Wednesday, 26 February 2020 : 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, 26 February 2020 : 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, 26 February 2020 : 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, 26 February 2020 : 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, 26 February 2020 : 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, 26 February 2020 : 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, 26 February 2020 : 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, 26 February 2020 : 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, 26 February 2020 : 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, 25 February 2020 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are reminded as we come to approach the beginning of the season of Lent tomorrow on Ash Wednesday, of the need for all of us as Christians to have a change of heart and mind, as the time of Lent is meant for us to reflect on our lives and our actions thus far, whether we have been faithful to God or whether we have been negligent in our faith.

In our first reading today, taken from the Epistle of St. James, we heard the Apostle reminding the faithful of the need for them to purify themselves, their hearts and minds from earthly desires and greed, as he mentioned how they bickered, argued, fought and ended up in conflict over certain things they wanted and desired, and when they prayed for what they wanted, they did so with those longing and desire, the cravings that are not compatible with our Christian faith.

St. James reminded the faithful not to put their emphasis and focus on worldly matters, as he put it plainly that ‘those who seek to become the world’s friend, is an enemy of the Lord’. What St. James actually meant here in the context of his time and his audience, is that we, as Christians, must resist the temptations present in our world today, especially since we are surrounded by so much materialistic lifestyle and the glorification of power, wealth, fame, and all sorts of things that we mankind often crave for.

For as long as our attention and focus are placed on those things, we will never be able to find true peace and we will not be able to connect meaningfully with God. And the reality is that we mankind can never be satisfied with all these desires and wants. As long as we have what we want, this will lead to us desiring for even more of what we have already had, the craving and temptation that will continue to grow as time passes. That is why we should then heed what the Lord said in our Gospel passage today, that our faith must be like that of the faith of children.

What did the Lord mean by that? It is the fact that a child is still innocent and pure, and the faith that a child is the purest that there can be among us mankind. For their faith and love for God has not been affected by all sorts of worldly concerns and desires that slowly crept into our minds and hearts as we grow up and become older. The Lord wants all of us to be true in our faith, and to purify ourselves from all the unhealthy attachments and obsessions we have, for all sorts of worldly temptations.

We are called to have once again, pure, unbridled faith in God, and to love Him with all of our hearts and with all of our might. And this is what we all need to take heed of, even as we proceed through towards the season of Lent. This holy and blessed time of Lent that begins tomorrow with Ash Wednesday, is the perfect opportunity for us to reorientate our lives and to rediscover the true faith and love deep within our hearts towards God. For all these while, they have been buried under layers of our worldliness, our desire, our pride and ego.

How do we then proceed, knowing that we need to get rid from ourselves all these obstacles and hindrances? During this upcoming season of Lent, let us all open ourselves to God more, allowing Him to enter into our hearts and trust in His guidance and providence for us. Let us make good use of the opportunity to be reconciled with God, by going for the Sacrament of Reconciliation to confess our sins and faults, that we may be forgiven and find peace with God.

And let us all also live up to the spirit of the Lenten season, by meaningfully practicing all the practices such as fasting and abstinence as according to the Church laws, and make good use of them to restrain our desires and wants, and deepen our relationship with God in the meanwhile by having a good and meaningful prayer life, that is opening ourselves to God and allowing Him to speak with us in the depth and silence of our hearts and minds. Let us also be more charitable towards our less fortunate brothers and sisters, that we may learn to be more selfless and to love more, rather than loving only ourselves and being selfish.

May the Lord continue to guide us throughout this upcoming season of Lent, that we may grow ever stronger in faith and that we may deepen our love for Him, and be ever more worthy of God with each and every passing moments in our lives. I would like to wish everyone, a good and most blessed and fruitful season of Lent ahead! Amen.