THURSDAY IN THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT
First Reading – Exodus 32; 7-14
Do not bring this disaster on your people.
The Lord spoke to Moses, “Go down now, because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have apostasised. They have been quick to leave the way I marked out for them; they have made themselves a calf of molten metal and have worshipped it and offered it sacrifice. “Here is your God, Israel,” they have cried, ‘who brought you up from the land of Egypt!” I can see how headstrong these people are! Leave me know, my wrath shall blaze out against them and devour them; of you, however, I will make a great nation.’
But Moses pleaded with the Lord his God. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘why should your wrath blaze out against this people of yours whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with arm outstretched and mighty hand? Why let the Egyptians say, “Ah, it was in treachery that he brought them out, to do them to death in the mountains and wipe them off the face of the earth”? Leave your burning wrath; relent and do not bring this disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, your servants to whom by your own self swore and made this promise: I will make your offspring as many as the stars of heaven, and all this land which I promised I will give to your descendants, and it shall be their heritage for ever.’ So the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.
Gospel – John 5:31-47
You place your hope in Moses, and Moses will be your accuser.
Jesus said to the Jews:
‘Were I to testify on my own behalf,
my testimony would not be valid;
but there is another witness who can speak on my behalf.
and I know that his testimony is valid.
You sent messengers to John,
and he gave his testimony to the truth:
not that I depend on human testimony;
no, it is for your salvation that I speak of this.
John was a lamp alight and shining
and for a time you were content to enjoy the light that he gave.
But my testimony is greater than John’s:
the works my Father has given me to carry out,
the same works of mine
testify that the Father has sent me.
Besides, the Father who sent me
bears witness to me himself.
You have never heard his voice,
you have never seen his shape,
and his word finds no home in you
because you do not believe
in the one he has sent.’
‘You study the scriptures,
believing that in them you have eternal life;
now these same scriptures testify to me,
and yet you refuse to come to me for life!
As for human approval this means nothing to me.
Besides, I know you too well:
you have no love of God in you.
I have come in the name of my Father
and you refuse to accept me;
if someone else comes in his own name
you will accept him.’
‘How can you believe,
since you look to one another for approval
and are not concerned
with the approval that comes from the one God?
Do not imagine that I am going to accuse you before the Father;
you place your hopes on Moses,
and Moses will be your accuser.
If you really believed in him
you would believe me too,
since it was I that he was writing about;
but if you refuse to believe what he wrote,
how can you believe what I say?’