Sunday, 16 February 2020 : Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 5 : 17-37

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples and to the people, “Do not think that I have come to annul the Law and the Prophets. I have not come to annul them but to fulfil them. I tell you this : as long as heaven and earth last, not the smallest letter or dot in the Law will change until all is fulfilled.”

“So then, whoever breaks the least important of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be the least in the kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys them, and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the kingdom of heaven.”

“I tell you then, if you are not righteous in a much broader way than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to our people in the past : Do not commit murder; anyone who does kill will have to face trial. But now I tell you : whoever gets angry with a brother or sister will have to face trial.”

“Whoever insults a brother or sister deserves to be brought before the council. Whoever calls a brother or a sister, ‘Fool!’ deserves to be thrown into the fire of hell. So, if you are about to offer your gift at the altar, and you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, go at once and make peace with him, and then come back and offer your gift to God.”

“Do not forget this : be reconciled with your opponent quickly when you are together on the way to court. Otherwise he will turn you over to the judge, who will hand you over to the police, who will put you in jail. There you will stay, until you have paid the last penny.”

“You have heard that it was said : Do not commit adultery. But I tell you this : anyone who looks at a woman too lustfully has in fact already committed adultery with her in his heart. So, if your right eye causes you to sin, pull it out and throw it away! It is much better for you to lose a part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is better for you to lose a part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell.”

“It was also said : Anyone who divorces his wife, must give her a written notice of divorce. But what I tell you is this : if a man divorces his wife, except in the case of unlawful union, he causes her to commit adultery. And the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

“You have also heard that people were told in the past : Do not break your oath; an oath sworn to the Lord must be kept. But I tell you this : do not take oaths. Do not swear by the heavens, for they are God’s throne, nor by the earth, because it is His footstool, nor by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King. Do not even swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black. Say yes when you mean yes, and say no when you mean no. Anything else you say comes from the devil.”

Alternative reading (shorter version)

Matthew 5 : 20-22a, 27-28, 33-34a, 37

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples and to the people, “I tell you then, if you are not righteous in a much broader way than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to our people in the past : Do not commit murder; anyone who does kill will have to face trial. But now I tell you : whoever gets angry with a brother or sister will have to face trial.”

“You have heard that it was said : Do not commit adultery. But I tell you this : anyone who looks at a woman too lustfully has in fact already committed adultery with her in his heart. You have also heard that people were told in the past : Do not break your oath; an oath sworn to the Lord must be kept. But I tell you this : do not take oaths. Say yes when you mean yes, and say no when you mean no. Anything else you say comes from the devil.”

Sunday, 16 February 2020 : Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 2 : 6-10

In fact, we do speak of wisdom to the mature in faith, although it is not a wisdom of this world or of its rulers, who are doomed to perish. We teach the mystery and secret plan of divine wisdom, which God destined from the beginning to bring us to Glory.

No ruler of this world ever knew this; otherwise they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory. But as Scripture says : Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it dawned on the mind what God has prepared for those who love Him. God has revealed it to us, through His Spirit, because the Spirit probes everything, even the depth of God.

Sunday, 16 February 2020 : Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 118 : 1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34

Blessed are they whose ways are upright, who follow the law of the Lord. Blessed are they who treasure His word and seek Him with all their heart.

You have laid down precepts to be obeyed. O, that my ways were steadfast in observing Your statutes!

Be kind to Your servant, that I may live to follow Your word. Open my eyes that I may see the marvellous truths in Your law.

Explain to me, o Lord, Your commandments, and I will be ever faithful to them. Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law with all my heart.

Sunday, 16 February 2020 : Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Sirach 15 : 16-21 (Greek Septuagint – Sirach 15 : 15-20)

If you wish, you can keep the commandments and it is in your power to remain faithful. He has set fire and water before you; you stretch out your hand to whichever you prefer.

Life and death are set before man : whichever a man prefers will be given him. How magnificent is the wisdom of the Lord! He is powerful and all-seeing. His eyes are on those who fear Him. He knows all the works of man.

He has commanded no one to be godless and has given no one permission to sin.

(Usus Antiquior) Sexagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 16 February 2020 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Offertory

Psalm 16 : 5, 6-7

Perfice gressus meos in semitis Tuis, ut non moveantur vestigia mea : inclina aurem Tuam, et exaudi verba mea : mirifica misericordias Tuas, qui salvos facis sperantes in Te, Domine.

English translation

May You perfect my goings in Your paths, that my footsteps be not moved. Incline Your ear, and hear my words, show forth Your wonderful mercies. You Who saved those who trust in You, o Lord.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Oblatum Tibi, Domine, sacrificium, vivificet nos semper et muniat. 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 sacrifice we offer You, o Lord, ever vivify and defend us. 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 42 : 4

Introibo ad altare Dei, ad Deum, qui laetificat juventutem meam.

English translation

I will go to the altar of God, to God Who gave joy to my youth.

Post-Communion Prayer

Supplices Te rogamus, omnipotens Deus : ut, quos Tuis reficis sacramentis, Tibi etiam placitis moribus dignanter deservire concedas. 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, we humbly beseech You, Almighty God, that those whom You refreshed with Your sacraments may serve You worthily by a life well pleasing to You. 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) Sexagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 16 February 2020 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Violet

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

Luke 8 : 4-15

In illo tempore : Cum turba plurima convenirent, et de civitatibus properarent ad Jesum, dixit per similitudinem : Exiit, qui seminat, seminare semen suum : et dum seminat, aliud cecidit secus viam, et conculcatum est, et volucres caeli comederunt illud.

Et aliud cecidit supra petram : et natum aruit, quia non habebat humorem. Et aliud cecidit inter spinas, et simul exortae spinae suffocaverunt illud. Et aliud cecidit in terram bonam : et ortum fecit fructum centuplum : Haec dicens, clamabat : Qui habet aures audiendi, audiat.

Interrogabant autem eum discipuli Ejus, quae esset haec parabola. Quibus ipse dixit : Vobis datum est nosse mysterium regni Dei, ceteris autem in parabolis : ut videntes non videant, et audientes non intellegant.

Est autem haec parabola : Semen est verbum Dei. Qui autem secum viam, hi sunt qui audiunt : deinde venit diabolus, et tollit verbum de corde eorum, ne credentes salvi fiant. Nam qui supra petram : qui cum audierint, cum gaudio suscipiunt verbum : et hi radices non habent : qui ad tempus credunt, et in tempore tentationis recedunt.

Quod autem in spinas cecidit : hi sunt, qui audierunt, et a sollicitudinibus et divitiis et voluptatibus vitae euntes, suffocantur, et non referunt fructum. Quod autem in bonam terram : hi sunt, qui in corde bono et optimo audientes verbum retinent, et fructum afferunt in patientia.

English translation

At that time, when a very great multitude was gathered together and hastened out of the cities unto Him, He spoke by a parable, “The sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside, and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.”

“And some others fell upon a rock, and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some others fell among thorns, and the thorns growing up with it, choked it. And some others fell upon good ground, and being sprung up, yielded fruits a hundredfold.” Saying these things, He cried out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

And His disciples asked Him what this parable might be. To whom He said, “To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God, but to the rest in parables, that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.”

“Now the parable is this : The seed is the word of God. And those by the wayside are those who hear, then the devil came, and took the word out of their heart, lest believing they should be saved. Now those upon the rock are those who when they hear, receive the word with joy, and these have no roots, for they believe for a while, and in time of temptation they fall away.”

“And those who fell among thorns are those who have heard, and going their way, are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and yield no fruit. But those on the good ground are those who in a good and very good heart, hearing the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit in patience.”

(Usus Antiquior) Sexagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 16 February 2020 : Gradual and Tract

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Gradual

Psalm 82 : 19, 14

Sciant gentes, quoniam Nomen Tibi Deus : Tu solus Altissimus super omnem terram.

Response : Deus meus, pone illos ut rotam, et sicut stipulam ante faciem venti.

English translation

Let the Gentiles know that God is Your Name. You alone are the Most High over all the earth.

Response : O my God, make them like a wheel, and as stubble before the face of the wind.

Tract

Psalm 59 : 4, 6

Commovisti, Domine, terram, et conturbasti eam.

Response : Sana contritiones ejus, qui mota est.

Response : Ut fugiant a facie arcus : ut liberentur electi Tui.

English translation

You have moved the earth, o Lord, and had troubled it.

Response : May You heal the breaches thereof, for it had been moved.

Response : That Your elect may flee from before the bow, that they may be delivered.

(Usus Antiquior) Sexagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 16 February 2020 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Violet

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

2 Corinthians 11 : 19-33 and 2 Corinthians 12 : 1-9

Fratres : Libenter suffertis insipientens : cum sitis ipsi sapientes. Sustinetis enim, si quis vos in servitutem redigit, si quis devorat, si quis accipit, si quis extollitur, si quis in faciem vos caedit. Secundum ignobilitatem dico, quasi nos infirmi fuerimus in hac parte.

In quo quis audet, (in insipientia dico) audeo et ego : Hebraei sunt, et ego : Israelitae sunt, et ego : Semen Abrahae sunt, et ego : Ministri Christi sunt, (ut minus sapiens dico) plus ego : in laboribus plurimis, in carceribus abundantius, in plagis supra modum, in mortibus frequenter.

A Judaeis quinquies quadragenas, una minus, accepi. Ter virgis caesus sum, semel lapidatus sum, ter naufragium feci, nocte et die in profundo maris fui : in itineribus saepe, periculis fluminum, periculis latronum, periculis ex genere, periculis ex gentibus, periculis in civitate, periculis in solitudine, periculis in mari, periculis in falsis fratribus : in labore et aerumna, in vigiliis multis, in fame et siti, in jejuniis multis, in frigore et nuditate : praeter illa, quae extrinsecus sunt, instantia mea cotidiana, sollicitudo omnium Ecclesiarum.

Quis infirmatur, et ego non infirmor? Quis scandalizatur, et ego non uror? Si gloriari oportet : quae infirmitatis meae sunt, gloriabor. Deus et Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, qui est benedictus in saecula, scit quod non mentior. Damasci praepositus gentis Aretae regis, custodiebat civitatem Damascenorum, ut me comprehenderet : et per fenestram in sporta dimissus sum per murum, et sic effugi manus ejus.

Si gloriari oportet (non expedit quidem), veniam autem ad visiones et revelationes Domini. Scio hominem in Christo ante annos quatuordecim, (sive in corpore nescio, sive extra corpus nescio, Deus scit 🙂 raptum hujusmodi usque ad tertium caelum.

Et scio hujusmodi hominem, (sive in corpore, sive extra corpus nescio, Deus scit 🙂 quoniam raptus est in paradisum : et audivit arcana verba, quae non licet homini loqui. Pro hujusmodi gloriabor : pro me autem nihil gloriabor nisi in infirmitatibus meis.

Nam, et si voluero gloriari, non ero insipiens : veritatem enim dicam : parco autem, ne quis me existimet supra id, quod videt in me, aut aliquid audit ex me. Et ne magnitudo revelationem extollat me, datus est mihi stimulus carnis meae angelus satanae, qui me colaphizet.

Propter quod ter Dominum rogavi, ut discederet a me : et dixit mihi : Sufficit tibi gratia mea : nam virtus in infirmitate perficitur. Libenter igitur gloriabor in infirmitatibus meis, ut inhabitet in me virtus Christi.

English translation

Brethren, you gladly suffer the foolish, whereas yourselves are wise. For you suffer if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devours you, if a man takes from you, if a man be lifted up, if a man strikes you in the face. I speak according to dishonour, as if we had been weak in this part.

Wherein if any man dare (I speak foolishly), I also dare. They are Hebrews, so am I. They are Israelites, so am I. They are the seed of Abraham, so am I. They are the ministers of Christ (I speak as one less wise), I am more, in many more labours, in prisons more frequently, in stripes above measure, in deaths often.

Of the Jews I had received forty stripes save one. Thrice I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I was in the depth of the sea. In journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own nation, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils from false brethren. In labour and painfulness, in much watchings, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness, besides those things which are without, my daily instance, the solicitude for all the churches.

Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is scandalised, and I am not on fire? If I must need glory, I will glory of the things that concern my infirmity. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is blessed forever, knows that I do not lie. At Damascus the governor of the nation under Aretas the king, guarded the city of the Damascenes to apprehend me, and through a window in a basket I was let down by the wall, and so escaped his hands.

If I must glory (it is not expedient indeed), but I will come to the visions and the revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ above fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I do not know, or out of the body, I do not know, but God knows) such one rapts even to the third heaven.

And I know such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell, but God knows), that he was caught up into paradise, and heard secret words, which it is not granted to man to utter. For such one I will glory, but for myself I will glory nothing, but in my infirmities.

For though I should have a mind to glory, I shall not be foolish, for I will say the truth. But I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he sees in me, or anything he heard from me. And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me.

For which thing thrice I besought the Lord, that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in infirmity.” Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

(Usus Antiquior) Sexagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 16 February 2020 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Introit

Psalm 43 : 23-26 and 2

Exsurge, quare obdormis, Domine? Exsurge, et ne repellas in finem : quare faciem Tuam avertis, oblivisceris tribulationem nostram? Adhaesit in terra venter noster : exsurge, Domine, adjuva nos, et libera nos.

Deus, auribus nostris audivimus : patres nostri annuntiaverunt nobis.

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

English translation

Arise, why do You sleep, o Lord? Arise, and cast us not off to the end. Why do You turn Your face away, and forgot our trouble? Our belly had cleaved to the earth. Arise, o Lord, help us and deliver us.

O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have declared to us.

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 conspicis quia ex nulla nostra actione confidimus : concede propitius; ut, contra adversa omnia, Doctoris gentium protectione muniamur. Per 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, You Who see that we put not our trust in any deed of our own, mercifully grant that by the protection of the Teacher of the Gentiles we may be defended against all adversities. 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, 15 February 2020 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we listened to the words of the Scripture we are all reminded that we have to learn to trust in God and in His providence, and not to give in to fear and uncertainty, or else we may end up taking the wrong actions and walking down the wrong path, ending up with sin against God. In our first reading today, this was exemplified by the story of the king of Israel, Jeroboam, while in our Gospel we heard of the account of the miraculous feeding of the four thousand.

In the first reading, king Jeroboam, who was chosen by God to lead the ten tribes of the Israelites in opposition to king Rehoboam of Judah, began to take things into his own hands and disobey God. He feared that the people of Israel, who at that time according to the Law still had to go to the Temple in Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to God, would then be touched and made to return their allegiance and love to the house of David instead of to Jeroboam.

As such, Jeroboam took drastic actions in making for his own kingdom two sites where golden idols were built and put as the focus of worship, and he appointed priests of his own, not in accordance to the Law which stipulated that the priests could only come from the descendants of Aaron and the Levites. And Jeroboam himself offered the sacrifice on the heathen altar he has built for the purpose of the worship of those golden idols.

Through this action, king Jeroboam led the people to sin against God, and the root of his folly was because of his fear and pride, that allowed him to be tempted by Satan to establish a rival worship centre, that did not even worship God but golden idols instead, a mockery of God and a reminder of how the Israelites first sinned at Mount Sinai when they worshipped the golden calf instead of God.

We see here what can happen when we allow ourselves to be swayed by fear and pride, as king Jeroboam was afraid that he would soon lose control over his kingdom and his people would betray him to the rightful kings in Judah, if he allowed them to continue the rightful and legitimate worship of God in Jerusalem. He was likely also too proud to admit that he had to depend or trust in God, and therefore, took matter to his own hands.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it was this same fear and uncertainty that the disciples of the Lord also faced when they saw the multitudes of people gathered to hear their Lord and Master, as described in our Gospel reading today. The Lord wanted them to have food because many of them had been following Him for days and there were not much food in the area, and neither did those people bring sufficient food with them for sustenance.

The disciples were worried and concerned, fearing that they would not be able to get enough food for the people. In another occasion, the disciples estimated that it would have cost quite a lot of money to get sufficient food to feed all the whole multitudes of people. But the Lord Jesus then showed all of them that they really do not need to be afraid or be fearful, but rather, they must learn to trust in God.

That was when the Lord performed the amazing miracle, breaking merely seven loaves of bread, and yet, the whole multitude of four thousand men and many more women and children were fed until they were all full and satisfied, with plenty of leftovers to spare. He showed all of us that as long as we have faith in Him and trust in Him, He will provide what we truly need, and we have to learn to trust in Him and not in our own often flawed human instincts and judgements.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, through what we have heard in today’s readings from the Scripture, let us all reflect on our own lives and discern how we can be more faithful from now on. Let us all deepen our faith and build a stronger and better relationship with our God from now on. And may the Lord be with us always, and may He bless us in our many efforts and works, giving us the strength and courage to be ever faithful in all things in life. Amen.