Wednesday, 6 March 2019 : Ash Wednesday (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Matthew 6 : 1-6, 16-18

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Be careful not to make a show of your righteousness before people. If you do so, you do not gain anything from your Father in heaven. When you give something to the poor, do not have it trumpeted before you, as do those who want to be seen in the synagogues and in the streets, in order to be praised by the people. I assure you, they have already been paid in full.”

“If you give something to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your gift remains really secret. Your Father, Who sees what is kept secret, will reward you. When you pray, do not be like those who want to be seen. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues or on street corners to be seen by everyone. I assure you, they have already been paid in full.”

“When you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father Who is with you in secret; and your Father Who sees what is kept secret will reward you. When you fast, do not put on a miserable face as do the hypocrites. They put on a gloomy face, so that people can see they are fasting. I tell you this : they have already been paid in full.”

“When you fast, wash your face and make yourself look cheerful, because you are not fasting for appearances or for people, but for your Father Who sees beyond appearances. And your Father, Who sees what is kept secret, will reward you.”

Wednesday, 6 March 2019 : Ash Wednesday (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

2 Corinthians 5 : 20 – 2 Corinthians 6 : 2

So we present ourselves as ambassadors in the Name of Christ, as if God Himself makes an appeal to you through us. Let God reconcile you; this we ask you in the Name of Christ. He had no sin, but God made Him bear our sin, so that in Him we might share the holiness of God.

Being God’s helpers we beg you : let it not be in vain that you received this grace of God. Scripture says : At the favourable time I listened to you, on the day of salvation I helped you. This is the favourable time, this is the day of salvation.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019 : Ash Wednesday (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 50 : 3-4, 5-6a, 12-13, 14 and 17

Have mercy on me, o God, in Your love. In Your great compassion blot out my sin. Wash me thoroughly of my guilt; cleanse me of evil.

For I acknowledge my wrongdoings and have my sins ever in mind. Against You alone have I sinned; what is evil in Your sight I have done.

Create in me, o God, a pure heart; give me a new and steadfast spirit. Do not cast me out of Your presence nor take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Give me again the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. O Lord, open my lips, and I will declare Your praise.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019 : Ash Wednesday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Joel 2 : 12-18

YHVH says, “Yet even now, return to Me with your whole heart, with fasting, weeping and mourning. Rend your heart, not your garment. Return to YHVH, your God – gracious and compassionate.” YHVH is slow to anger, full of kindness, and He repents of having punished.

Who knows? Probably He will relent once more and spare some part of the harvest from which we may bring sacred offerings to YHVH, your God. Blow the trumpet in Zion, proclaim a sacred fast, call a solemn assembly. Gather the people, sanctify the community, bring together the elders, even the children and infants at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his bed, and the bride her room.

Between the vestibule and the altar, let the priests, YHVH’s ministers, weep and say : Spare Your people, YHVH? Do not humble them or make them an object of scorn among the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples : Where is their God?

YHVH has become jealous for His land; He has had pity on His people.

(Usus Antiquior) Ash Wednesday (I Classis) – Wednesday, 6 March 2019 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Preface, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Offertory

Psalm 29 : 2-3

Exaltabo Te, Domine, quoniam suscepisti me, nec delectasti inimicos meos super me : Domine, clamavi ad Te, et sanasti me.

 

English translation

I will extol You, o Lord, for You have uphold me, and have not made my enemies to rejoice over me. O Lord, I have cried to You, and You have healed me.

 

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Fac nos, quaesumus, Domine, his muneribus offerendis convenienter aptari : quibus ipsius venerabilis sacramenti celebramus exordium. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Make us duly fit, we beseech You, o Lord, for the offering of these gifts, with which we celebrate the beginning of the august sacrament itself. 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 1 : 2, 3

Qui meditabitur in lege Domini die ac nocte, dabit fructum suum in tempore suo.

 

English translation

He who shall meditate on the Law of the Lord, day and night, shall bring forth his fruit in due season.

 

Post-Communion Prayer

Percepta nobis, Domine, praebeant sacramenta subsidium : ut Tibi grata sint nostra jejunia, et nobis proficiant ad medelam. 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 the sacraments we have received, o Lord, give us help, that our fasts may be pleasing to You and profitable to us as a healing remedy. 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.

 

Prayer over the People

Oremus.

Humiliate capita vestra Deo.

Inclinantes se, Domine, majestati Tuae, propitiatus intende : ut, qui divino munere sunt refecti, caelestibus semper nutriantur auxiliis. 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 us pray.

Bow down your heads before God.

Look with favour, o Lord, on those who bow before Your majesty, that those who have been refreshed with the divine gift may ever be strengthened with heavenly aids. 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) Ash Wednesday (I Classis) – Wednesday, 6 March 2019 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Violet

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

Matthew 6 : 16-21

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus discipulis Suis : Cum jejunatis, nolite fieri, sicut hypocritae, tristes. Exterminant enim facies suas, ut appareant hominibus jejunantes. Amen, dico vobis, quia receperunt mercedem suam.

Tu autem, cum jejunas, unge caput tuum, et faciem tuam lava, ne videaris hominibus jejunans, sed Patri tuo, qui est in abscondito : et Pater tuus, qui videt in abscondito, reddet tibi.

Nolite thesaurizare vobis thesauros in terra : ubi aerugo et tinea demolitur : et ubi fures effodiunt et furantur. Thesaurizate autem vobis thesauros in caelo : ubi neque aerugo neque tinea demolitur; et ubi fures non effodiunt nec furantur. Ubi enim est thesaurus tuus, ibi est et cor tuum.

 

English translation

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “When you fast, do not be as the hypocrites, sad. For they disfigure their faces, so that they may appear unto men as fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.”

“But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that you do not appear to men as fasting, but to your Father Who is in secret, and Who sees what is done in secret will repay you.”

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasure on earth, where the rust and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither the rust nor moth could consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there is your heart also.”

(Usus Antiquior) Ash Wednesday (I Classis) – Wednesday, 6 March 2019 : Gradual and Tract

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Gradual

Psalm 56 : 2, 4

Miserere mei, Deus, miserere mei : quoniam in Te confidit anima mea.

Response : Misit de caelo, et liberavit me, dedit in opprobrium conculcantes me.

 

English translation

Have mercy on me, o Lord, have mercy on me, for my soul trusted in You.

Response : He had sent from heaven and delivered me. He had made them a reproach, those who trod upon me.

 

Tract

Psalm 102 : 10 and Psalm 78 : 8-9

Domine, non secundum peccata nostra, quae fecimus nos : neque secundum iniquitates nostras retribuas nobis.

Response : Domine, ne memineris iniquitatum nostratum antiquarum : cito anticipent nos misericordiae Tuae, quia pauperes facti sumus nimis.

(Genuflect)

Response : Adjuva nos, Deus, salutaris noster : et propter gloriam Nominis Tui, Domine, libera nos : et propitius esto peccatis nostris, propter Nomen Tuum.

 

English translation

O Lord, repay us not according to the sins we have committed, nor according to our iniquities.

Response : O Lord, do not remember our former iniquities, let Your mercies speedily prevent us, for we have become exceedingly poor.

(Genuflect)

Response : Help us, o God, our Saviour and for the glory of Your Name. O Lord, deliver us and forgive us our sins for Your Name’s sake.

(Usus Antiquior) Ash Wednesday (I Classis) – Wednesday, 6 March 2019 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Lectio Joelis Prophetae – Lesson from Joel the Prophet

Joel 2 : 12-19

Haec dicit Dominus : Convertimini ad me in toto corde vestro, in jejunio, et in fletu, et in planctu. Et scindite corda vestra, et non vestimenta vestra, et convertimini ad Dominum, Deum vestrum : quia benignus et misericors est, patiens, et multae misericordiae, et praestabilis super malitia.

Quis scit, si convertatur, et ignoscat, et relinquat post se benedictionem, sacrificium et libamen Domino, Deo vestro? Canite tuba in Sion, sanctificate jejunium, vocate caetum, congregate populum, sanctificate ecclesiam, coadunate senes, congregate parvulos et sugentes ubera : egrediatur sponsus de cubili suo, et sponsa de thalamo suo.

Inter vestibulum et altare plorabunt sacerdotes ministri Domini, et dicent : Parce, Domine, parce populo Tuo : et ne des hereditatem Tuam in opprobrium, ut dominentur eis nationes. Quare dicunt in populis : Ubi est Deus eorum? Zelatus est Dominus terram suam, et pepercit populo suo.

Et respondit Dominus, et dixit populo suo : Ecce, ego mittam vobis frumentum et vinum et oleum, et replebimini eis : et non dabo vos ultra opprobrium in gentibus dicit Dominus omnipotens.

 

English translation

Thus said the Lord, “Be converted to Me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and in mourning. And rend your hearts and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil.”

“Who knows but He will return and forgive and leave a blessing behind Him, sacrifice and libation to the Lord your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather together the people, sanctify the Church, assemble the ancients, gather together the little ones and those who suck at the breasts, let the bridegroom go forth from his bed and the bride out of her bride chamber.”

“Between the porch and the altar the priests, the Lord’s ministers, shall weep and shall say, ‘Spare, o Lord, spare Your people, and do not give Your inheritance to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them. Why should they say among the nations : Where is their God? The Lord had been zealous for His land, and had spared His people.'”

And the Lord answered and said to His people, “Behold I will send you corn and wine and oil, and you shall be filled with them, and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations,” said the Lord Almighty.

(Usus Antiquior) Ash Wednesday (I Classis) – Wednesday, 6 March 2019 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Introit

Wisdom 11 : 24, 25, 27 and Psalm 56 : 2

Miserere omnium, Domine, et nihil odisti eorum quae fecisti, dissimulans peccata hominum propter paenitentiam et parcens illis : quia Tu es Dominus, Deus noster.

Miserere mei, Deus, miserere mei : quoniam in Te confidit anima mea.

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

 

English translation

You have mercy upon all, o Lord, and hated none of the things which You have made, winking at the sins of men for the sake of repentance, and sparing them, for You are the Lord our God.

Have mercy on me, o God, have mercy on me, for my soul trusted in You.

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

Praesta, Domine, fidelibus Tuis : ut jejuniorum veneranda sollemnia, et congrua pietate suscipiant, et secura devotione percurant. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Grant to Your faithful, o Lord, that they may both undertake the venerable solemnities of fasting with piety and carry them through with unwavering devotion. 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.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we listened to the words of God reminding us that to be faithful to God, we must give everything to the Lord, not in terms of offering money or certain forms of offerings or gifts, as what some of us would think wrongly, but instead, the total gift of ourselves, our whole hearts and minds, our whole beings, loving God with everything we have, with all of our strength and might.

That is what the prophet Sirach told us in his Book, as we listened to him speaking about the matter of offering and giving of oneself before God. We are told to come before the Lord with offerings and gifts to Him, and not to come before Him empty-handed. But to God, the offering He desires from us is not the fattiest and the best animal offerings, as how it was understood at the time of the prophet Sirach, but rather, the offering of ourselves, God’s beloved children.

And this is in conjunction with what we have heard in today’s Gospel passage, when we heard the disciples of the Lord, led by St. Peter, who told Him how they had given up everything in order to follow Jesus. The context of this statement is that, just prior to the disciples speaking up about their commitments, the Lord encountered a young and rich man who said that he wanted to follow Jesus, but only to leave in sorrow when the Lord asked him to leave everything behind to follow Him.

Given this context, the disciples wanted to contrast the rich and young man’s inability to separate himself from his great wealth and his greater love for his worldly possessions than his love for the Lord, with their own commitment, and how many of them have left behind families, wealth, status and every worldly goodness in order to follow Jesus. And the Lord affirmed them in their dedication, by saying that no one who has devoted himself or herself to the Lord will be disappointed, for God Himself will take care of them.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are all reminded that we have been called by God to serve Him with all of our hearts, and to give of ourselves, from the depths of our whole being. The disciples of the Lord have left behind everything to serve the Lord, because God has called them to be missionaries to preach the truth and the Good News, to call more people to accept the faith. They have dedicated themselves to the service of God, offering the best they could offer to the Lord.

But each and every one of us have also been given unique gifts in all of their varieties. As St. Paul said in his Epistle to the Corinthians, not everyone is called to be an Apostle, and neither is everyone called to be a miracle worker or a healer, or a preacher or a missionary. Instead, each and every one of us have been given unique gifts, that we may offer them and commit ourselves to the Lord in our own unique calling in life.

The problem is such that many of us are unwilling to dedicate ourselves, that we do not make use of our talents and gifts for the sake of the Lord’s glory. And the main reasons for this is that, we are either too focused on our own desires and our own self-gratification, that we end up not using our talents and gifts for the right purpose. And then, many of us are also like the young and rich man, whose attachments to worldliness prevented him from devoting himself to God.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, are we able and are we willing to dedicate ourselves to the Lord, offering the best that we can give from ourselves, be it our time, our effort, our support and our devotion? Are we able to respond to God’s call in our lives with a resounding commitment from now on? Let us all respond to God’s call with a positive attitude, and with a desire to love Him and to serve Him and His people, our fellow men, with sincerity and genuine faith, from now on and always.

May God bless each and every one of us in our efforts, and may He continue to strengthen us that we may always be faithful to Him in all the things we do in our daily lives. Amen.