Sunday, 24 September 2017 : Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 144 : 2-3, 8-9, 17-18

I will praise You, day after day; and exalt Your Name forever. Great is YHVH, most worthy of praise; and His deeds are beyond measure.

Compassionate and gracious is YHVH, slow to anger and abounding in love. YHVH is good to everyone; His mercy embraces all His creation.

Righteous is YHVH in all His ways, His mercy shows in all His deeds. He is near those who call on Him, who call trustfully upon His Name.

Sunday, 24 September 2017 : Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Isaiah 55 : 6-9

Seek YHVH while He may be found; call to Him while He is near. Let the wicked abandon his way, let him forsake his thoughts, let him turn to YHVH for He will have mercy, for our God is generous in forgiving.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, My ways are not your ways, says YHVH. For as the heavens are above the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts above your thoughts.

(Usus Antiquior) Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 24 September 2017 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Green

Offertory

Psalm 39 : 14, 15

Domine, in auxilium meum respice : confundantur et reverantur, qui quaerunt animam meam, ut auferant eam : Domine, in auxilium meum respice.

 

English translation

Look down, o Lord, to help me, let them be confounded and ashamed, those who seek after my soul to take it away, look down, o Lord, to help me.

 

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Munda nos, quaesumus, Domine, sacrificii praesentis effectu : et perfice miseratus in nobis; ut ejus mereamur esse participes. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Cleanse us, we beseech You, o Lord, by the effect of the present sacrifice, and in Your mercy bring to pass in us that we may deserve to be partakers of it. 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.

 

Communion

Psalm 70 : 16-17, 18

Domine, memorabor justitiae Tuae solius : Deus, docuisti me a juventute mea : ut usque in senectam et senium, Deus, ne derelinquas me.

 

English translation

O Lord, I will be mindful of Your justice alone. You have taught me, o God, from my youth, and unto old age and gray hairs, o God, do not forsake me.

 

Post-Communion Prayer

Purifica, quaesumus, Domine, mentes nostras benignus, et renova caelestibus sacramentis : ut consequenter et corporum praesens pariter et futurum capiamus auxilium. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

In Your loving kindness, purify our souls, we beseech You, o Lord, and renew them with the heavenly sacrament, that we may receive bodily assistance thereby, both for this life and for the life to come. 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.

(Usus Antiquior) Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 24 September 2017 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Green

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke

Luke 14 : 1-11

In illo tempore : Cum intraret Jesus in domum cujusdam principis pharisaeorum sabbato manducare panem, et ipsi observabant eum. Et ecce, homo quidam hydropicus erat ante illum. Et respondens Jesus dixit ad legisperitos et pharisaeos, dicens : Si licet sabbato curare? At illi tacuerunt. Ipse vero apprehensum sanavit eum ac dimisit.

Et respondens ad illos, dixit : Cujus vestrum asinus aut bos in puteum cadet, et non continuo extrahet illum die sabbati? Et non poterant ad haec respondere illi. Dicebat autem et ad invitatos parabolam, intendens, quomodo primos accubitus eligerent, dicens ad illos : Cum invitatus fueris ad nuptias, non discumbas in primo loco, ne forte honoratior te sit invitatus ab illo, et veniens is, qui Te et illum vocavit, dicat tibi : Da huic locum : et tunc incipias cum rubore novissimum locum tenere.

Sed cum vocatus fueris, vade, recumbe in novissimo loco : ut, cum venerit, qui te invitavit, dicat tibi : Amice, ascende superius. Tunc erit tibi gloria coram simul discumbentibus : quia omnis, qui se exaltat, humiliabitur : et qui se humiliat, exaltabitur.

 

English translation

At that time, when Jesus went into the house of one of the chief of the Pharisees on the sabbath day to eat bread, they watched Him. And behold, there was a certain man before Him that had the dropsy, and Jesus answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?” But they held their peace, but He took him, healed him and sent him away.

And answering them, He said, “Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fall into a pit, and will not immediately draw him out on the sabbath day?” And they could not answer Him these things. And He spoke a parable also to those who were invited, marking how they chose the first seats at the table, saying to them, “When you are invited to a wedding, do not sit down in the first place, lest perhaps one more honourable than you be invited by him, and he who invited you and him, come and say to you, ‘Give this man place,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place.”

“But when you are invited, go, sit down in the lowest place, that when he who invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher,’ then you shall have glory before those who sit at table with you, because everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.”

(Usus Antiquior) Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 24 September 2017 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 101 : 16-17 and Psalm 97 : 1

Timebunt gentes Nomen Tuum, Domine, et omnes reges terrae gloriam Tuam.

Response : Quoniam aedificavit Dominus Sion, et videbitur in majestate Sua.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Cantate Domino canticum novum : quia mirabilia fecit Dominus. Alleluja.

 

English translation

The Gentiles shall fear Your Name, o Lord, and all the kings of the earth Your glory.

Response : For the Lord had built up Zion, and He shall be seen in His majesty.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : Sing all of you to the Lord a new canticle, because the Lord had done wonderful things. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 24 September 2017 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Green

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

Ephesians 3 : 13-21

Fratres : Obsecro vos, ne deficiatis in tribulationibus meis pro vobis : quae est gloria vestra. Hujus rei gratia flecto genua mea ad Patrem Domini nostri Jesu Christi, ex quo omnis paternitas in caelis et in terra nominatur, ut det vobis secundum divitias gloriae Suae, virtute corroborari per Spiritum Ejus in interiorem hominem.

Christum habitare per fidem in cordibus vestris : in caritate radicati et fundati, ut possitis comprehendere cum omnibus sanctis, quae sit latitudo et longitudo et sublimitas et profundum : scire etiam supereminentem scientiae caritatem Christi, ut impleamini in omnem plenitudinem Dei.

Ei autem, qui potens est omnia facere superabundanter, quam petimus aut intellegimus, secundum virtutem, quae operatur in nobis : ipsi gloria in Ecclesia et in Christo Jesu, in omnes generationes saeculi saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Brethren, I pray that you may not faint at my tribulations for you, which are your glory. For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of Whom all paternity, in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened by His Spirit with might unto the inward man.

That Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts, that being rooted and founded in charity, you may be able to comprehend with all the saints, what is the breadth, and length, and height and depth. To know also the charity of Christ, which surpasses all knowledge, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.

Now to Him Who is able to do all things more abundantly than we desire or understand, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the Church, and in Christ Jesus, unto all generations, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 24 September 2017 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Green

Introit

Psalm 85 : 3, 5, 1

Miserere mihi, Domine, quoniam ad Te clamavi tota die : quia Tu, Domine, suavis ac mitis es, et copiosus in misericordia omnibus invocantibus Te.

Inclina, Domine, aurem Tuam mihi, et exaudi me : quoniam inops, et pauper sum ego.

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

 

English translation

Have mercy on me, o Lord, for I have cried to You all the day, for You, o Lord, are sweet and mild, and plenty in mercy to all those who call upon You.

Bow down Your ear to me, o Lord, and hear me, for I am needy and poor.

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.

 

Collect

Tua nos, quaesumus, Domine, gratia semper et praeveniat et sequatur : ac bonis operibus jugiter praestet esse intentos. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Let Your grace, we beseech You, o Lord, ever go before us and follow us, and may it make us to be continually zealous in doing good works. 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, 23 September 2017 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day all of us listened to the word of God, which spoke to us about the parable of the sower, a parable which many of us are likely to be familiar with, in which our Lord Jesus spoke about the sower of seeds, who dispersed his seeds and they fell on various grounds and soils, from the rocky grounds and the road sides, to the thorny bushes and then rich and fertile soil.

In that passage, Jesus our Lord spoke of what can happen to the seeds which the sower have spread, depending on the condition of the soil. If the soil is of poor quality and if it has plenty of obstacles, then it is unlikely to be able to support plant growth, and less still to allow bountiful products of fruits and crops to be realised. Only if the soil is fertile then the plants will grow strong and healthy, and bear many fruits.

In that parable, the seeds are the seeds of faith which God has spread over the whole world, to all of us mankind, as the Sower of the Word, for God has spoken His Word and gave us His truth, through none other than Jesus, the Divine Word made flesh, Who became Man for our sake, and all those who heard the teachings of the Lord Jesus have therefore received the Word, the seeds of faith.

But how those seeds develop then depends on how we live up to our faith in Jesus, our Lord. If we do not provide a conducive and matching environment to have the seeds of faith develop in us, then nothing will happen, and the faith in us will remain dormant. And we all ought to know what is going to happen to all of those who remain barren and fruitless, namely, that they will be cast out and rejected.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, these are constant reminders for us that all of us need to be active in our faith, and to be truly committed to the Lord, for it is only through this commitment that we are providing the fertile and rich ‘soil’ for the ‘seeds’ of faith to grow in us. Otherwise, we are not doing our part in providing the best condition for the growth and development of our faith.

There are many temptations in this world, the temptations of worldly possessions and wealth, the temptation of the pleasures of the flesh and sexual impropriety, the temptation of greed and worldly glory, the temptation of power and fame, all of which are tools used by the devil and his allies in their never-ending attempts to bring about our downfall. The devil is never at rest, always instead ready to snatch us from God’s saving grace.

That is why if we do not let the Word of God, the truths passed down to us through the Church, to be internalised and understood by us, then when trials and difficulties come upon us, we will be tempted to lose our faith and commitment towards God. And then we will end up becoming like the seeds that were eaten by the birds on the roadside, or like the seeds that were unable to grow firm roots on rocky ground, scorched to death, and also like the plants choked by the thorny bushes and brambles.

Is this the fate that we want to happen to us? Is it what we seek in life? It is easier indeed to obey the demands of the devil and this world rather than to walk faithfully in the path of the Lord. Yet, just as farming involves very arduous and tiring labour, thus for us to be faithful Christians it will also require a lot of effort from us. We must be vigilant and ready against all sorts of traps and obstacles the devil is getting ready in our path.

Let us today reflect on the life and examples of the renowned holy saint, whose name may not be foreign to many of us. St. Pius of Pietrelcina, more commonly known by the name of Padre Pio, was a famous and holy Franciscan friar and priest, who was remembered for his many miracles and hard work among the people, his exorcisms of the people possessed by demons, and his stigmata, or the miraculous appearance of the wounds of the Lord on his body.

Thousands and many thousands more flocked to meet Padre Pio, seeking his miracles and prayers. And many were astonished at his miraculous stigmata. Yet, despite all of those, St. Padre Pio remained humble and he distanced himself from any sorts of pride and worldly glory. In fact, Padre Pio was suffering greatly, first of all, physically from the pain of the wounds of the stigmata, and then also through the persecution and difficulties he had to encounter for many years by the skeptics who refused to believe the authenticity of his miraculous signs.

And yet, Padre Pio endured all of these trials and tribulations quietly, with obedience to his superiors and with faith. He placed his trust in the Lord, and continued to work among the people of God despite the criticism and ridicule that many levied upon him, and his piety and perseverance inspired many others who were converted and atoned for their sins because of his examples.

The story of the life of St. Pius of Pietrelcina, Padre Pio should be an inspiration to all of us Christians as well. We must not be complacent or passive in our faith, but instead be active in our commitment like Padre Pio had done in his life. That means, all of us should go beyond our comfort zone and do what we can, in order to do what the Lord wants us to do, so that by our actions we may be fruitful and filled with the good fruits of the Holy Spirit as St. Padre Pio had shown.

May the Lord bless us all, that the seeds of faith He has sowed in us may grow through our loving actions and commitment to Him. May He help us to persevere as St. Pius of Pietrelcina, Padre Pio had done in his life, that we may not grumble or complain, but accept the suffering with grace, knowing that God Who finds us fruitful will bless us many times more. St. Pius of Pietrelcina, Padre Pio, holy man of God, pray for us all. Amen.

Saturday, 23 September 2017 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 8 : 4-15

At that time, as a great crowd gathered, and people came to Jesus from every town, He began teaching them with a story : “The sower went out to sow the seed. And as he sowed, some of the seed fell along the way, was trodden on, and the birds of the sky ate it up.”

“Some seed fell on rocky ground; and no sooner had it come up than it withered, because it had no water. Some seed fell among thorns; the thorns grew up with the seed and choked it. But some seed fell on good soil and grew, producing fruit, a hundred times as much!” And Jesus cried out, “Listen then, if you have ears to hear!”

The disciples asked Him, “What does this story mean?” And Jesus answered, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God. But to others it is given in the form of stories, or parables, so that, seeing, they may not perceive; and hearing, they may not understand.”

“Now, this is the point of the parable : The seed is the word of God. Those along the wayside are people who hear it; but immediately, the devil comes and takes the word from their minds, for he does not want them to believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are people who receive the word with joy; but they have no root; they believe for a while, and give way in time of trial.”

“Among the thorns are people who hear the word, but, as they go their way, they are choked by worries, riches, and the pleasures of life; they bring no fruit to maturity. The good soil, instead, are people who receive the word, and keep it, in a gentle and generous mind, and, persevering patiently, they bear fruit.”

Saturday, 23 September 2017 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 99 : 2, 3, 4, 5

Serve YHVH with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.

Know that YHVH is God; He created us, and we are His people, the sheep of His fold.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His Name.

For YHVH is good; His love lasts forever; and His faithfulness, through all generations.