(Usus Antiquior) Fourth Sunday after Easter (II Classis) – Sunday, 3 May 2015 : Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 117 : 16 and Romans 6 : 9

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Priest : Dextera Domini fecit virtutem : dextera Domini exaltavit me.

Alleluja.

Priest : Christus resurgens ex mortuis jam non moritur : mors illi ultra non dominabitur. Alleluja.


English translation
Alleluia, Alleluia.

Priest : The right hand of the Lord had wrought power, the right hand of the Lord had exalted me.

Alleluia.

Priest : Christ, rising from the dead, does not die, and death shall have no more dominion over Him. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Fourth Sunday after Easter (II Classis) – Sunday, 3 May 2015 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : White

Lectio Epistolae Beati Jacobi Apostoli – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed James the Apostle

1 James 1 : 17-21

Carissimi : Omne datum optimum, et omne donum perfectum desursum est, descendens a Patre luminum, apud quem non est transmutatio nec vicissitudinis obumbratio.

Voluntare enim genuit nos verbo veritatis, ut simus initium aliquod creaturae ejus. Scitis, fratres mei dilectissimi. Sit autem omnis homo velox ad audiendum : tardus autem ad loquendum et tardus ad iram.

Ira enim viri justitiam Dei non operatur. Propter quod abjicientes omnem immunditiam et abundantiam malitiae, in mansuetudine suscipite insitum verbum, quod potest salvare animas vestras.


English translation
Dearly beloved, every best gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration.

For of His own will He had begotten us by the word of truth, that we might be some beginning of His creatures. You know, My dearest brethren, and let every man be swift to hear, but slow to speak and slow to anger.

For the anger of man does not work the justice of God. Therefore, casting away all uncleanness, and abundance of naughtiness, with meekness receive the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

(Usus Antiquior) Fourth Sunday after Easter (II Classis) – Sunday, 3 May 2015 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : White

Introit

Psalm 97 : 1-2, 1

Cantate Domino canticum novum, Alleluja : quia mirabilia fecit Dominus, Alleluja : ante conspectum gentium revelavit justitiam suam, Alleluja, Alleluja, Alleluja.

Salvavit sibi dextera ejus : et bracchium sanctum ejus.

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


English translation
Sing all of you to the Lord a new canticle, Alleluia. For the Lord had done wonderful things, Alleluia. He had revealed His justice in the sight of the Gentiles. Alleluia, Alleluia.

His right hand had wrought Him salvation, and His arm is holy.

Priest : 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.


Collect

Deus, qui fidelium mentes unius efficis voluntatis : da populis Tuis id amare quod praecipis, id desiderare quod promittis; ut inter mundanas varietates ibi nostra fixa sint corda, ubi vera sunt gaudia. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.


English translation

O God, You who had made the minds of the faithful to be of one accord, grant Your peoples that they may love what You commanded them and desire what You had promised, so that, amid the changing things of this world, our hearts may be set where true joys abide. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Saturday, 2 May 2015 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today first we heard the indignation of the Jews and the refusal of many of them to listen to the word of God and believe in Christ, although some did listen and follow the Lord, but most of them did not and even incited trouble and difficulties for the Apostles. What we heard today is just one of the many occasions when these had occurred to the Apostles and the other disciples of the early Church.

On the contrary, many of the Gentiles, or the non-Jewish people, mainly the Greeks and the Romans believed in the Good News which the Apostles had preached, and they followed the Lord and His ways. These people together formed the nucleus and the heart of the burgeoning and rapidly growing early Church at that time, with more and more believers rising up every day.

In the Gospel, our Lord Jesus Christ spoke about His equality with the Father, and how if we believe in Him, then all of our actions and deeds should reflect that we are truly faithful and devoted to the Lord, and not just paying merely lip service and having superficial faith. We cannot profess to have the faith in God and yet our actions and words either indirectly or directly going against that faith.

The servants of the Lord do His will and walk in His path, and yet as shown by the attitudes of the Jews, both at the time of Jesus, and throughout the works and journeys of the Apostles, they refused to believe in the truth which Jesus had brought into the world, and in their actions, they did not put into practice the faith which they professed to have. Indeed, not all of the Jews were like that, but quite a great majority of them were.

Today, we also celebrate the feast of a saint, whose attitude and works showed an unbending and uncompromising attitude to all those who were trying to deceive the faithful and spread lies among the faithful and to join them in heresy. He is St. Athanasius, a faithful servant of God and Bishop of the Church. This faithful servant of God had gone through many trials and difficulties, and he remained faithful and committed to the cause of the Lord.

At that time, the Church was greatly assailed by the many heresies, born from mankind’s inability to resist the temptations and falsehoods of Satan, and ending up trying to confuse many of the faithful, luring them to heresy, and as such, fulfill either intentionally or unintentionally the wishes of Satan, that is to divide the Church and the faithful against each other. And St. Athanasius was one among the few who rose up and stood up against the tide of these wickedness.

St. Athanasius spoke out against the heresy of Arianism, which proposed that Jesus Christ was a mere creature and not God, denying the divinity of Christ, who is truly fully God and fully Man at the same time, with the two natures united perfectly in Christ, distinct but united. This is the true faith that the Church had uphold since the days of the Apostles in the early Church, the fundamental truth that the devil tried to destroy with his lies sowed among men.

For speaking up the truth, St. Athanasius often had to suffer, as some of the heretics have friends and influence at the pinnacle of power of the Roman Empire at the time. He was cast out of his diocese, and was exiled more than once. And yet, he did not give up or fear any sort of persecution threatened and arrayed against him. For him, to suffer for the sake of the Lord and for the sake of His people’s souls is worth a suffering.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us should heed the example of St. Athanasius in our own lives. We must be able to stand up for our faith and speak up the truth that many will come to resent, and yet necessary for their salvation too. And thus, so that more people will be turned to the Lord, we ourselves too, as the children and servants of God, should act in the way that is clearly the way of our Lord. And we can do this by practicing our faith and meaning it in every word we speak and in every action we do.

Remember what Jesus told His disciples, that all who follow Him and profess to be His disciples will also act and do the same things that He had done? That means, if we want to be truly recognised and found worthy as Christ’s followers, therefore we must also obey His will and preserve the truth which He had brought into the world. This is precisely what St. Athanasius had done, and what all of us are expected to do as well.

May Almighty God strengthen us in our faith, empower us and be with us, that in all the things that we say and do, we may bring ever greater glory to Him. God bless us all. Amen.

Saturday, 2 May 2015 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 14 : 7-14

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “If you know Me, you will know the Father also; indeed you know Him, and you have seen Him.”

Philip asked Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and that is enough.” Jesus said to him, “What! I have been with you so long and you still do not know Me, Philip? Whoever sees Me sees the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me?”

“All that I say to you, I do not say of Myself. The Father who dwells in Me is doing His own work. Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; at least believe it on the evidence of these works that I do.”

“Truly, I say to you, the one who believes in Me will do the same works that I do; and he will even do greater than these, for I am going to the Father. Everything you ask in My Name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Indeed, anything you ask, calling upon My Name, I will do.”

Saturday, 2 May 2015 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 97 : 1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4

Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done wonders; His right hand, His holy arm, has won victory for Him.

The Lord has shown His salvation, revealing His justice to the nations. He has not forgotten His love nor His faithfulness to Israel.

The farthest ends of the earth all have seen God’s saving power. All you lands, make a joyful noise to the Lord, break into song and sing praise.

Saturday, 2 May 2015 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 13 : 44-52

The following Sabbath almost the entire city gathered to listen to Paul, who spoke a fairly long time about the Lord. But the presence of such a crowd made the Jews jealous. So they began to oppose with insults whatever Paul said.

Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out firmly, saying, “It was necessary that God’s word  be first proclaimed to you, but since you now reject it and judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we turn to non-Jewish people. For thus we were commanded by the Lord : ‘I have set you as a light to the pagan nations, so that you may bring My salvation to the ends of the earth.'”

Those who were not Jews rejoiced when they heard this and praised the message of the Lord, and all those destined for everlasting life believed in it. Thus the Word spread throughout the whole region. Some of the Jews, however, incited God-fearing women of the upper class and the leading men of the city, as well, and stirred up an intense persecution against Paul and Barnabas.

Finally they had them expelled from their region. The Apostles shook the dust from their feet in protest against this people and went to Iconium, leaving the disciples filled with joy and Holy Spirit.