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Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent

Daily Mass Readings for Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent

  • First ReadingExodus 32:7-14: God commanded Moses to descend from Mount Sinai to see the Israelites who had become corrupt and had created a golden calf as their god. Moses pleaded with God to have mercy on his people and to remember his promise to make them a great nation, causing God to relent from his planned punishment.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 106: Despite our ancestors exchanging God’s glory for an idol, forgetting His miracles in Egypt, Moses’ intercession turned God’s wrath away. We plead for the same kindness and remembrance now.
  • Gospel John 5:31-47: Jesus tells the Jews that his testimony alone is not enough to prove his authority, but there are other witnesses to his legitimacy, including John the Baptist, his works, the Scriptures, and God the Father. He also admonishes the Jews for not believing in him despite their adherence to Moses and the Scriptures.

You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life.

John 5:39-40

Themes for the Readings for Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent

For Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent, the readings from Exodus 32:7-14 and John 5:31-47 present several interrelated themes:

  • Intercession and Mercy: In Exodus, Moses intercedes on behalf of the Israelites, pleading for God’s mercy. This demonstrates the power of prayer and advocacy for others, highlighting God’s willingness to show mercy and relent from punishment when we genuinely seek forgiveness.
  • Faithfulness vs. Idolatry: The Israelites’ creation of the golden calf reflects the human tendency to stray from God and worship false idols. This theme invites reflection on what modern “idols” might divert our attention and devotion from God.
  • The Authority of Jesus: In the Gospel of John, Jesus discusses the various testimonies to His divine authority. This emphasizes the importance of recognizing and accepting Jesus’ role in salvation history, as well as the need to see His works as fulfillment of God’s promises.
  • Witness and Belief: Jesus points to John the Baptist, His own miracles, and the Scriptures as witnesses to His identity and mission. This theme challenges believers to understand and embrace the depth of their faith, recognizing how God’s plan is revealed through Jesus.
  • The Role of Scripture: Jesus criticizes the Jews for their failure to believe in Him despite their study of the Scriptures. This highlights the importance of not just knowing the Scriptures but also understanding their fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
  • Rejection and Acceptance of Divine Revelation: The contrasting reactions to God’s messages—through Moses in Exodus and Jesus in John—offer a meditation on human freedom, the responsibility to respond to divine revelation, and the consequences of acceptance or rejection.

These themes for Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent invite us to reflect on our own relationship with God, our faithfulness, and how we recognize and respond to His presence in our lives. They also encourage us to consider the importance of Scripture in understanding and living out our faith.

Thoughts for Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent

On Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent, the Church invites us to meditate deeply on themes of mercy, faithfulness, authority, and the transformative power of Scripture. As we journey through Lent, these readings from Exodus and John’s Gospel offer profound insights into our relationship with God and challenge us to examine the nature of our faith and devotion.

In the first reading for Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent from Exodus 32:7-14, we encounter a pivotal moment: the Israelites, having grown impatient in Moses’ absence, turn to idolatry by creating and worshiping a golden calf. This act of faithlessness angers God, who is ready to unleash His wrath upon the people. Yet, Moses intervenes, pleading for mercy on their behalf. This scene is not merely about the sin of idolatry; it is a powerful testament to the efficacy of intercessory prayer and the boundless mercy of God.

Moses, standing in the breach, becomes a symbol of Christ, who intercedes for humanity before the Father. Through Moses’ intercession, we are reminded that no matter how far we stray, God’s mercy is always within reach, waiting for us to turn back to Him.

This narrative sets the stage for the Gospel reading for Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent from John 5:31-47, where Jesus confronts the Jews with their failure to recognize Him as the fulfillment of the Scriptures they so diligently study. Jesus presents multiple witnesses to His divine authority: John the Baptist, His miraculous works, the Father, and the Scriptures themselves.

Despite these testimonies, the Jews’ hearts remain hardened, unable to see that the very texts they cherish point directly to Jesus as the Messiah. This passage challenges us to reflect on our own acceptance of Jesus’ authority. Do we truly see Him as Lord of our lives, or are we, like the Israelites, distracted by modern “golden calves”?

The juxtaposition of these readings during Lent urges us to consider our own faithfulness and the idols that might be present in our lives. Idols come in many forms—material possessions, power, prestige, or even our own egos. Lent is a time to identify these false gods and turn our hearts back to the one true God, who offers us redemption and new life in Christ.

Moreover, Jesus’ criticism of the Jews for their unbelief, despite their knowledge of Scripture, serves as a reminder of the importance of not only knowing but also living the Word of God. Scripture is not merely a historical or intellectual exercise; it is a living, breathing guide that points us to Jesus and invites us into a deeper relationship with Him.

As we reflect on these themes for Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent, we are called to a deeper conversion of heart. This Lenten season, let us pray for the grace to recognize our own idols and turn away from them. Let us embrace the mercy of God, as shown through Moses’ intercession, and open our hearts to the authority of Jesus in our lives. May we not only study the Scriptures but allow them to transform us, leading us closer to the heart of Jesus, who is the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promises to us.

In this time of preparation for Easter, let us renew our commitment to faithfulness, recognizing the signs of God’s love and mercy all around us, and responding with open hearts to the call to follow Jesus more closely. Through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, may we draw nearer to the mystery of God’s love revealed in Christ, ready to embrace the joy of the Resurrection.


Loving God, as we journey through Lent, open our hearts to your mercy and guide us away from the idols that distract us. Help us to recognize Jesus as the fulfillment of your promises and to live according to your Word. Strengthen our faith and draw us closer to you. Amen.

Homilies and Reflections for Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent

Word on Fire: Greater than Moses

In Bishop Robert Barron’s reflection for Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent, he focuses on Jesus’ unique authority, distinct from other rabbis and even Moses. Jesus’ teachings signal a profound shift, presenting Him as the long-awaited prophet greater than Moses. Barron emphasizes that the world’s deep-rooted sin cannot be addressed by merely human efforts but necessitates the divine intervention of the Creator Himself. Jesus embodies this divine authority, aiming to heal, save, and restore the world from the devastation of sin.

USCCB Reflection: Our Molten Calves

The USCCB video reflection for Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent critiques society’s obsession with public figures, likening extreme adoration or vilification to idolatry, akin to the Israelites’ misplaced trust. It highlights current societal issues, including racism, war, and human trafficking, as signs that humanity has strayed from recognizing God’s sovereignty. Emphasizing the importance of prayer, repentance, and adopting a counter-cultural stance, the reflection urges Christians to embody Christ’s voice against the modern “molten calf” of subjective truth and apathy. It calls for faith in God’s unwavering love and mercy, encouraging actions that reflect divine justice and peace in the world.

Frequently Asked Questions for Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent

What date is Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent?

The next date is Thursday April 3, 2025.

What are the Mass readings for Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent?

The Mass readings for Thursday April 3, 2025 are:
First Reading – Exodus 32:7-14: The Golden Calf and Moses’ Intercession
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 106: God’s Mercy and Faithfulness
Gospel – John 5:31-47: Witnesses to Jesus’ Authority 

What is the significance of the readings for Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent?

The readings for Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent highlight themes of mercy, repentance, the authority of Jesus, and the role of Scripture in recognizing Jesus as the Messiah. Through Moses’ intercession for the Israelites and Jesus’ explanation of the testimonies to His divine authority, we are invited to reflect on God’s mercy, our own faithfulness, and the importance of Scripture in our spiritual lives.

How can I apply the message of Exodus 32:7-14 to my life, especially during Lent?

The message of Exodus 32:7-14, read on Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent, invites us to recognize and turn away from modern-day idols that may distract us from God. It also encourages us to trust in God’s mercy and to remember the power of intercessory prayer. During Lent, this can be a time to examine our lives, repent for our sins, and make a conscious effort to strengthen our relationship with God.

Why does Jesus talk about witnesses to His authority in the Gospel reading for Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent?

In the Gospel reading for Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent, Jesus mentions witnesses to His authority to demonstrate that His claim to divinity and His mission are supported by credible testimonies, including John the Baptist, His miracles, the Scriptures, and God the Father. This teaching helps us understand the multifaceted evidence of Jesus’ Messiahship and challenges us to accept and believe in Him as the fulfillment of God’s promises.

How can I better understand and live the Scriptures during Lent, inspired by Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent?

Inspired by the Gospel reading for Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent, you can better understand and live the Scriptures by engaging in daily reading and meditation, participating in Bible studies, and applying the teachings of Jesus to your everyday life. Reflecting on how the Scriptures point to Jesus as the Messiah can deepen your faith and help you live more fully in accordance with God’s will.

What are some ways to reflect on the theme of faithfulness versus idolatry on Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent?

On Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent, reflecting on faithfulness versus idolatry can involve identifying what competes for your attention and devotion that should be directed towards God. This could be material possessions, relationships, career, or even personal achievements. Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are traditional Lenten practices that can help focus your heart and mind on God, aiding in the rejection of these modern-day idols.

How does Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent help prepare us for Easter?

Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent helps prepare us for Easter by inviting us into deeper contemplation of God’s mercy, the authority of Jesus, and the transformative power of Scripture. By reflecting on these themes and making a concerted effort to turn away from sin and towards God, we ready our hearts to experience the joy and renewal that comes with the Resurrection of Christ.

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