(30 March 2014, 15 March 2015)
GRANT, we beseech you, Almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of your grace may mercifully be relieved; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hates nothing that you have made and forgives the sins of all them that are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Exodus 16:2-7; Psalm 122; Galatians 4:21-5:1; John 6:1-14
Today, roughly halfway through the season of Lent, we get a brief glimpse of where this journey is headed. The Gospel reading takes place near the Passover feast, which is also the setting of the Holy Week and Easter celebrations. More specifically, Jesus’ miracle of feeding five thousand people (in turn also referencing the Old Testament story) is a sort of prefiguring of the Passover meal that he would transform into the Sacrament of Holy Communion. As a result, this Sunday is traditionally a quick break from the rigor of Lent, noted by the Collect’s plea for relief, the Psalm’s celebration of the destination of our pilgrimage, and the Epistle reading’s promise of freedom from slavery.