husks the pigs were eating but no one offered him anything. Then he came to his senses and said, “How many of my father’s paid servants have more food than they want, and here am I dying of hunger! I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants.” So he left the place and went back to his father.

‘While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. Then his son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.” And they began to celebrate.

‘Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing. Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about, “Your brother has come” replied the servant “and your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound.” He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father, “Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property – he and his women – you kill the calf we had been fattening.”

‘The father said, “My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.”‘

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

A reading from the holy gospel according to Luke

All the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus.

And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying,

“This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them a parable:

“There was a man who had two sons.

The younger of them said to his father;

‘Father; give me the share of the property

that will belong to me.’

So the father divided his property between them.

A few days later the younger son gathered all he had

and travelled to a distant country,

and there he squandered his property in dissolute living.

“When he had spent everything,

a severe famine took place throughout that country,

and he began to be in need.

So he went and hired himself out

to one of the citizens of that country,

who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs.

The young man would gladly have filled himself

with the pods that the pigs were eating;

and no one gave him anything.

“But when he came to himself he said,

‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare,

but here I am dying of hunger!

I will get up and go to my father; and I will say to him,

“Father; I have sinned against heaven and before you;

I am no longer worthy to be called your son;

treat me like one of your hired hands.”‘

“So he set off and went to his father.

But while he was still far off,

his father saw him and was filled with compassion;

he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.

“Then the son said to him,

‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you;

I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

But the father said to his slaves,

‘Quickly, bring out a robe-the best one-and put it on him;

put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.

And get the fatted calf and kill it,

and let us eat and celebrate;

for this son of mine was dead and is alive again;

he was lost and is found!’

And they began to celebrate.

“Now his elder son was in the field;

and when he came and approached the house,

he heard music and dancing.

He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on.

The slave replied, ‘Your brother has come,

and your father has killed the fatted calf,

because he has got him back safe and sound.’

“Then the elder son became angry and refused to go in.

His father came out and began to plead with him.

But he answered his father,

‘Listen! For all these years

I have been working like a slave for you,

and I have never disobeyed your command;

yet you have never given me even a young goat

so that I might celebrate with my friends.

But when this son of yours came back,

who has devoured your property with prostitutes,

you killed the fatted calf for him!’

“Then the father said to him,

‘Son, you are always with me,

and all that is mine is yours.

But we had to celebrate and rejoice,

because this brother of yours was dead

and has come to life;

he was lost and has been found.'”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.