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Category Archives: Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Life and Work

EASTER VIGIL, GOSPEL READING (MATTHEW 28:1-10)

EASTER VIGIL, GOSPEL READING (MATTHEW 28:1-10)

After the sabbath, and towards dawn on the first day of the week, Mary of Magdalen and the other Mary went to visit the sepulchre. And all at once there was a violent earthquake, and for the angel of the Lord, and descending from heaven, came and rolled away the stone and sat on it. His face was like lightning, his robe white as snow. The guards were so shaken, so frightened of him, that they were like dead men. But the angel spoke; and he said to the women, “There is no need for you to be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.

He is not here, for he has risen, as he said he would. Come and see the place where he lay, then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead and now he is going before you to Galilee; it is there you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

Filled with awe and great joy the women came quickly away from the tomb and ran to tell the disciples. And there, coming to meet them, was Jesus. “Greetings,” he said. And the women
came up to him and, falling down before him, clasped his feet. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers that they must leave for Galilee;
they will see me there.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.

R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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GOOD FRIDAY, GOSPEL READING (JOHN 18:1-19:42)

GOOD FRIDAY, GOSPEL READING (JOHN 18:1-19:42)

THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO JOHN 

When Jesus had finished speaking, he went with his disciples to the other side of the Kidron Valley. There was a garden there. Jesus entered with his disciples.

Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, since Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas took soldiers and some servants from the chief priests and Pharisees, and they went to the garden with lanterns, torches and weapons.

Jesus knew all that was going to happen to him; he stepped forward and asked, “Who are you looking for?” They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Jesus said, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, stood there with them.

When Jesus said, “I am he,” they moved back and fell to the ground. He then asked a second time, “Who are you looking for?” and they answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Jesus replied, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, let these others go.” So what Jesus had said came true: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”

Simon Peter had a sword; he drew it and struck Malchus, the High Priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?”

The guards and the soldiers, with their commander, seized Jesus and bound him; and they took him first to Annas. Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was the High Priest that year; and it was Caiaphas who had told the Jews, “It is better that one man should die for the people.”

Simon Peter with another disciple followed Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the High Priest, they let him enter the courtyard of the High Priest along with Jesus, but Peter had to stay outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the High Priest, went out and spoke to the maidservant at the gate and brought Peter in. Then this maidservant on duty at the door said to Peter, “So you also are one of his disciples?” But he answered, “I am not.”

Now the servants and the guards had made a charcoal fire and were standing and warming themselves, because it was cold. Peter was also with them warming himself.

The High Priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in places where the Jews meet together, either at the assemblies in synagogues or in the Temple. I did not teach secretly. Why then do you question me? Ask those who heard me, they know what I said.”

At this reply one of the guards standing there gave Jesus a blow on the face, saying, “Is that the way to answer the High Priest?” Jesus said to him, “If I have spoken wrongly, point it out; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”

Then Annas sent him, bound, to Caiaphas, the High Priest.

Now Simon Peter stood there warming himself. They said to him, “Surely you also are one of his disciples.” He denied it, and answered, “I am not.” One of the High Priest’s servants, a kinsman of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you with him in the garden?” Again, Peter denied it, and at once the cock crowed.

Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the headquarters of the Roman governor. It was now morning. The Jews didn’t go inside, lest they be made unclean by entering the house of a pagan, and therefore not allowed to eat the Passover meal. So Pilate came out and asked, “What charge do you bring against this man?”

They answered, “If he were not a criminal, we would not be handing him over to you.” Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your own law.” But they replied, “We ourselves are not allowed to put anyone to death.”

It was clear from this what kind of death Jesus was to die, according to what Jesus himself had foretold.

Pilate then entered the court again, called Jesus and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “Does this word come from you, or did you hear it from others?”

Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingship does not come from this world. If I were a king, like those of this world, my guards would have fought to save me from being handed over to the Jews. But my kingship is not of this world.”

Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” And Jesus answered, “Just as you say, I am a king. For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is on the side of truth hears my voice.” Pilate said, “What is truth?”

Pilate then went out to the Jews again and said, “I find no crime in this man. Now, according to custom, I must release a prisoner to you at the Passover. With your agreement I will release to you the King of the Jews.” But they insisted and cried out, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.

Then Pilate had Jesus taken away and scourged. The soldiers also twisted thorns into a crown and put it on his head. They threw a cloak of royal purple around his shoulders; and they began coming up to him and saluting him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” and they struck him on the face.

Pilate went outside yet another time and said to the Jews, “Look, I am bringing him out, and I want you to know that I find no crime in him.” Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak, and Pilate pointed to him, saying, “Here is the man!”

On seeing him the chief priests and the guards cried out, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate replied, “Take him yourselves and have him crucified, for I find no case against him.” The Jews then said, “We have a Law, and according to the Law this man must die because he made himself Son of God.”

When Pilate heard this he was more afraid. And coming back into the court he asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, just as I have power to crucify you?” Jesus replied, “You would have no power unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is more guilty.”

From that moment Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who makes himself a king is defying Caesar.”

When Pilate heard this, he had Jesus brought outside to the place called the Stone Floor – in Hebrew Gabbatha – and sat down in the judgment seat. It was the day of preparation for the Passover, about noon. Pilate said to the Jews, “Here is your king.” But they cried out, “Away! Take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate replied, “Shall I crucify your king?” And the chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”
Then Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be crucified.

They took charge of him. Bearing his own cross, Jesus went out of the city to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew Golgotha. There he was crucified, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus in the middle.

Pilate had a notice written and fastened to the cross, which read: Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews. Many Jewish people saw this title, because the place where Jesus was crucified was very close to the city; and the title was written in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. The chief priests said to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The king of the Jews’; but, ‘This man claimed to be king of the Jews.’” Pilate answered them, “What I have written, I have written.”

When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one part for each of them. But as the tunic was woven in one piece from top to bottom, they said, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots to decide who will get it.” This fulfilled the words of Scripture: They divided my clothing among them; they cast lots for my garment.
This is what the soldiers did.

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister Mary, who was the wife of Cleophas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw the mother, and the disciple whom he loved, he said to the mother, “Woman, this is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “There is your mother.” And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home.

Jesus knew all was now finished and, in order to fulfil what was written in Scripture, he said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of bitter wine stood there; so, putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a twig of hyssop, they raised it to his lips. Jesus took the wine and said, “It is accomplished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up the spirit.

As it was Preparation Day, the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the cross during the Sabbath, for this Sabbath was a very solemn day. They asked Pilate to have the legs of the condemned men broken, so that the bodies might be taken away.

The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other man, who had been crucified with Jesus. When they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they did not break his legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a lance, and immediately there came out blood and water.

The one who saw it, has testified to it, and his testimony is true; he knows he speaks the truth, so that you also might believe. All this happened to fulfil the words of Scripture: Not one of his bones shall be broken.
Another text says, They shall look on him whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathea approached Pilate, for he was a disciple of Jesus, though secretly, for fear of the Jews. And he asked Pilate to let him remove the body of Jesus. Pilate agreed, so he came and took the body.

Nicodemus, the man who at first had come to Jesus by night, also came and brought a jar of myrrh mixed with aloes, about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in linen cloths with the spices, following the burial customs of the Jews.

There was a garden in the place where Jesus had been crucified, and, in the garden, a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And therefore, because the sepulchre was nearby, and the Jewish day of preparation was coming to a close, they placed the body of Jesus there.

 

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THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

PALM SUNDAY, THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST (MATTHEW 27:11-54)

At that time Jesus said to his disciples: You know that after two days shall be the pasch, and the Son of Man shall be delivered up to be crucified. Then were gathered together the chief priests and the ancients of the people, into the court of the high priest, who was called Caiphas: and they consulted together, that by subtilty they might apprehend Jesus and put him to death. But they said: Not on the festival day, lest perhaps there should be a tumult among the people.

And when Jesus was in Bethania, in the house of Simon the leper, there came to him a woman having an alabaster-box of precious ointment, and poured it on his head as he was at table. And the disciples seeing it, had indignation, saying: To what purpose is this waste? For this might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. And Jesus, knowing it, said to them: Why do you trouble this woman? For she hath wrought a good work upon me. For the poor you have always with you; but me you have not always. For she, in pouring this ointment upon my body, hath done it for my burial. Amen I say to you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, that also which she hath done will be told, for a memory of her.

Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, to the chief priests, and he said to them, What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? But they appointed him thirty pieces of silver. And from thenceforth he sought opportunity to betray him.

And on the first day of the azymes the disciples came to Jesus, saying, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the pasch? But Jesus said, Go ye into the city to a certain man, and say to him, The master saith: My time is near at hand, I will keep the pasch at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus appointed to them; and they prepared the pasch.

Now when it was evening, he sat down with his twelve disciples: and whilst they were eating, he said, Amen I say to you, that one of you is about to betray me. And they, being very much troubled, began every one to say, Is it I, Lord?

But he answering, said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, he shall betray me. The Son of Man indeed goeth, as it is written of him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man shall be betrayed: it were better for him if that man had not been born. And Judas that betrayed him, answering, said, Is it I, Rabbi? He saith to him, Thou hast said it.

And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave it to his disciples, and said, Take ye, and eat: this is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks: and gave to them, saying, Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins. And I say unto you, I will not drink from henceforth from this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you in the kingdom of my Father. And a hymn being said, they went out unto Mount Olivet.

Then Jesus saith unto them, All you shall be scandalised in me this night; for it is written, I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed: but after I shall be risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. And Peter answering, said to him, Although all shall be scandalised in thee, I will never be scandalised. Jesus said unto him, Amen I say to thee, that in this night, before the cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice. Peter saith to him: Yea, though I should die with thee, I will not deny thee: and in like manner said all the disciples.

Then Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemani; and he said to his disciples, Sit you here till I go yonder and pray: and taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to grow sorrowful and to be sad. Then he saith to them, My soul is sorrowful even unto death; stay you here and watch with me. And going a little farther, he fell upon his face, praying, and saying, My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh tohis disciples, and findeth them asleep: and he saith to Peter, What! Could you not watch one hour with me? Watch ye, and pray, that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak. Again the second time, he went, and prayed, saying, My Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done. And he cometh again, and findeth them sleeping: for their eyes were heavy. And leaving them, he went again: and he prayed the third time, saying the self-same word.

Then he cometh to his disciples, and saith to them, Sleep ye now, and take your rest; behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go: behold, he is at hand that will betray me.

As he yet spoke, behold Judas, one of the twelve, came: and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the ancients of the people. And he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he: hold him fast. And forthwith coming to Jesus, he said, Hail, Rabbi, and he kissed him. And Jesus said to him, Friend, whereto art thou come? Then they came up, and laid hands on Jesus, and held him. And behold one of them that were with Jesus, stretching forth his hand, drew out his sword, and striking the servant of the high priest, cut off his ear. Then Jesus saith to him, Put up again thy sword into its place; for all that take the sword shall perish by the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot ask my Father, and he will give me presently more than twelve legions of angels? How then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that so it must be done?

In that same hour Jesus said to the multitudes, You are come out, as were to a robber, with swords and clubs to apprehend me. I sat daily with you teaching in the Temple, and you laid not hands on me. Now all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then the disciples, all leaving him, fled.

But they holding on to Jesus, led him to Caiphas the high priest where the scribes and ancients were assembled. And Peter followed him afar off, even to the court of the high priest. And going in, he sat with the servants, that he might see the end.

And the chief priests and the whole council sought false witnesses against Jesus, that they might put him to death. And they found not; whereas many false witnesses had come in. And last of all, there came two false witnesses. And they said, This man said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and in three days to rebuild it. And the high priest, rising up, said, to him, Answerest thou nothing to the things which thee witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest said to him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us if thou be the Christ the Son of God. Jesus saith to him, Thou hast said it. Nevertheless I say to you, hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his garments, saying, He hath blasphemed, what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard the blasphemy. What think you? But they answering, said, He is guilty of death. Then did they spit in his face and buffeted him; and others struck his face with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy unto us, O Christ, who is it that struck thee?

But Peter sat without in the court, and there came to him a servant-maid, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus the Galilean. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And as he went out of the gate, another maid saw him, and she saith to them that were there, This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath, I know not the man. And after a little while, they came that stood by and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for even thy speech does discover thee. Then he began to curse and swear that he knew not the man; and immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus which he had said, Before the cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice. And going forth, he wept bitterly.

And when morning was come, all the chief priests and ancients of the people took counsel against Jesus, to put him to death. And they brought him bound, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate, the governor. Then Judas, who betrayed him, seeing that he was condemned, repenting himself, brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and ancients, saying, I have sinned, in betraying innocent blood: but they said, What is that to us? look thou to it. And casting down the pieces of silver in the Temple, he departed, and hanged himself with a halter. But the chief priests having taken the pieces of silver, said, It is not lawful to put them into the corbona; because it is the price of blood. And after they had consulted together, they bought with them the potter’s field, to be a burying place for strangers. Wherefore that field was called Haceldama, that is the field of blood, even to this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was prized whom they prized of the children of Israel; and they gave them unto the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed to me.

And Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus saith to him, Thou sayest it. And when he was accused by the chief priests and ancients, he answered nothing. Then Pilate saith to him, Dost not thou hear how great testimonies they allege against thee? And he answered him to never a word; so that the governor wondered exceedingly.

Now upon the solemn day the governor was accustomed to release to the people one prisoner, whom they would; and he had then a notorious prisoner that was called Barabbas. They, therefore, being gathered together, Pilate said, Whom will you that I release to you, Barabbas, or Jesus that is called the Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. And as he was sitting in the place of judgment, his wife sent to him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man, for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. But the chief priests and ancients persuaded the people that they should ask Barabbas, and make Jesus away. And the governor answering, said to them, Whether will you of the two to be released unto you? But they said, Barabbas. Pilate saith to them, What shall I do with Jesus that is called Christ? They say all, Let him be crucified. The governor said to them, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. And Pilate seeing that he prevailed nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, taking water, washed his hands before the people, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just man; look you to it. And the whole people answering, said, His blood be upon us and upon our children. Then he released to them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him unto them to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor taking Jesus into the hall, gathered together unto him the whole band; and stripping him they put a scarlet cloak about him. And plaiting a crown of thorns they put it upon his head and a reed in his right hand. And bowing the knee before him, they mocked him, saying, Hail, king of the Jews. And spitting upon him, they took the reed and struck his head. And after they had mocked him, they took off the cloak from him, and put on him his own garments, and led him away to crucify him.

And going out, they found a man of Cyrene, named Simon; him they forced to take up his cross. And they came to the place that is called Golgotha, which is, The place of Calvary. And they gave him wine to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted he would not drink.

And after they had crucified him, they divided his garments, casting lots; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, They divided my garments among them, and upon my vesture they cast lots. And they sat, and watched him. And they put over his head his cause written, This is Jesus the King of the Jews.

Then were crucified with him two thieves, one on the right hand, and one on the left. And they that passed by, blasphemed him, wagging their heads, and saying, Vah, thou that destroyest the temple of God, and in three days dost rebuild it, save thy own self; if thou be the Son of God come down from the cross. In like manner also the chief priests with the scribes and ancients mocking, said, He saved others, himself he cannot save: if he be the king of Israel, let him come down from the cross, and we will believe him; he trusted in God, let him now deliver him if he will have him; for he said, I am the Son of God. And the self-some thing the thieves also, that were crucified with him, reproached him with.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over the whole earth, until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani; that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And some that stood there, and heard, said, This man calleth Elias. And immediately one of them running, took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed and gave him to drink. And the others said, Let be; let us see whether Elias will come to deliver him. And Jesus again crying with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

(Here all kneel, and pause.)

And behold the veil of the temple was rent in two, from the top even to the bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent, and the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, came into the holy city, and appeared to many. Now the centurion and they that were with him watching Jesus, having seen the earthquake and the things that were done, were sore afraid, saying, Indeed this was the Son of God.

And there were many women, afar off, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him; among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

And when it was evening, there came a certain rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate, and asked the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded that the body should be delivered. And Joseph taking the body, wrapped it up in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new monument, which he had hewn out in a rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the monument and went his way.

And the next day, which followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees came together to Pilate, saying, Sir, we have remembered that the seducer said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again: command therefore the sepulchre to be guarded until the third day, lest perhaps his disciples come and steal him away, and say to the people, He is risen from the dead; and the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said to them, You have a guard; go, guard it as you know. And they, departing, made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone and setting guards.

 

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THE MESSENGER FROM GOD’S HIGH THRONE (HYMN)

THE MESSENGER FROM GOD’S HIGH THRONE (HYMN)

The Messenger from God’s high throne

His secret counsel making known

Hails Mary, child of David’s race,

God’s Virgin Mother, full of grace.

 

The Mother Maid with joyous feet

Her friend, John’s mother, goes to greet;

He, stirring in the enclosing womb,

Declares that Christ his Lord has come.

 

The Word, who ere the worlds began,

From God the Father’s thought forth ran,

Of Mary, Virgin undefiled,

For us is born a mortal child.

 

Christ to the Temple courts they bring;

The King’s own law subjects the King;

The world’s Redeemer for a price

Is there redeemed, our sacrifice.

 

The joyful Mother finds once more

The Son she mourned as lost before;

While doctors by His speech were shown

The mysteries they had never known.

 

The Mount of Olives witnesseth

The awful agony of God;

His soul is sorrowful to death,

His sweat of blood bedews the sod.

 

And now the traitor’s work is done:

The clamorous crowds around Him surge;

Bound to pillar, God the Son

Quivers beneath the blood-red scourge.

 

Lo! clad in purple soiled and worn,

Meekly the Saviour waiteth now

While wretches plait the cruel thorn

To crown with shame His royal brow.

 

Sweating and sighing, faint with loss

Of what hath flowed from life’s red fount,

He bears the exceeding heavy Cross

Up the verge of Calvary’s mount.

 

Nailed to the wood of ancient curse,

Between two thieves the Sinless One

Still praying for His murderers,

Breathes forth His soul, and all is done!

 

All honour, laud, and glory be,

O Jesu, Virgin-born to thee;

All glory, as is ever meet,

To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

 

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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GOD, OMNIPOTENT AND MERCIFUL (HOMILY BY ST LEO, POPE)

GOD, OMNIPOTENT AND MERCIFUL (HOMILY BY ST LEO, POPE)

God, omnipotent and merciful, whose nature is goodness, whose will is power, whose work is mercy, foretold at the very beginning of the world, as soon as the devil’s malice had poisoned us with the venom of his envy, what were the remedies his compassion had foreordained for our healing. He bade the serpent know that there was to be a Child of the Woman, who should effectually crush the pride of his injurious head, signifying Christ to come in the flesh, that is, God and man, born of the Virgin, who should condemn by his undefiled birth the seducer of the human race.

CHRIST IN THE FLESH; GOD AND MAN, BORN OF THE VIRGIN 

The devil rejoiced that he had so deceived man by his artifices as to make him lose the gifts of God, that he had stripped him of the privilege of immortality, had brought him under the hard sentence of death, and that he himself had found some sort of solace in his unhappiness, in that he had found a comrade in guilt. He thought also to bring it to pass that God, by a justly earned severity, should change his feelings towards man whom he had created in such honour. There was need, beloved brethren, that God who is unchangeable, whose will and loving-kindness are inseparable, should fulfil his original purpose of goodness by a mysterious dispensation, so that man, driven into crime by the wicked craft of the devil, should not perish and frustrate the plan of God.

MAN, DRIVEN INTO CRIME BY THE DEVIL, SHOULD NOT PERISH

When, therefore, beloved brethren, the fulness of time appointed for man’s redemption was come, our Lord Jesus Christ entered this lower world. He came down from his throne in heaven without withdrawing from the glory which he has equal with the Father, and was born by a new order, by a new birth: a new order because he who is invisible in his own nature became visible in ours; he who is incomprehensible, willed to be comprehended; he who existed before all time, began to live in time; the Lord of the universe veiled the dignity of his majesty, and assumed the form of a servant; the impassible God did not disdain to become man capable of suffering, nor the immortal God to lay himself under the laws of death.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (LUKE 15:1-3, 11-32)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (LUKE 15:1-3, 11-32)

YOUR BROTHER HERE WAS DEAD AND HAS COME TO LIFE.

The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. “This man,” they said, “welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he spoke this parable to them:

“A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘Father, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.

“When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch, so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs. And he would willingly have filled his belly with the husks the pigs were eating but no one offered him anything. Then he came to his senses and said, ‘How many of my father’s paid servants have more food than they want, and here I am dying of hunger! I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants.’ So he left the place and went back to his father.

“While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. Then his son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

“Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing. Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about. ‘Your brother has come,’ replied the servant, ‘and your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound.’ He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father, ‘Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property – he and his women – you kill the calf we had been fattening.’

“The father said, ‘My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.’”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL (MARK 4:26-34)

TODAY’S GOSPEL (MARK 4:26-34)

A MAN THROWS SEED ON THE LAND. WHILE HE SLEEPS THE SEED IS GROWING; HOW, HE DOES NOT KNOW.

Jesus said to his disciples: “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.”

He also said, “What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.”

Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone.

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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AFFECTIONATE ASPIRATIONS TO JESUS SUFFERING AND AGONISING

AFFECTIONATE ASPIRATIONS TO JESUS SUFFERING AND AGONISING

Jesus, poor and abject, have mercy on us.

Jesus, unknown and despised, ~

Jesus, hated, ccalumniated, and persecuted, ~

Jesus, forsaken by men and tempted by the devil, ~

Jesus, betrayed and sold for a vile sum, ~

Jesus, blamed, accused, and condemned unjustly, ~

Jesus, clothed in a garb of disgrace and shame, ~

Jesus, buffeted and mocked, ~

Jesus, dragged with a cord around thy neck, ~

Jesus, scourged even to blood, ~

Jesus, to whom Barabbas was preferred, ~

Jesus, covered with infamy, ~

Jesus, crowned with thorns and mockingly saluted, ~

Jesus, loaded with the cross, our sins, and the maledictions of the people, ~

Jesus, sorrowful even unto death, ~

Jesus, overwhelmed with insults, sorrows, and humiliations, ~

Jesus, insulted, spat upon, beaten, outraged, and treated as a fool, ~

Jesus, suspended on the infamous wood of the cross between thieves, ~

Jesus, dishonoured before men, ~

 

Let us pray.

O good Jesus, Who hast suffered for the love of us an infinity of insults, and such humiliations as we cannot comprehend, imprint deeply in our hearts an esteem and love for them, and make us desire to practise them. Amen.

– St Anthony’s Treasury, Laverty & Sons, Leeds, 1916

 

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THE CURSING OF THE FIG TREE (MATTHEW 21:18-22)

And in the morning, returning into the city, he was hungry.

And seeing a certain fig tree by the way side, he came to it, and found nothing on it but leaves only, and he saith to it: May no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And immediately the fig tree withered away.

And the disciples seeing it wondered, saying: How is it presently withered away?

And Jesus answering, said to them: Amen, I say to you, if you shall have faith, and stagger not, not only this of the fig tree shall you do, but also if you shall say to this mountain, Take up and cast thyself into the sea, it shall be done.

And all things whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.

 

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JESUS CASTS THE MONEY SELLERS OUT OF THE TEMPLE (MATTHEW 21:10-17)

And when he was come into Jerusalem, the whole city was moved, saying: Who is this?

And the people said: This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth of Gallilee.

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the chairs of them that sold doves:

And he saith to them: It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves..

And there came to him the blind and the lame in the temple; and he healed them.

And the chief priests and scribes, seeing the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying: Hosanna to the son of David; were moved with indignation,

And said to him: Nearest thou what these say? And Jesus said to them: Yea, have you never read: Out of the mouth of infants and of sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

And leaving them, he went out of the city into Bethania, and remained there.

 

 

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