(Usus Antiquior) Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 10 November 2019 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Green

Offertory

Esther 14 : 12, 13

Recordare mei, Domine, omni potentatui dominans : et da sermonem rectum in os meum, ut placeant verba mea in conspectu principis.

English translation

Remember me, o Lord, You Who rule above all power, and give a well-ordered speech in my mouth, that my words may be pleasing in the sight of the prince.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Da, misericors Deus : ut haec salutaris oblatio et a propriis nos reatibus indesinenter expediat, et ab omnibus tueatur adversis. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Dei, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Grant, o merciful God, that this saving oblation may forever rid us of our own guilt and defend us from all adversities. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.

Communion

Psalm 16 : 6

Ego clamavi, quoniam exaudisti me, Deus : inclina aurem Tuam et exaudi verba mea.

English translation

I have cried for You, o God, have heard me. O, incline Your ear unto me, and hear my words.

Post-Communion Prayer

Sumpsimus, Domine, sacri dona mysterii, humiliter deprecantes : ut, quae in Tui commemorationem nos facere praecepisti, in nostrae proficiant infirmitatis auxilium. Qui vivis et regnas in unitate Spiritus Sanctus Dei, per omnia in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

We have taken the gifts of the sacred mystery, o Lord, humbly imploring that what You have bidden us to do in commemoration of You may avail unto the help of our infirmity. You Who lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 10 November 2019 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Green

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

Matthew 22 : 15-21

In illo tempore : Abeuntes Pharisaei consilium inierunt, ut caperunt Jesum in sermone. Et mittunt ei discipulos Suos cum Herodianis, dicentes : Magister, scimus, quia verax es et viam Dei in veritate doces, et non est Tibi cura de aliquo : non enim respicis personam hominum : dic ergo nobis, quid Tibi videtur, licet censum dare Caesari, an non?

Cognita autem Jesus nequitia eorum, ait : Quid me tentatis hypocritae? Ostendite mihi numisma census. At illi obtulerunt ei denarium. Et ait illis Jesus : Cujus est imago haec et superscriptio? Dicunt Ei : Caesaris. Tunc ait illis : Reddite ergo, quae sunt Caesaris, Caesari; et, quae sunt Dei, Deo.

English translation

At that time, the Pharisees went and consulted among themselves, how to ensnare Jesus in His speech. And they send to Him their disciples, with the Herodians, saying, “Master, we know that You are a true speaker, and teach the way of God in truth, neither do You care for any man, for You have no regard for the person of men. Tell us therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?”

But Jesus knowing their wickedness, said, “Why do you tempt Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the coin of the tribute.” And they offered Him a penny. And Jesus said to them, “Whose image and superscription is this?” They say to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar, the things that are Caesar’s, and to God, the things that are God’s.”

(Usus Antiquior) Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 10 November 2019 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 132 : 1-2 and Psalm 113 : 11

Ecce, quam bonum et quam jucundum, habitare fratres in unum!

Response : Sicut unguentum in capite, quod descendit in barbam, barbam Aaron.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Qui timent Dominum sperent in eo : adjutor et protector eorum est. Alleluja.

English translation

Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.

Response : It is like the precious ointment on the head, that ran down upon the beard, the beard of Aaron.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : They that fear the Lord, let them hope in Him. He is their Helper and Protector. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 10 November 2019 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Green

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

Philippians 1 : 6-11

Fratres : Confidimus in Domino Jesu, quia, qui coepit in vobis opus bonum, perficiet usque in diem Christi Jesu. Sicut est mihi justum hoc sentire pro omnibus vobis : eo quos habeam vos in corde, et in vinculis meis, et in defensione, et confirmatione Evangelii, socios gaudii mei omnes vos esse. Testis enjm mihi est Deus, quomodo cupiam omnes vos in visceribus Jesu Christi.

Et hoc oro, ut caritas vestris magis ac magis abundet in scientia et in omni sensu : ut probetis potiora, ut sitis sinceri et sine offensa in diem Christi, repleti fructu justitiae per Jesum Christum, in gloriam et laudem Dei.

English translation

Brethren, we are confident in the Lord Jesus, that He Who had begun a good work in you, will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus. As it is meet for me to think this for you all, for that I have you in my bands, and in the defence and confirmation of the Gospel you are all partakers of my joy. For God is my witness, how I long after you in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

And this I pray, that your charity may more and more abound in knowledge and in all understanding, that you may approve the better things, that you may be sincere and without offence unto the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of justice, through Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

(Usus Antiquior) Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 10 November 2019 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Green

Introit

Psalm 129 : 3-4 and 1-2

Si iniquitates observaveris, Domine : Domine, quis sustinebit? Quia apud Te propitiatio est. Deus Israel.

De profundis clamavi ad Te, Domine : Domine, exaudi vocem meam.

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

English translation

If You shall observe iniquities, o Lord, Lord, who shall endure it? For with You is propitiation, o God of Israel.

From the depths I have cried to You, o Lord. Lord, hear my voice.

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, refugium nostrum et virtus : adesto piis Ecclesiae Tuae precibus, auctor ipse pietatis, et praesta; ut, quod fideliter petimus, efficaciter consequamur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Dei, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

O God, our Refuge and our Strength, the very Author of piety, be present to the devout supplications of Your Church, and grant that what we seek in faith we may effectively arrive at. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, 9 November 2019 : Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this great day and occasion, we together with the whole Church, the entire Christendom rejoice for the Holy Mother Church, because today we mark the anniversary of the Dedication of the great Mother and Head of all the churches of the whole entire world. On this day we mark solemnly the remembrance of the Dedication of the great Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, which is also the Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, our Pope.

The Basilica of St. John Lateran was one of the earliest churches to be built after the ending of the official persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire, after the Emperor Constantine the Great extended toleration of Christians through the Edict of Milan and soon took up the Christian cause by donating lands and money to support the growing Christian Church, beginning a vigorous program of church buildings, including that of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in the middle of the ancient city of Rome.

A lot of people may not know that the Basilica of St. John Lateran or the Lateran Basilica is actually the Cathedral of the Pope and not the Basilica of St. Peter in Vatican. Although the latter Basilica is truly of great importance, second only to that of the Lateran Basilica, being the Basilica built over the Tomb of St. Peter and his place of martyrdom and being the largest and most wonderful of all churches in Christendom by architecture and also being the place where the Pope celebrates most of his liturgical celebrations, but it is in the Lateran Basilica that the Cathedra of the Bishop of Rome is placed.

A Cathedral is the mother church of the entire diocese and is the seat of the bishop, as that is where the Cathedra or the official seat or throne of the bishop is placed. Since the earliest days of the Church and also following ancient customs, the seat of authority is the mark of a ruler’s authority and power, and they are also used to denote the teaching and preaching authority in religious context. When Pontius Pilate condemned Jesus to death, he was also seated on the Seat of Judgement, or Gabbatha in Hebrew.

Similarly therefore, the bishop’s Cathedra is the preeminent symbol of his authority over the whole diocese, and the church where the Cathedra is placed, is called the Cathedral of the diocese, the most important and preeminent of all the churches in that entire diocese. In the same way therefore, the Cathedra of the Popes being located in the Lateran Basilica means that the Lateran Basilica is the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rome and its most important church.

And Rome being the heart and centre of all Christendom being the seat of the Vicar of Christ as the Successor of St. Peter the Apostle made the Lateran Basilica all the more important, as this particular House of God and church is not just an ordinary Cathedral for any bishops, but is the Cathedral and the primary church of the Vicar of Christ, the Pope himself. As a result, this is reflected in its title being the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour, dedicated to both St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, and also given the additional title of being the Head and Mother of all the churches in Rome and in the whole world.

Therefore today, we rejoice with the whole church for this Dedication anniversary and remembrance of the greatest church and House of God on earth, calling to mind the suffering and the pains endured by the many martyrs of the early Church who had to go through persecutions before the triumph of Christianity and the faith in the time when this great Basilica was built, as a symbol of victory of the true faith over the pagan religions and the false gods of ancient Rome.

And also, we reaffirm our loyalty, obedience and unity to the Church of Rome, to the Vicar of Christ, currently His Holiness Pope Francis, the Successor of St. Peter the Apostle as the leader of the entire universal Church, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of God. By celebrating this Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, we show our unity to the whole Church, and adhering ourselves to the bounds and the rules of the Universal Church as espoused in the divine authority invested in our Popes, seated on his Cathedra in the Lateran Basilica.

This is why we have to keep in mind this unity and this faith we have, which is very important, considering the many bitter divisions of Christians over the past two millennia, bitter divisions that still last to this very day, although efforts had been made towards the reunion of the splintered Church of God. We have to pray fervently and do our best in whatever small ways we can do, to maintain and foster unity among all Christians.

Hopefully one day, soon, the entire Christendom and all those who believe in the Lord will be reunited as one united Church as how it was in the early days of the Church, united under the leadership of the Vicar of Christ, the Pope and Bishop of Rome, together with the entire episcopate, the College of Bishops and all the leaders of the Church. This is why as we celebrate today’s glorious occasion we also have to pray for the unity in the Church and also the unity of all Christians.

And now, brothers and sisters in Christ, we are all today also called to reflect on ourselves, for one thing that we must also not forget is the fact that each and every one of us are truly also Temple of God’s Holy Presence, where God truly dwells and made us all to be His House. His Spirit He has given to us, and through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, by which He has transformed the essence of bread and wine into His own Precious Body and Blood, we have received Him into ourselves.

Therefore, all of us are God’s living Church, the true Church of God that is even more important than all the physical church buildings we have. For while all those churches are built by men, we are all built by God Himself, and we were made to be good and perfect, had it not been for sins that made us to be defiled and corrupted. And yet, God’s love for each and every one of us is still so great that despite even all of that, He wants to forgive us and be reconciled with us.

And thus, we have to realise just how seriously we have to take God’s love for us, His compassion and merciful heart always directed towards us. If we take very good care of our churches and make sure that only the best are given to God, in our worship and in the careful prescription of the liturgical laws and norms, then we must also show the same attitude and commitment in our own lives as well. For we are all God’s living Church, and He is truly present within us.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the famous story of the Lord Jesus clearing the Temple from all the merchants who were peddling their goods and exchanging money in the courtyards of the Temple. In that story, we saw the Lord’s great anger as He chased out all those merchants and overturned all their tables and ceased all of their transactions, all because they have actually defiled the sanctity of the Temple by their actions.

The context of this action was that those merchants were tolerated or were probably even encouraged by the Temple authorities as they were beneficial to each other, with the merchants’ livelihood depending on the presence of the Temple and its many worshippers and visitors and the continuous activities in that Temple. Meanwhile, the Temple authorities, the priests and the elders gained from the presence of the bustling merchant activities as they were the ones who also sold the necessary sacrificial animals to the worshippers coming to the Temple.

However, as they did so, they ended up being greedy and corrupt in their practices, tricking the worshippers coming from afar by being unfair and unjust, as the prophets themselves once foretold, of the wickedness of those who would treat their brethren with contempt and seeking only their personal benefits, overcharging for their goods and services, and gaining plenty of profits from the losses incurred by innocent people who came to the Lord seeking to worship Him.

That was why the Lord was rightfully angry, as He cleared the Temple grounds from all those corruptions as a stern reminder for each and every one of us, that we should not allow those corruptions from defiling our own House of God either, that is the Temple of our body, our heart, mind, soul and our whole being, for God is truly present in us, and He Who dwells in us is all holy and perfect. Should we willingly and consciously defile our own Temple, we shall suffer grievously in the end.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, having been reminded that we are all God’s living Church and that we are the Temple of His holy Presence, let us all strive from now on to be righteous and to be faithful in all things. Let us all distance ourselves from sin and from its many temptations, so that while we may fall into sin again from time to time, but by our resolve and by our desire to love God wholeheartedly, we will always remain anchored strongly to God.

Let us all strive to be holy and be exemplary in our actions in life from now on then, so that we may be beacons of light and hope for our fellow brethren, that despite the challenges and darkness in our lives, we will always be focused on God and will be ever closer to Him. Let us all seek to love God and be faithful to Him ever more, with each and every passing days. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

Saturday, 9 November 2019 : Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 2 : 13-22

At that time, as the Passover of the Jews was at hand, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple court He found merchants selling oxen, sheep and doves, and money-changers seated at their tables.

Making a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the Temple court, together with the oxen and sheep. He knocked over the tables of the money-changers, scattering the coins, and ordered the people selling doves, “Take all this away, and stop making a marketplace of My Father’s house!” His disciples recalled the words of Scripture : Zeal for Your house devours me like fire.

The Jews then questioned Jesus, “Where are the miraculous signs which give You the right to do this?” And Jesus said, “Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then replied, “The building of this Temple has already taken forty-six years, and will You raise it up in three days?”

Actually, Jesus was referring to the Temple of His Body. Only when He had risen from the dead did His disciples remember these words; then they believed both the Scripture and the words Jesus had spoken.