(Usus Antiquior) Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (I Classis) – Friday, 8 June 2018 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : White

Introit

Psalm 32 : 11, 19

Cogitationes Cordis Ejus in generatione et generationem : ut eruat a morte animas eorum et alat eos in fame.

Exsultate, justi, in Domino : rectos decet collaudatio.

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

 

English translation

The thoughts of His heart to all generations : to deliver their souls from death and feed them in famine.

Rejoice in the Lord, o all of you who are just, praise becoming of the upright.

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

Deus, qui nobis in Corde Filii Tui, nostri vulnerato peccatis, infinitos dilectionis thesauros misericorditer largiri dignaris : concede, quaesumus; ut, illi devotum pietatis nostrae praestantes obsequium, dignae quoque satisfactionis exhibeamus officium. Per eumdem 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, Who in the Heart of Your Son, wounded by our sins, had designed mercifully to bestow infinite treasures of love upon us; grant, we beseech You, that as we offer Him the faithful service of our devotion, we may also make worthy reparation. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Thursday, 7 June 2018 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the Word of God speaking to us about what true faith and dedication to the Lord is like. It is basically, as we have heard from the Scriptures, to obey God is first and foremost about love. We cannot be true disciples of the Lord without love, and if we do not love God with all of our might, we cannot indeed call ourselves as Christians.

This is what the Lord expects from us, to be loving just as He is loving. First of all, of course we must love Him first, for if we do not love God, then indeed, we do not truly know what love is. All love ultimately came from God, and whenever we love, we have shown the same love which came from God, and which He Himself had shown us. Yes, God has shown us His great love, that, as St. John wrote in his Gospel, He sent us His most beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

In his Epistle to St. Timothy, St. Paul wrote that even when we are unfaithful to God, God will always remain faithful, as He cannot deny Himself. What does this mean? It means that, even though we have sinned against God and done things which were unworthy and wicked in His presence, but God would still continue to love us regardless, and He will still want each and every one of us to be reconciled with Him.

That is why He sent us His own Son, Jesus Christ, to be the One through Whom salvation could come to all of us mankind. We should have merited destruction and annihilation by our disobedience and sins, but God withheld His anger and judgment, and gave us one last hope in Christ. That was just how much God has loved us, that He was willing to give us everything He could, including even to give up His life for us on the cross, that we might live.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the cross itself is a symbol of love, a love that is perfect and selfless, a love that each and every one of us must imitate and have in our own lives. And by looking at the cross itself, we can immediately see what we need to do in our loving relationship with God and with one another, as what the Lord had commanded us to do, and which Our Lord Jesus reiterated in today’s Gospel passage.

There are two most important commandments in the Law, that is first of all, to love the Lord our God with all of our might and abilities, which the cross represents with the vertical bar, leading up from us on earth to heaven, as the Lord Jesus offered Himself up to be the One to bridge the gap between us and God His Father. And thus, through Christ, we have received God’s love, and then we ought to love Him back in the same way.

Then, all of us must also remember to love one another, our fellow men, just as the Lord Jesus extended His love for everyone. He loved even all those who have hated and persecuted Him, and forgave them from the cross, praying to His Father, so as not to account them for the sins they have committed due to their ignorance of the truth. The horizontal bar of the cross reminds us of this obligation, to be bearers of love to one another.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, guided by the love of Christ embodied in the cross, let us all as Christians who believe in Him and His love, be exemplary in our loving attitude towards, first of all, our God, Who loves each and every one of us, and then, towards our fellow brothers and sisters, even to those who have not loved us or treated us badly.

May the Lord be with us all, that we may ever grow further in our faith and in our love, both for Him and for one another. May the cross of Christ be our guide in our lives, so that day after day, we may come to love more generously and more tenderly. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

Thursday, 7 June 2018 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 12 : 28b-34

At that time, a teacher of the Law came up and asked Jesus, “Which commandment is the first of all?”

Jesus answered, “The first is : Hear, Israel! The Lord, our God is One Lord; and you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. And after this comes a second commandment : You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these two.”

The teacher of the Law said to Him, “Well spoken, Master; You are right when You say that He is one, and there is no other besides Him. To love Him with all our heart, with all our understanding and with all our strength, and to love our neighbour as ourselves is more important than any burnt offering or sacrifice.”

Jesus approved of this answer and said, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask Him any more questions.

Thursday, 7 June 2018 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 24 : 4-5ab, 8-9, 10 and 14

Teach me Your ways, o Lord; make known to me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and instruct me, for You are my God, my Saviour.

Good and upright, the Lord teaches sinners His way. He teaches the humble of heart and guides them in what is right.

The ways of the Lord are love and faithfulness for those who keep His covenant and precepts. The Lord gives advice to those who revere Him and makes His covenant known to them.

Thursday, 7 June 2018 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 24 : 4-5ab, 8-9, 10 and 14

Teach me Your ways, o Lord; make known to me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and instruct me, for You are my God, my Saviour.

Good and upright, the Lord teaches sinners His way. He teaches the humble of heart and guides them in what is right.

The ways of the Lord are love and faithfulness for those who keep His covenant and precepts. The Lord gives advice to those who revere Him and makes His covenant known to them.

Thursday, 7 June 2018 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 Timothy 2 : 8-15

Remember Christ Jesus, risen from the dead, Jesus, Son of David, as preached in my Gospel. For this Gospel I labour, and even wear chains like an evildoer, but the word of God is not chained. And, so, I bear everything, for the sake of the chosen people, that they, too, may obtain the salvation given to us, in Christ Jesus, and share eternal glory.

This statement is true : If we have died with Him, we shall also live with Him; If we endure with Him, we shall reign with Him; If we deny Him, He will also deny us; If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful for He cannot deny Himself.

Remind your people of these things, and urge them, in the presence of God, not to fight over words, which does no good, but only ruins those who listen. Be for God, an active and proven minister, a blameless worker, correctly handling the word of truth.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Norbert, Bishop (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishop)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture, telling us about the need for us to stand up for our faith in God, against any opposition that may come our way. In the first reading today, taken from the Epistle of St. Paul to St. Timothy, we heard how St. Paul reminded St. Timothy of the need for the faithful to testify for their faith before others, even though it may lead them to persecution and troubles.

St. Paul made this comment based on his own real experience, as he encountered many oppositions throughout his journey, and having both Jewish leaders and the Gentile pagans struggling against him and his works, all the time. St. Paul had to endure incarcerations in prison many times, and he had to endure humiliation and persecution in public, suffering even physical injuries and pains for his dedication to God.

Yet, St. Paul did not give up the struggle, and on the contrary, he gave everything for the sake of the Lord, and dedicated himself completely, knowing that all the sufferings he experienced, all the struggles and oppositions he encountered, it was because of his faith in God, and not only that, but he was experiencing what the Lord Himself has experienced. St. Paul knew that for all the pains he had suffered and endured, all of them were nothing compared to the suffering that the Lord Jesus had endured.

In the Gospel passage today, we heard how the Lord encountered opposition from the group called the Sadducees, a very influential and powerful group in the society, who opposed the Lord because of His teachings and the truth He brought, which were against their ideas. The Sadducees were those intellectuals and academics who were pragmatists and progressives in the society.

Just in yesterday’s Gospel passage, we heard how the Lord Jesus encountered difficulties with the Pharisees, another powerful group of priests and intellectuals whose ideas were almost diametrically opposite to that of the Sadducees, with whom they often bickered with. However, both the Sadducees and the Pharisees were united in their opposition against the Lord Jesus and His disciples, because they were great threats against their influence and power.

As mentioned, the Sadducees opposed the Lord because they refused to follow the more mystical and supernatural aspects of the faith, just as they refused to believe in the presence of Angels and spirits, and the concept of resurrection and life after death. They lived for the world and in the world, and they saw the Lord’s promise of a life of eternity after death, as a threat to their authority and beliefs.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, throughout the entire Gospels, and the New Testament, we can see just how there were plenty of opposition against the Lord and His disciples, because of mankind’s refusal to believe in the truth and their refusal to accept what He had taught them. As a result, there were so much difficulty and suffering facing all those who are faithful to God.

Today, we celebrate the feast of one of those faithful servants of God, St. Norbert of Xanten, a renowned German bishop, who was remembered for his great intellect and devotion to the Lord. He devoted himself so thoroughly to the Lord, as an ascetic and holy man, by whose work, many of the people turned towards the Lord.of course, he did not have it easy, and he had to encounter difficulties and troubles, especially from the powerful and influential.

Nonetheless, his dedication, which is similar to the dedication shown by the other Apostles and saints, St. Paul and all those who did the good works of God, is an example for all of us. Now, are we able to dedicate ourselves in the same manner? Are we able to devote our time and attention to God as best as it is within our capabilities? Let us all learn to be ever more faithful, and seek to be ever closer to God, with each and every passing day.

May God be with us, as we walk along this journey of faith, and devote ourselves wholeheartedly, seeking to love Him and our fellow brothers and sisters, following the examples of our holy predecessors. Amen.