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Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent

Saturday April 12, 2025

Daily Mass Readings for Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent

  • First Reading - Ezekiel 37:21-28: The Lord GOD promises to gather the children of Israel from all the nations and bring them back to their land, where they will become one nation under one ruler. The Lord also promises to purify them from their transgressions, make a covenant of peace with them, and establish his sanctuary among them forever.
  • Responsorial Psalm - Jeremiah 31: God will protect and gather his people like a shepherd watching over his flock. The Lord rescues his people and turns their sorrow into happiness.
  • Gospel - John 11:45-56: Many Jews begin to believe in Jesus after witnessing his miraculous deeds, but the chief priests and Pharisees fear his growing popularity and plot to kill him, leading Jesus to retreat to a town called Ephraim.

He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God. 

John 11:51-52

Themes for the Readings for Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent

For Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent, the readings from Ezekiel 37:21-28 and John 11:45-56 highlight several key themes:

  • Unity and Restoration: Ezekiel speaks of God's promise to gather the scattered children of Israel, bringing them back to their land to form one united nation. This theme of unity and restoration is central, reflecting God's desire for His people to be one and to live in peace and harmony.
  • Covenant and Peace: The covenant of peace mentioned in Ezekiel symbolizes a renewed relationship between God and His people, marked by stability, security, and mutual commitment. This theme emphasizes God's enduring love and faithfulness towards His people, offering them a future filled with hope.
  • Purification and Renewal: God's promise to purify the Israelites from their sins and iniquities speaks to themes of purification and renewal. This reflects the transformative power of God's grace in cleansing and renewing His people, guiding them towards righteousness.
  • Divine Presence: The establishment of God's sanctuary among the people forever signifies His perpetual presence and the promise of divine dwelling among His people. This theme highlights the intimacy of God's relationship with His people, ensuring them of His continuous guidance and protection.
  • Belief and Opposition: In the Gospel, the response to Jesus' miracles, leading many to believe in Him, contrasts with the fear and hostility of the chief priests and Pharisees. This theme of belief and opposition illustrates the differing reactions to Jesus' message and works, highlighting the challenges and conflicts that arise in the journey of faith.
  • Conflict and Retreat: Jesus' retreat to Ephraim in response to the plot against His life underscores themes of conflict and retreat. This reflects the reality of facing opposition and the wisdom in seeking solitude and peace in times of threat, while also preparing for God's ultimate plan of salvation.

These themes for Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent collectively point to the overarching narrative of God's redemptive plan, emphasizing unity, peace, renewal, and the unfolding of God's kingdom in the midst of human conflict and division. They invite reflection on our own response to God's call for unity, renewal, and faith amidst the challenges of the world.

Thoughts for Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent

The readings for Saturday of the 5th week of Lent speak of the themes of restoration and reunification, but from different perspectives. In Ezekiel, the prophet is given a vision of God's plan to reunite the two kingdoms of Israel and to establish a new covenant with his people. This vision is one of hope and promise, but also of accountability, as the "sons of wickedness" are to be separated from the rest of the people.

In John's Gospel, we see the tension that arises when Jesus performs signs and wonders that attract people to him. The chief priests and Pharisees are worried about losing their own power and influence, and so they plot to kill Jesus. But in doing so, they fulfill the prophecy of Caiaphas, who speaks of the need for one man to die for the people.

As Catholics, we are called to reflect on the meaning of these passages for our own lives. We too can be tempted to cling to our own power and influence, or to resist the changes and challenges that come with growth and renewal. We may also be tempted to judge others, to see them as "sons of wickedness" or as obstacles to our own goals and desires.

Yet the message of both passages is one of hope and promise. God desires to reunite and restore his people, to establish a new covenant with us, and to dwell among us as our God. Jesus' death and resurrection offer the ultimate example of this restoration and reunification, as he overcomes the power of sin and death and opens the way for us to share in eternal life.

As we reflect on these passages, let us pray for the courage and humility to trust in God's plan for our lives, to welcome the changes and challenges that come with growth and renewal, and to see others as beloved children of God, worthy of our respect and compassion. May we always seek to follow Jesus' example of self-giving love and service, and may we find joy and peace in the promise of his resurrection.


Heavenly Father, help us to trust in your plan for our lives and to have the courage to follow Jesus' example of self-giving love and service. May we be agents of restoration and reunification in our world, seeing all people as beloved children of God. Amen.

Homilies and Reflections for Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent

Word on Fire: Blaming One

In Bishop Robert Barron's reflection for Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent, he discusses the plot to kill Jesus as an example of René Girard's scapegoating theory, where society unites by blaming an individual for its conflicts. Caiaphas's decision to sacrifice Jesus for the nation's peace aligns with this theory. However, Jesus' resurrection overturns this logic, showing God's alignment not with scapegoaters but with the scapegoated. This reveals God's desire for a society based on forgiveness, love, and solidarity with victims, challenging the foundations of communities built on violence.

USCCB Reflection: The Promise of God

This USCCB video reflection for Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent focuses on God's role as a shepherd and protector. It emphasizes the promise of unity and guidance, as God gathers His people, undoing divisions and leading them justly. The readings reflect on God's shepherding through the psalm and Jesus's fulfillment of this role, despite opposition from Jewish authorities fearing Roman reprisals, leading to a plot against Jesus. This situation underscores the importance of embracing Jesus's message of new life, despite misunderstandings or suffering. It calls for living the Gospel genuinely and seeing the cross as a symbol of refuge, healing, and God's triumph over injustice, inviting trust in Christ's path through suffering to glory.

Frequently Asked Questions for Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent

What date is Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent?

The next date is Saturday April 12, 2025.

What are the Mass readings for Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent?

The Mass readings for Saturday April 12, 2025 are:
First Reading - Ezekiel 37:21-28: The Promise of Restoration and Renewal for Israel
Responsorial Psalm - Jeremiah 31: The Lord, Our Shepherd and Protector
Gospel - John 11:45-56: The Plot to Kill Jesus Intensifies

What is the significance of the first reading from Ezekiel on Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent?

The first reading on Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent from Ezekiel 37:21-28 is significant because it highlights God's promise to unify and restore the nation of Israel. It speaks to the themes of unity, purification, and the establishment of a covenant of peace, demonstrating God's unwavering commitment to His people. This reading invites us to reflect on God's power to bring about restoration and peace in our own lives and communities.

How does the Gospel for Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent connect to our lives today?

The Gospel for Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent (John 11:45-56) connects to our lives today by illustrating the challenges of belief and the consequences of opposition. It shows how Jesus' teachings and miracles led to varied responses, from belief to hostility. This reminds us of the diverse reactions to faith in our world today and encourages us to stand firm in our beliefs, even when faced with opposition or misunderstanding.

What lessons can we learn from the themes of unity and restoration on Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent?

On Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent, the themes of unity and restoration teach us the importance of coming together as a community of faith, overcoming divisions, and working towards reconciliation. These themes encourage us to seek God's guidance in healing rifts and fostering a spirit of unity among us, reflecting the oneness and peace God desires for His people.

How can we apply the theme of purification and renewal from the readings of Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent to our Lenten journey?

The theme of purification and renewal on Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent encourages us to reflect on our own lives and seek God's grace for transformation and growth. This period of Lent is an opportune time to examine our actions, repent for our sins, and make a conscious effort to live more righteously. Embracing God's offer of renewal can lead us to a deeper relationship with Him and a more fulfilling life.

What does the retreat of Jesus to Ephraim in the Gospel for Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent teach us about dealing with conflict?

Jesus' retreat to Ephraim, as mentioned in the Gospel for Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent, teaches us the value of seeking solitude and reflection in times of conflict. It shows that stepping away from tense situations can provide the space needed for prayer and contemplation, preparing us to face challenges with wisdom and grace. This lesson is particularly relevant during Lent, a time for introspection and spiritual growth.

How can the readings for Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent inspire us to act in our communities?

The readings for Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent inspire us to act in our communities by highlighting the importance of unity, peace, and renewal. They call us to be agents of reconciliation, to foster an environment of mutual respect and understanding, and to work towards the common good. Inspired by these readings, we can engage in acts of service, promote peace, and contribute to the healing and unification of our communities.

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