Sunday, 4 March 2018 : Third Sunday of Lent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 18 : 8, 9, 10, 11

The Law of YHVH is perfect : it gives life to the soul. The word of YHVH is trustworthy : it gives wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of YHVH are right : they give joy to the heart. The commandments of YHVH are clear : they enlighten the eyes.

The fear of YHVH is pure, it endures forever; the judgments of YHVH are true, all of them just and right.

They are more precious than gold – pure gold of a jeweller; they are much sweeter than honey which drops from the honeycomb.

Alternative Psalm (Psalm from Year A)

Psalm 94 : 1-2, 6-7, 8-9

Come, let us sing to the Lord, let us make a joyful sound to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him giving thanks, with music and songs of praise.

Come and worship; let us bow down, kneel before the Lord, our Maker. He is our God, and we His people; the flock He leads and pastures. Would that today you heard His voice!

Do not be stubborn, as at Meribah, in the desert, on that day at Massah, when your ancestors challenged Me, and they put Me to the test.

Sunday, 4 March 2018 : Third Sunday of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Exodus 20 : 1-17

God spoke all these words. He said, “I am YHVH your God Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. Do not have other gods before Me. Do not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven, or on the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.”

“For I, YHVH your God, am a jealous God; for the sin of the fathers, when they rebel against Me, I punish the sons, the grandsons and the great-grandsons; but I show steadfast love until the thousandth generation for those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

“Do not take the Name of YHVH your God in vain for YHVH will not leave unpunished anyone who takes His Name in vain. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. For six days you will labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath for YHVH your God.”

“Do not work that day, neither you, nor your son, nor your daughter nor your servants, men or women, nor your animals, nor the stranger who is staying with you. For in six days YHVH made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, but on the seventh day He rested; that is why YHVH has blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

“Honour your father and your mother that you may have a long life in the land that YHVH has given you. Do not kill. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not give false witness against your neighbour. Do not covet your neighbour’s house. Do not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his servant, man or woman, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is his.”

Alternative reading (shorter version)

Exodus 20 : 1-3, 7-8, 12-17

God spoke all these words. He said, “I am YHVH your God Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. Do not have other gods before Me. Do not take the Name of YHVH your God in vain for YHVH will not leave unpunished anyone who takes His Name in vain. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.”

“Honour your father and your mother that you may have a long life in the land that YHVH has given you. Do not kill. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not give false witness against your neighbour. Do not covet your neighbour’s house. Do not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his servant, man or woman, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is his.”

Alternative reading (Reading from Year A)

Exodus 17 : 3-7

But the people thirsted for water at Rephidim and grumbled against Moses, “Why did you make us leave Egypt to have us die of thirst with our children and our cattle?”

So Moses cried to YHVH, “What shall I do with the people? They are almost ready to stone me!” YHVH said to Moses, “Go ahead of the people and take with you the elders of Israel. Take with you the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you on the rock at Horeb. You will strike the rock and water will flow from it and the people will drink.”

Moses did this in the presence of the elders of Israel. The place was called Massah and Meribah because of the complaints of the Israelites, who tested YHVH saying, “Is YHVH with us or not?”

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 4 March 2018 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Preface, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Offertory

Psalm 18 : 9, 10, 11, 12

Justitiae Domini rectae, laetificantes corda, et judicia Ejus dulciora super mel et favum : nam et servus Tuus custodit ea.

English translation

The justices of the Lord are right, rejoicing hearts, and His judgments are sweeter than honey and the honeycomb; for Your servant kept them.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Haec hostia, Domine, quaesumus, emundet nostra delicta : et, ad sacrificium celebrandum, subditorum Tibi corpora mentesque sanctificet. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

May this offering, o Lord, we beseech You, wipe out our sins, and sanctify the bodies and minds of Your servants for the celebration of the sacrifice. 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.

Preface of Lent

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos Tibi semper et ubique gratias agere : Domine, Sancte Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus : Qui corporali jejunio vitia comprimis, mentem elevas, virtutem largiris et praemia : per Christum, Dominum nostrum.

Per quem majestatem Tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates. Caeli caelorumque Virtutes ac beata Seraphim socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces ut admitti jubeas, deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes :

English translation

It is truly meet and just, right and profitable, for us, at all times, and in all places, to give thanks to You, o Lord, the Holy One, the Father Almighty, the Everlasting God, Who on those who chastise their bodies by fasting had bestowed the restraining of evil passions, uplifting of heart, and the enjoying of virtue with its reward. Through Christ our Lord.

Through Whom the Angels praise, the Dominations adore, the Powers, trembling with awe, worship Your majesty, which the heavens, and the forces of heaven, together with the blessed Seraphim, joyfully magnify. And may You command that it be permitted to our lowliness to join with them in confessing You and unceasingly to repeat :

Communion

Psalm 83 : 4-5

Passer invenit sibi domum, et turtur nidum, ubi reponat pullos suos : altaria Tua, Domine virtutum. Rex meus, et Deus meus : beati, qui habitant in domo Tua, in saeculum saeculi laudabunt Te.

English translation

The sparrow had found herself a house, and the turtle a nest, where she may lay her young ones. Your altars, o Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house, they shall praise You forever and ever.

Post-Communion Prayer

Acunctis nos, quaesumus, Domine, reatibus et periculis propitiatus absolve : quos tanti mysterii tribuis 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

Be merciful, o Lord, we beseech You, and free us from all sins and dangers, as You had granted us to be sharers in this great mystery. 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) Third Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 4 March 2018 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Violet

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

Luke 11 : 14-28

In illo tempore : Erat Jesus ejiciens daemonium, et illud erat mutum. Et cum ejecisset daemonium, locutus est mutus, et admiratae sunt turbae. Quidam autem ex eis dixerunt : In Beelzebub, principe daemoniorum, ejicit daemonia. Et alii tentantes, signum de caelo quaerebant ab Eo.

Ipse autem ut vidit cogitationes eorum, dixit eis : Omne regnum in seipsum divisum desolabitur, et domus supra domum cadet. Si autem et satanas in seipsum divisus est, quomodo stabit regnum ejus? Quia dicitis, in Beelzebub Me ejicere daemonia. Si autem ego in Beelzebub ejicio daemonia : filii vestri in quo ejiciunt? Ideo ipsi judices vestri erunt.

Porro si in digito Dei ejicio daemonia : profecto pervenit in vos regnum Dei. Cum fortis armatus custodit atrium suum, in pace sunt ea, quae possidet. Si autem fortior eo superveniens vicerit eum, universa arma ejus auferet, in quibus confidebat, et spolia ejus distribuet.

Qui non est mecum, contra me est : et qui non colligit mecum, dispergit. Cum immundus spiritus exierit de homine, ambulat per loca inaquosa, quaerens requiem : et non inveniens, dicit : Revertar in domum meam, unde exivi. Et cum venerit, invenit eam scopis mundatam, et ornatam.

Tunc vadit, et assumit septem alios spiritus secum nequiores se, et ingressi habitant ibi. Et fiunt novissima hominis illius pejora prioribus. Factum est autem, cum haec diceret : extollens vocem quaedam mulier de turba, dixit illi : Beatus venter, qui te portavit, et ubera, quae suxisti.

At ille dixit : Quinimmo beati, qui audiunt verbum Dei, et custodiunt illud.

English translation

At that time, Jesus was casting out a devil, and the same was dumb, and when He had cast out the devil, the dumb spoke, and the multitude were in admiration at it, but some of them said, “He cast out devils by Beelzebub the prince of devils.” And others tempting, asked of Him a sign from heaven.

But He seeing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to desolation, and house upon house shall fall; and if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? Because you say, that through Beelzebub I cast out devils by Beelzebub, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.”

“But if I by the finger of God cast out devils, doubtless the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man armed kept his court, those things which he possessed are in peace, but if a stronger one that he comes upon him, and overcome him, he will take away all his armour wherein he trusted, and will distribute his spoils.”

“He who is not with Me, is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me, scatters. When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he walked through places without water, seeking rest, and not finding it, he said, I will return into my house from whence I came out. And when he comes, he found it swept and garnished.”

“Then he went, and took with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and entering in they dwell there, and the last state of that man became worse than the first.” And it came to pass, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and breasts upon which You have suckled.”

But He said, “Yea, rather blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.”

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 4 March 2018 : Gradual and Tract

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Gradual

Psalm 9 : 20, 4

Exsurge, Domine, non praevaleat homo : judicentur gentes in conspectu Tuo.

Response : In convertendo inimicum meum retrorsum, infirmabuntur, et peribunt a facie Tua.

English translation

Arise, o Lord, let not man be strengthened, let the Gentiles be judged in Your sight.

Response : When my enemy shall be turned back, they shall be weakened and perish before Your face.

Tract

Psalm 122 : 1-3

Ad Te levavi oculos meos, qui habitas in caelis.

Response : Ecce, sicut oculi servorum in manibus dominorum suorum.

Response : Et sicut oculi ancillae in manibus dominae suae ita oculi nostri ad Dominum, Deum nostrum, donec misereatur nostri.

Response : Miserere nobis, Domine, miserere nobis.

English translation

To You have I lifted up my eyes, You Who dwells in heaven.

Response : Behold as the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters.

Response : And as the eyes of the handmaid are on the hands of her mistress, so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until He has mercy on us.

Response : Have mercy on us, o Lord, have mercy on us.

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 4 March 2018 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Violet

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

Ephesians 5 : 1-9

Fratres : Estote imitatores Dei, sicut filii carissimi : et ambulate in dilectione, sicut et Christus dilexit nos, et tradidit semetipsum pro nobis oblationem, et hostiam Deo in odorem suavitatis. Fornicatio autem et omnis immunditia aut avaritia nec nominetur in vobis, sicut decet sanctos : aut turpitudo aut stultiloquium aut scurrilitas, quae ad rem non pertinet : sed magis gratiarum actio.

Hoc enim scitote intelligentes, quod omnis fornicator aut immundus aut avarus, quod est idolorum servitus, non habet hereditatem in regno Christi et Dei. Nemo vos seducat inanibus verbis : propter haec enim venit ira Dei in filios diffidentiae. Nolite ergo effici participes eorum.

Eratis enim aliquando tenebrae : nunc autem lux in Domino. Ut filii lucis ambulate : fructus enim lucis est in omni bonitate et justitia et veritate.

English translation

Brethren, may all of you become followers of God, as most dear children, and walk in love, as Christ also had loved us, and had delivered Himself for us, and oblation and a sacrifice to God, for an odour of sweetness. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as became the saints, nor obscenity, nor foolish talking, nor scurrility, which is to no purpose, but rather giving of thanks.

For all of you should know this, and understand, that no fornicator, nor unclean, nor covetous person, which is a serving of idols, had any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words, for because of these things came the anger of God upon the children of unbelievers. Be you not partakers with them.

For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk all of you as children of the light, for the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice and truth.

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 4 March 2018 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Introit

Psalm 24 : 15-16 and 1-2

Oculi mei semper ad Dominum, quia ipse evellet de laqueo pedes meos : respice in me, et miserere mei, quoniam unicus et pauper sum ego.

Ad Te, Domine, levavi animam meam : Deus meus, in Te confido, non erubescam.

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

English translation

My eyes are ever towards the Lord, for He shall pluck my feet out of the snare. May You look upon me, and have mercy on me, for I am alone and poor.

To You, o Lord, have I lifted up my soul. In You, o my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed.

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

Quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, vota humilium respice : atque, ad defensionem nostram, dexteram Tuae majestatis extende. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Have regard to the desires of the lowly, o Almighty God, we beseech You, and stretch forth the right hand of Your majesty in our defence. 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, 3 March 2018 : 2nd Week of Lent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the Scripture passage relating to us about God’s mercy and great love and compassion for each one of us. God revealed that through His prophet Micah, who reminded the people of God, of the moments when God had cared for them and loved them, when the people were faithful and obedient to God’s laws.

Even though the people of God had wandered off their path, and fell into disobedience and sin, God was always ready and willing to welcome them back to His embrace, caring for them and loving them with all of His heart. He was always ready to forgive them for their trespasses and mistakes, and He even actively tried to bring them back to Him, by sending to them many prophets and messengers, to call upon them to repent from their sins, including that of the prophet Malachi.

Now, let us all reflect on the parable which the Lord Jesus told His disciples and the people, the famous parable of the prodigal son. This parable is a primary example of God’s rich forgiveness, which was framed within the story of the prodigal son, who left his father with all of his inheritance to try out his luck in faraway lands, only to squander all that he had, and lost everything. Yet, the father was very willing and ready to forgive him and embrace him back when he finally returned to him.

The father in that parable is none other than God Himself, Who is always loving and filled with joy for all of His beloved children, all of us mankind, as represented by the two sons that the father had. The elder son represented those who have always been faithful to the commandments and the laws of God, while the younger, prodigal son represented those who have fallen into disobedience and sin, and thus became separated from God’s love, symbolised by the estrangement that happened when the younger son went off for the journey to the foreign lands.

We see how that prodigal son spent off his life in the faraway lands by indulging on the pleasures of life, and squandered off all of his money and possessions on prostitutes and merrymaking, and when he had nothing left, no one was left that cared for him and loved him. They only befriended him and cared for him because of his money and possessions, and once these failed him, he was left with nothing.

But he remembered his father’s love and care, which was a distant memory in his mind. Initially he was embarrassed to return to his father, as he had surely disgraced him, not only by his lifestyle, but because he has also wasted away all of the portion of inheritance that he was to receive from his father. Nonetheless, in the end, he mustered the courage and conviction to come back to his father, even if he had to humiliate himself and beg for forgiveness.

And as we heard in the story, he was forgiven by the father, who did not just welcome him back, but even threw a big and lavish party in welcoming him back, who have been thought lost and gone, but was then found again and reunited with his father. This, as the Lord Jesus explained, was the same with all of us, sinners and rebels, those who have been separated from God and His grace, when we sincerely desire to be forgiven and to be reconciled with God, Our loving Father.

Now, let us reflect on what we have heard, and think of what it is that we should be doing as Christians during this season of Lent. This time of Lent is a particular time of grace, of the preparation of the heart, mind and body, to prepare ourselves to celebrate worthily the coming of Easter and its joyous occasion. First of all therefore, we should remember that joy which we must look forward to, the same joy which engulfed both father and son, when the prodigal son came back to the father in tears, and was received with great joy.

The Lord has given us all His own Beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, to be Our Saviour, by His death on the cross, and by the outpouring of His Body and Blood. He has become the worthy sacrifice by which all of us who believe in Him and accept Him as Our Lord and Saviour, will be reconciled and reunited perfectly with God. God has gone all the way to this extent, sparing nothing less for us, because He loves each one of us, just like the father who was so joyful in seeing his son that he had a great celebration for his return.

Secondly, all of us should follow the example of the prodigal son, who despite his earlier doubts, was willing to come back to his father, seeking his forgiveness and mercy. Are we able to overcome our doubts, our reluctance and especially, our pride, to humble ourselves before the Lord, knowing that we are sinners and therefore are in need of God’s healing, love and mercy?

And last of all, we should not be like the elder son, who became angry at his father for welcoming back the long-lost child, because he was jealous of the treatment that his younger brother had received from his father. That was what the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law had done at the time of Jesus, as they always sneered and jeered at the Lord’s constant efforts to bring sinners to reconciliation.

Instead, brothers and sisters in Christ, during this season of Lent, we should be filled with greater love and joy, living with greater commitment and dedication to love God with all of our hearts, with all of our efforts and strength. Let us love our brethren with greater heart and dedication, caring for them and looking up to them, that more and more souls may be saved from damnation.

May the Lord awaken in us the strong desire to love Him, that day after day we will grow to realise more and more how much He loves every one of us. Let us all seek to be forgiven and to be reconciled with Him, and receive from Him the gift of mercy and eventually the glory of eternal life. May God bless us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

Saturday, 3 March 2018 : 2nd Week of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Luke 15 : 1-3, 11-32

At that time, tax collectors and sinners were seeking the company of Jesus, all of them eager to hear what He had to say. But the Pharisees and the scribes frowned at this, muttering, ‘This Man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

So Jesus told them this parable : “There was a man with two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘Give me my share of the estate.’ So the father divided his property between them. Some days later, the younger son gathered all his belongings and started off for a distant land, where he squandered his wealth in loose living.”

“Having spent everything, he was hard pressed when a severe famine broke out in that land. So he hired himself out to a well-to-do citizen of that place, and was sent to work on a pig farm. So famished was he, that he longed to fill his stomach even with the food given to the pigs, but no one offered him anything.”

“Finally coming to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will get up and go back to my father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against God, and before you. I no longer deserve to be called your son. Treat me then as one of your hired servants.’ With that thought in mind, he set off for his father’s house.”

“He was still a long way off, when his father caught sight of him. His father was so deeply moved with compassion that he ran out to meet him, threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. The son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.'”

“But the father turned to his servants : ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Bring out the finest robe and put it on him! Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet! Take the fattened calf and kill it! We shall celebrate and have a feast, for this son of mine was dead, and has come back to life; he was lost, and is found!’ And the celebration began.”

“Meanwhile, the elder son had been working in the fields. As he returned and approached the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what it was all about. The servant answered, ‘Your brother has come home safe and sound, and your father is so happy about it that he has ordered this celebration, and killed the fattened calf.'”

“The elder son became angry, and refused to go in. His father came out and pleaded with him. The son, very indignant, said, ‘Look, I have slaved for you all these years. Never have I disobeyed your orders. Yet you have never given me even a young goat to celebrate with my friends. Then when this son of yours returns, after squandering your property with loose women, you kill the fattened calf for him.'”

“The father said, ‘My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But this brother of yours was dead, and has come back to life; he was lost, and is found. And for that we had to rejoice and be glad.'”

Saturday, 3 March 2018 : 2nd Week of Lent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 102 : 1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12

Bless the Lord, my soul; all my being, bless His holy Name! Bless the Lord, my soul, and do not forget all His kindness.

He forgives all your sins and heals all your sickness; He redeems your life from destruction and crowns you with love and compassion.

He will not always scold nor will He be angry forever. He does not treat us according to our sins, nor does He punish us as we deserve.

As the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His love for those fearing Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove from us our sins.