FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT Year B

First Reading 2 Chronicles 36:14-17, 19-23

A reading from the second book of Chronicles.

Everyone – from the chief priests to the people themselves – added infidelity to infidelity, copying all the shameful practices of the nations and defiling the Temple that Our God had consecrated in Jerusalem.  The Almighty, the God of their ancestors, tirelessly sent them messenger after messenger, hoping to spare them and the sacred dwelling place.  But the people ridiculed the messengers, and despised the message, they laughed at the prophets, until at last the wrath of Our God rose so high against the people that there was no further remedy.  The Most High brought the ruler of the Chaldeans against them, who slew their young warriors within their own sanctuary, sparing no one, female nor male, not even the aged or handicapped; God handed them all over.  The invaders burned down the Temple of Our God, demolished the walls of Jerusalem, set fire to all its palaces, and destroyed everything of value in it.  The survivors were deported by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon; they served him and his descendants until the nation of Persia came to power.  All of this was to fulfill the word of Our God that was spoken through Jeremiah, that the land was to enjoy its Sabbath rests.  All the days of its desolation the land kept the Sabbath, until seventy years had gone by.  In the first year of Cyrus, ruler of Persia, to fulfill the word of Our God that was spoken through Jeremiah, Our God inspired Cyrus to issue a proclamation and to have it proclaimed throughout the nation: “Thus speaks Cyrus, ruler of Persia: The Almighty, the God of Heaven, has given me all the nations of the earth; the Most High has ordered me to build a Temple in Jerusalem, in Judah.  Whoever, therefore, among you belongs to any part of God’s people, may the Most High be with them.  Let them go up!”

The Word of God recorded in the second book of Chronicles.

FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT Year B

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 137

R: May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I forget You.

By the rivers of Babylon

we sat and wept, remembering Zion.

On the poplars of that land

we hung up our harps.

R: May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I forget You.

There our captors asked of us

the lyrics of our songs

And urged us to be joyous,

“Sing for us one of the songs of Zion!”

R: May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I forget You.

How could we sing a song of Our God

while in a foreign land?

If I forget you, Jerusalem,

may my right hand forget its skill!

R: May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I forget You.

May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth

if I  forget You,

If I do not consider Jerusalem

my greatest joy.

R: May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I forget You.