(Usus Antiquior) Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Memorial of St. Placidus and Companions, Martyrs (II Classis) – Sunday, 5 October 2014 : Homily and Scripture Reflections

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today Jesus our Lord highlighted to us on how the Lord is love, and Jesus Himself is love, as He is Son of God and therefore, is God. He at the same time is also the Son of David, as his legal descendant through Joseph, His foster-father, and therefore is the heir and indeed the one true and only King of the kingdom given to His ancestor David, as God had promised to David himself His servant, that his heir and descendant would sit forever on his throne.

And the commandments and the Laws which God had given to His people, which they knew as the Ten Commandments, together with all the accompanying laws and customs are all actually about love, and love that we need to express both to God, as well as to our fellow men, to our parents, our brothers and sisters around us. For the commandments were given to us, not to burden us unnecessarily with laws and customs, but to help us on our way to reach the Lord.

The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law favoured and imposed a very puritanical, fanatical and punitive approach of applying the Law to the people entrusted to them. In total, there were in fact up to six hundred and thirteen laws, customs and its various applications. Those numerous laws and customs strained the people and made life difficult for them, and the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law were quick to condemn all those who committed the slightest act of disobedience.

And they were very quick to praise themselves and seek human approval, when they did what they had done in life. They thought highly of themselves and sought to advance their own cause, and their own standing among men, thinking that in their piety, they have earned the right to boast and to be proud on their ways, and that they had fulfilled the way and the will of the Lord.

No, Jesus made it very clear to them, that they would not be justified by what they had done. On the other hand, they would indeed be condemned, for their failure to guide the people of God entrusted to them on the right path. They have not led the people to grow stronger and deeper in love, but instead they oppressed the people for their own benefits, and they were concerned only about themselves.

If they themselves were not faithful to the commandments of the Lord, then it is definitely also impossible for the people of God to follow their examples to be faithful as well. Their faith was empty and meaningless, and their ego was their undoing. They were unable to control themselves and allowed themselves to be controlled by their emotions and desires. As such, they refused to listen to Jesus and refused to believe in Him and in His works.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all learn from what we had heard today, that we may all grow better and stronger in our own faith. That we will not follow the examples of the Pharisees and the elders of Israel, but instead listen to God, through Christ who had made all things clear to us. We have to obey the commandments of God, but not just to obey them for the sake of obeying. On the other hand, we should understand the real meaning and purpose of the Law, that is for us to know and to learn about love.

Our faith without love is empty and meaningless, and indeed, if we do not play our part in living our faith with real devotion, to love God with all of our strength, and with all of our heart, and if we do not love our brethren and our neighbours in the same manner, then we cannot find justification in the Lord, and we will have no part in His grace and blessing.

Today we celebrate together as the Church, the feast of St. Placidus and his thirty companions, who were martyred together for their faith in God, at the time of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, the architect and mastermind behind the last and greatest of the persecutions of the faithful by the Roman Empire. St. Placidus and his companions, the fellow martyrs of the faith, refused to compromise their faith and devotion to God, just for the sake of preserving their lives.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in this we can see the real contrast between the actions of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, who compromised the purity and the truth about their faith, and what they ought to do to teach the faithful, for the sake of temporary and worldly pleasures and to satisfy their own wants and ego. Meanwhile, the holy martyrs, led by St. Placidus became an example to all others who looked upon their actions. Their staunch and strong faith in the Lord did not give way to the world and to their own desires. Instead, through their obedience and their shedding of their blood for the Lord, they helped many others to stay faithful to the Lord.

Therefore, let us today renew our commitment to the Lord, inspired by the example of St. Placidus and his companions in holy martyrdom, so that in all the things we do, in all the things we say, we may be truly loving in all things, that our ways may be made of love, and we will be worthy of being called the children of God, who is Love Himself. God bless us all. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Memorial of St. Placidus and Companions, Martyrs (II Classis) – Sunday, 5 October 2014 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion, and Post-Communion Prayer


Daniel 9 : 17, 18, 19

Oravi Deum meum ego Daniel, dicens : Exaudi, Domine, preces servi Tui : illumina faciem Tuam super sanctuarium Tuum : et propitius intende populum istum, super quem invocatum est Nomen Tuum, Deus.

English translation

I, Daniel, prayed to my God, saying, “Hear, o Lord, the prayers of Your servant. Show Your face upon Your sanctuary, and favourably look down upon this people upon whom Your Name is invoked, o God.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Majestatem Tuam, Domine, suppliciter deprecamur : ut haec sancta, quae gerimus, et a praeritis nos delictis exuant et futuris. Per Dominum…

English translation

We implore Your majesty, o Lord, that the holy mysteries which we are celebrating may free us of past and save us from future sins. Through our Lord…


Psalm 75 : 12-13

Vovete et reddite Domino, Deo vestro, omnes, qui in circuitu ejus affertis munera : terribili, et ei qui aufert spiritum principum : terribili apud omnes reges terrae.

English translation

May you vow, and pay to the Lord your God, all you who round about Him bring presents. To Him who is terrible, even to Him who took away the spirit of princes, to the terrible with all the kings of the earth.

Post-Communion Prayer

Sanctificationibus Tuis, omnipotens Deus, et vitia nostra curentur, et remedia nobis aeterna proveniant. Per Dominum…

English translation

By Your grace, o Almighty God, let our wicked propensities be cured and everlasting remedies be forthcoming. Through our Lord…

(Usus Antiquior) Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Memorial of St. Placidus and Companions, Martyrs (II Classis) – Sunday, 5 October 2014 : Holy Gospel

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew

Matthew 22 : 34-46

In illo tempore : Accesserunt ad Jesum pharisaei : et interrogavit eum unus ex eis legis doctor, tentans eum : Magister, quod est mandatum magnum in lege? Ait illi Jesus : Diliges Dominum, Deum tuum, ex toto corde tuo et in tota anima tua et in tota mente tua. Hoc est maximum et primum mandatum.

Secundum autem simile est huic : Diliges proximum tuum sicut teipsum. In his duobus mandatis universa lex pendet et prophetae. Congregatis autem pharisaeis, interrogavit eos Jesus, dicens : Quid vobis videtur de Christo? Cujus filius est?

Dicunt ei : David. Ait illis : Quomodo ergo David in spiritu vocat eum Dominum, dicens : Dixit Dominus Domino meo, sede a dextris meis, donec ponam inimicos tuos scabellum pedum tuorum? Si ergo David vocat eum Dominum, quomodo filius ejus est?

Et nemo poterat ei respondere verbum : neque ausus fuit quisquam ex illa die eum amplius interrogare.

English translation

At that time, the Pharisees came to Jesus, and one of them, a doctor of the Law, asked Him, tempting Him, “Master, which is the great commandment of the Law?” Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God with you whole heart, and with your whole soul, and with your whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.”

“And the second is like this : You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depended the whole Law and the prophets.” And the Pharisees being gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, “What do you think of Christ, Whose Son is He?”

They say to Him, “David’s”. He said to them, “How David then died in spirit, call Him Lord, saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit on My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool?’ If David then call Him Lord, how is He His Son?”

And no man was able to answer Him a word; neither did any man, from that day forth, ask Him any more questions.

(Usus Antiquior) Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Memorial of St. Placidus and Companions, Martyrs (II Classis) – Sunday, 5 October 2014 : Gradual and Alleluia

Psalm 32 : 12, 6 and Psalm 101 : 2

Beata gens, cujus est Dominus Deus eorum : populus, quem elegit Dominus in hereditatem sibi.

Response : Verbo Domini caeli firmati sunt : et spiritu oris ejus omnis virtus eorum.

Alleluja, alleluja.

Response : Domine, exaudi orationem meam, et clamor meus ad Te perveniat. Alleluja.

English translation

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He had chosen for His inheritance.

Response : By the word of the Lord the heavens were established, and all the power of them by the Spirit of His mouth.

Alleluia, alleluia.

Response : O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to You. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Memorial of St. Placidus and Companions, Martyrs (II Classis) – Sunday, 5 October 2014 : Epistle

Lectio Epistolae Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Ephesios – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians

Ephesians 4 : 1-6

Fratres : Obsecro vos ego vinctus in Domino, ut digne ambuletis vocatione, qua vocati estis, cum omni humilitate et mansuetudine, cum patientia, supportantes invicem in caritate, solliciti servare unitatem spiritus in vinculo pacis.

Unum corpus et unus spiritus, sicut vocati estis in una spe vocationis vestrae. Unus Dominus, una fides, unum baptisma. Unus Deus et Pater omnium, qui est super omnes et per omnia et in omnibus nobis. Qui est benedictus in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Brethren, I, a prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called. With all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity, be careful to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.

One body and one spirit, as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all, who is blessed forever and ever. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Memorial of St. Placidus and Companions, Martyrs (II Classis) – Sunday, 5 October 2014 : Introit and Collect


Psalm 118 : 137, 124, 1

Justus es, Domine, et rectum judicium Tuum : fac cum servo Tuo secundum misericordiam Tuam.

Beati immaculati in via : qui ambulant in lege Domini.

Response : Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper : et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

You are just, o Lord, and Your judgment is right. Deal with Your servant according to Your mercy.

Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.

Response : Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


Da, quaesumus, Domine, populo Tuo diabolica vitare contagia : Et Te solum Deum pura mente sectari. Per Dominum…

English translation

Grant Your people, we beseech You, o Lord, to shun the defilements of the devil, and with pure hearts to follow You, the only God. Through our Lord…