Sunday, 1 December 2019 : First Sunday of Advent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Matthew 24 : 37-44

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “At the coming of the Son of Man, it will be just as it was in the time of Noah. In those days before the Flood, people were eating and drinking, and marrying, until that day when Noah went into the Ark. Yet they did not know what would happen, until the flood came and swept them away.”

“So will it be at the coming of the Son of Man : of two men in the field, one will be taken and the other left; of two taken and the other left; of two women grinding wheat together at the mill, one will be taken and the other left. Stay awake then, for you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”

“Obviously, if the owner of the house knew at what time the thief was coming, he would certainly stay up and not allow his house to be broken into. So be alert, for the Son of Man will come at the hour you least expect.”

Sunday, 1 December 2019 : First Sunday of Advent (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Romans 13 : 11-14a

You know what hour it is. This is the time to awake, for our salvation is now nearer than when we first believed; the night is almost over and day is at hand. Let us discard, therefore, everything that belongs to darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

As we live in the full light of day, let us behave with decency; no banquets with drunkenness, no promiscuity or licentiousness, no fighting or jealousy. Put on, rather, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sunday, 1 December 2019 : First Sunday of Advent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 121 : 1-2, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” And now we have set foot within your gates, o Jerusalem!

There the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, the assembly of Israel, to give thanks to the Lord’s Name. There stand the courts of justice, the offices of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem : “May those who love you prosper! May peace be within your walls and security within your citadels!”

For the sake of my relatives and friends, I will say, “Peace be with you!” For the sake of the house of our Lord, I will pray for your good.

Sunday, 1 December 2019 : First Sunday of Advent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Isaiah 2 : 1-5

The vision of Isaiah, son of Amoz, concerning Judah and Jerusalem. In the last days, the mountain of YHVH’s house shall be set over the highest mountains and shall tower over the hills. All the nations shall stream to it, saying, “Come, let us go to the mountain of YHVH, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us His ways and we may walk in His paths. For the teaching comes from Zion, and from Jerusalem the word of YHVH.”

“He will rule over the nations and settle disputes for many people. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not raise sword against nation; they will train for war no more. O nation of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of YHVH!”

(Usus Antiquior) First Sunday of Advent (I Classis) – Sunday, 1 December 2019 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Offertory

Psalm 24 : 1-3

Ad Te levavi animam meam : Deus meus, in Te confido, non erubescam : neque irrideant me inimici mei : etenim universi, qui Te exspectant, non confundentur.

 

English translation

To You, o Lord, have I lifted up my soul : in You, o my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed. Neither let my enemies laugh at me, for none of them who wait on You shall be confounded.

 

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Haec sacra nos, Domine, potenti virtute mundatos ad suum faciant puriores venire principium. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Cleansing us by their mighty power, may these Holy Mysteries, o Lord, make us become more pure before You Who are their Author. 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 84 : 13

Dominus dabit benignitatem : et terra nostra dabit fructum suum.

 

English translation

The Lord will give goodness, and our earth shall yield her fruit.

 

Post-Communion Prayer

Suscipiamus, Domine, misericordiam Tuam in medio templi Tui : ut reparationis nostrae ventura sollemnia congruis honoribus praecedamus. 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 we receive Your mercy, o Lord, in the midst of Your Temple, that with due reverence we may prepare for the coming festival of our redemption. 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) First Sunday of Advent (I Classis) – Sunday, 1 December 2019 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Violet

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

Luke 21 : 25-33

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus discipulis Suis : Erunt signa in sole et luna et stellis, et in terris pressura gentium prae confusione sonitus maris et fluctuum : arescentibus hominibus prae timore et exspectatione, quae supervenient universo orbi.

Nam virtutes caelorum movebuntur. Et tunc videbunt Filium Hominis venientem in nube cum potestate magna et majestate. His autem fieri incipientibus, respicite et levate capita vestra : quoniam appropinquat redemptio vestra.

Et dixit illis similitudinem : Videte ficulneam et omnes arbores : cum producunt jam ex se fructum, scitis, quoniam prope est aestas. Ita et vos, cum videritis haec fieri, scitote, quoniam prope est regnum Dei. Amen, dico vobis, quia non praeteribit generatio haec, donec omnia fiant. Caelum et terra transibunt : verba autem mea non transibunt.

 

English translation

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves, men withering away for fear and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world.”

“For the powers of heaven shall be moved, and then they shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with great power and majesty. But when these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand.”

And He spoke to them a similitude, “See the fig tree, and all the trees, when they now shoot forth their fruit, you know that summer is nigh; so you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand. Amen, I say to you, this generation shall not pass away, till all things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.”

(Usus Antiquior) First Sunday of Advent (I Classis) – Sunday, 1 December 2019 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Psalm 24 : 3-4 and Psalm 84 : 8

Universi, qui Te exspectant, non confundentur, Domine.

Response : Vias Tuas, Domine, notas fac mihi : et semitas Tuas edoce me.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam Tuam : et salutare Tuum da nobis. Alleluja.

 

English translation

None of those who wait on You shall be confounded.

Response : Show, o Lord, Your ways to me, and teach me Your paths.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : Show us, o Lord, Your mercy, and grant us Your salvation. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) First Sunday of Advent (I Classis) – Sunday, 1 December 2019 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Violet

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

Romans 13 : 11-14

Fratres : Scientes, quia hora est jam nos de somno surgere. Nunc enim propior est nostra salus, quam cum credidimus. Nox praecessit, dies autem appropinquavit. Abjiciamus ergo opera tenebrarum, et induamur arma lucis.

Sicut in die honeste ambulemus : non in comessationibus et ebrietatibus, non in cubilibus et impudicitiis, non in contentione et aemulatione : sed induimini Dominum Jesum Christum.

 

English translation

Brethren, knowing the time, that it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is past, and the day is at hand, let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light.

Let us walk honestly as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy, but put you on the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Usus Antiquior) First Sunday of Advent (I Classis) – Sunday, 1 December 2019 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Introit

Psalm 24 : 1-3 and 4

Ad Te levavi animam meam : Deus meus, in Te confido, non erubescam : neque irrideant me inimici mei : etenim universi, qui Te exspectant, non confundentur.

Vias Tuas, Domine, demonstra mihi : et semitas Tuas edoce me.

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

 

English translation

To You, o Lord, have I lifted up my soul : in You, o my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed. Neither let my enemies laugh at me, for none of them who wait on You shall be confounded.

Show, o Lord, Your ways to me, and teach me Your paths.

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

Excita, quaesumus, Domine, potentiam Tuam, et veni : ut ab imminentibus peccatorum nostrorum periculis, Te mereamur protegente eripi, Te liberante salvari. Qui Vivis et regnas in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Bestir, o Lord, Your might, we pray to You, and come, that, defended by You, we may deserve rescue from approaching dangers brought on by our sins, and being set free by You, obtain our salvation. You Who lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Saturday, 30 November 2019 : Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the great feast of the Holy Apostle St. Andrew, the brother of St. Peter the Apostle, once a fisherman at the Lake of Galilee together with his brother and with the sons of Zebedee, St. James and St. John, and he was also known to be the one who was first called among the other Apostles, being the one who introduced the Lord to his brother and fellow fishermen.

That was why St. Andrew was also known as St. Andrew the First-Called, as according to the Gospel of St. John, he was one of the followers of St. John the Baptist, who introduced the Lord to his own disciples, some of whom, including St. Andrew, came to the Lord and St. Andrew would then introduce Him to St. Peter, St. James and St. John. He was mentioned again in the Gospel during the miraculous feeding of the five thousand men, as the Lord asked His disciples how much food they had, and St. Andrew responded.

Later on, after the Lord’s suffering, Passion, death and resurrection, St. Andrew with the other Apostles led by his brother, St. Peter began their evangelising missions and established the Church of God in various places and communities, and St. Andrew according to the tradition of the Church went to evangelise in the region around the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea, in what is now Greece, parts of Eastern Europe and southern Russia, parts of Cyprus and Georgia among many others.

St. Andrew laboured for a long time, enduring many challenges and difficulties throughout his ministry as he had to face opposition and rejections from those who refused to believe in the truth of Christ. He also founded a few Church dioceses and sees, of which the most important one dating to the present day was the See of Byzantium at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, where eventually a great new city and capital of the Roman Empire was built by the Emperor Constantine the Great, the city of Constantinople.

That is why St. Andrew is revered as the Apostolic origin and founder of the Patriarchal See of Constantinople, where his successors as the Archbishop of Constantinople and titled as the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople reigns. To this day, St. Andrew is revered for his role as a great Apostle of Christ, in his dedication to God’s works and in his tireless efforts to spread the Good News among many of the people and the communities that he had visited throughout his ministries.

Eventually, St. Andrew was also martyred like most of his brother Apostles, being crucified on an X-shaped cross, which is afterwards ever known as the Cross of St. Andrew. St. Andrew the Apostle gave his life and devoted his service to God, in defending his faith and in bringing forth God’s truth and salvation into this world. St. Andrew lived up to his calling as an Apostle, giving everything foe the sake of God and to glorify His Name by all of his works.

But if we think that St. Andrew the Apostle was truly an exceptional man that is beyond us or our means, then we are mistaken. Let us all remember that he was just a mere fisherman, a poor, humble and illiterate man who was probably unexceptional and ordinary in all things, except for one thing. St. Andrew had deep faith in God, the love and trust which he had placed in the Lord Jesus, in following Him with all of his heart and with all of his strength.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it was not St. Andrew who justified himself by his own talents, abilities, strengths or capabilities. On the other hand, it was God Who justified him, blessed him and the other Apostles and disciples with the strength, courage and wisdom to carry out the missions that God has called them to do, and which He has entrusted in their hands. God called St. Andrew and his fellow Apostles from humble backgrounds, that they might glorify Him through their works and actions.

Now, what matters is for us to realise that each and every one of us still have many things to do in our lives as Christians, as those whom God has also blessed with faith and called to be His servants and followers. We have been entrusted with the missions and works that the Lord Himself had entrusted to the Apostles, as we are supposed to continue their work and labour as part of God’s same Church. There are still many areas out there that are not yet touched by the love and grace of God, and have not yet heard or known His truth and salvation.

All of us have been blessed by God with unique talents, capabilities, strengths and resources to carry out whatever we need to do for the sake of the Lord and the mission which He has entrusted to us. The question now is, are we willing to accept this mission and do our best to serve the Lord in evangelisation and missionary works following the examples of the Apostles? Many of us have not dedicated ourselves and our lives in a Christian manner unlike what our holy predecessors had done.

And we do not have to think or aim big, brothers and sisters in Christ. Often what we need to do is just to do our best in our daily living, through small and simple acts in our lives, in how we live our lives virtuously in accordance to the teachings of the Church and in remaining true to our Christian faith in our interactions, works, and every small efforts we put in life. That is what we need to do, and not being worried or being too ambitious, but just trusting our lives in the hands of God, and let Him guide us in doing the rest.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all pray that the Lord may strengthen us all in faith through the inspiration of His Apostle, St. Andrew, and through his intercessions for our sake, and that we may be courageous and be committed in living our lives with faith and in embracing our missions as God has entrusted us all, to be the workers and servants of His many wonderful works, and to be the bearers and witnesses of His truth and salvation to all the peoples. May God bless us all, always. Amen.