Today, March 31
Feast of the Day
No feast of the day
Saint of the Day
Readings of the Day
Book of Numbers 21:4-9.
From Mount Hor the children of Israel set out on the Red Sea road, to by-pass the land of Edom. But with their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses, "Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!" In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents, which bit the people so that many of them died. Then the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you. Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses, "Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and if anyone who has been bitten looks at it, he will recover." Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.
LORD, hear my prayer; let my cry come to you. Do not hide your face from me now that I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. The nations shall revere your name, O LORD, and all the kings of the earth your glory, when the LORD has rebuilt Zion and appeared in his glory; when he has regarded the prayer of the destitute, and not despised their prayer. Let this be written for the generation to come, and let his future creatures praise the LORD: "The LORD looked down from his holy height, from heaven he beheld the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoners, to release those doomed to die."
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 8:21-30.
Jesus said to the Pharisees: "I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come." So the Jews said, "He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, 'Where I am going you cannot come'?" He said to them, "You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins." So they said to him, "Who are you?" Jesus said to them, "What I told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you in condemnation. But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world." They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father. So Jesus said (to them), "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him." Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.
Wonder is the source from which philosophers draw their great learning. They encounter and reflect on the marvels of nature, such as earthquakes or thunder (…) or eclipses of the sun and moon, for example. Moved by these wonders, they seek out their cause. Thus, by patient research and extensive investigation, they attain remarkable knowledge and subtlety, which men call “natural philosophy”. But there is another, even higher form of philosophy, above that of nature, to which one likewise attains through wonder: this is the philosophy of christians. And there is no question that, of all that characterises christian doctrine, it is particularly wonderful and marvellous that the Son of God, for love of man, consented to be crucified and to die on the cross (…). Is it not astonishing that he, for whom we should have the most respectful awe, felt such fear that he sweated water and blood? (…) Is it not astonishing that he, who gives life to every creature, should have endured so humiliating, cruel and painful a death? And so, those who strive to meditate on and wonder at so extraordinary a “book” as is the cross, with sensitive heart and sincere faith, will attain a far more fruitful knowledge than many another who daily studies and meditates on ordinary books. For the true christian this book is sufficient as an object of study for all the days of his life.