Sunday, 8 March 2020 : Second Sunday of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Matthew 17 : 1-9

At that time, six days after Jesus predicted His own death, He took with Him Peter and James and his brother John, and led them up a high mountain, where they were alone. Jesus’ appearance was changed before them : His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became bright as light. Just then Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus.

Peter spoke and said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. If You wish, I will make three tents : one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Peter was still speaking, when a bright cloud covered them with its shadow, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My Son, the Beloved, My Chosen One. Listen to Him.”

On hearing the voice, the disciples fell to the ground, full of fear. But Jesus came, touched them and said, “Stand up, do not be afraid.” When they raised their eyes, they no longer saw anyone except Jesus. And as they came down the mountain, Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone what they had just seen, until the Son of Man be raised from the dead.

Sunday, 8 March 2020 : Second Sunday of Lent (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

2 Timothy 1 : 8b-10

On the contrary, do your share in labouring for the Gospel with the strength of God. He saved us and called us – a calling which proceeds from His holiness. This did not depend on our merits, but on His generosity and His own initiative.

This calling given to us from all time in Christ Jesus has just been manifested with the glorious appearance of Christ Jesus, our Lord, Who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light in His Gospel.

Sunday, 8 March 2020 : Second Sunday of Lent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 32 : 4-5, 18-19, 20 and 22

For upright is the Lord’s word and worthy of trust is His work. The Lord loves justice and righteousness; the earth is full of His kindness.

But the Lord’s eyes are upon those who fear Him, upon those who trust in His loving kindness to deliver them from death and preserve them from famine.

In hope we wait for the Lord, for He is our help and our shield. O Lord, let Your love rest upon us, even as our hope rests in You.

Sunday, 8 March 2020 : Second Sunday of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Genesis 12 : 1-4a

YHVH said to Abram, “Leave your country, your family and your father’s house, for the land I will show you. I will make you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curse you, I will curse, and in you all peoples of the earth will be blessed.”

So Abram went as YHVH had told him, and Lot went with him.

(Usus Antiquior) Second Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 8 March 2020 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Preface, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Offertory

Psalm 118 : 47, 48

Meditabor in mandatis Tuis, quae dilexi valde : et levabo manus meas ad mandata Tua, quae dilexi.

 

English translation

I will meditate on Your commandments, which I have loved exceedingly, and I will lift up my hands to Your commandments, which I have loved.

 

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Sacrificiis praesentibus, Domine, quaesumus, intende placatus : ut et devotioni nostrae proficiant et saluti. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Look graciously we beg, o Lord, upon the sacrifices here before You, that they may profit both our devotion and our salvation. 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 5 : 2-4

Intellege clamorem meum : intende voci orationes meae, Rex meus et Deus meus : quoniam ad Te orabo, Domine.

 

English translation

Understand my cry, hearken to the voice of my prayer, o my King and my God. For to You will I pray, o Lord.

 

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 beseech You, o Almighty God, that we, whom You refreshed with Your sacraments, may also serve You worthily with conduct to Your liking. 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) Second Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 8 March 2020 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Violet

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

Matthew 17 : 1-9

In illo tempore : Assumpsit Jesus Petrum, et Jacobum, et Joannem fratrem eius, et duxit illos in montem excelsum seorsum : et transfiguratus est ante eos. Et resplenduit facies Ejus sicut sol : vestimenta autem Ejus facta sunt alba sicut nix.

Et ecce, apparuerunt illis Moyses et Elias cum Eo loquentes. Respondens autem Petrus, dixit ad Jesum : Domine, bonum est nos hic esse : si vis, faciamus hic tria tabernacula, Tibi unum, Moysi unum et Eliae unum.

Adhuc eo loquente, ecce, nubes lucida obumbravit eos. Et ecce vox de nube, dicens : Hic est Filius Meus dilectus, in quo mihi bene complacui : Ipsum audite. Et audientes discipuli, ceciderunt in faciem suam, et timuerunt valde. Et accessit Jesus, et tetigit eos, dixitque eis : Surgite, et nolite timere.

Levantes autem oculos suos, neminem viderunt nisi solum Jesum. Et descendentibus illis de monte, praecepit eis Jesus, dicens : Nemini dixeritis visionem, donec Filius Hominis a mortuis resurgat.

 

English translation

At that time, Jesus took Peter and James, and John his brother, and brought them up into a high mountain apart, and He was transfigured before them. And His face shone as the sun, and His garments became white as snow.

And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elijah talking with Him. And Peter answering, said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If You will, let us make here three tabernacles, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.

And as he was still speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them, and lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him.” And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face and were very much afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said to them, “Arise and do not fear.”

And they lifting up their eyes saw no one, but only Jesus. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, “Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”

(Usus Antiquior) Second Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 8 March 2020 : Gradual and Tract

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Gradual

Psalm 24 : 17-18

Tribulationes cordis mei dilatatae sunt : de necessitatibus meis eripe me, Domine.

Response : Vide humilitatem meam et laborem meum : et dimitte omnia peccata mea.

 

English translation

The troubles of my heart are multiplied; deliver me from my necessities, o Lord.

Response : See my abjection and my labour, and forgive all my sins.

 

Tract

Psalm 105 : 1-4

Confitemini Domino, quoniam bonus : quoniam in saeculum misericordia Ejus.

Response : Quis loquetur potentias Domini : auditas faciet omnes laudes Ejus?

Response : Beati, qui custodiunt judicium et faciunt justitiam in omni tempore.

Response : Memento nostri, Domine, in beneplacito populi Tui : visita nos in salutari Tuo.

 

English translation

Give glory to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.

Response : Who shall declare the powers of the Lord? Who shall set forth all His praises?

Response : Blessed are those who keep judgment, and do justice at all times.

Response : Remember us, o Lord, in the favour of Your people, visit us with Your salvation.

(Usus Antiquior) Second Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 8 March 2020 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Violet

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

1 Thessalonians 4 : 1-7

Fratres : Rogamus vos et obsecramus in Domino Jesu : ut, quemadmodum accepistis a nobis, quomodo oporteat vos ambulare et placere Deo, sic et ambuletis, ut abundetis magis. Scitis enim, quae praecepta dederim vobis per Dominum Jesum.

Haec est enim voluntas Dei, sanctificatio vestra : ut abstineatis vos a fornicatione, ut sciat unusquisque vestrum vas suum possidere in sanctificatione et honore; non in passione desiderii, sicut et gentes, quae ignorant Deum : et ne quis supergrediatur neque circumveniat in negotio fratrem suum : quoniam vindex est Dominus de his omnibus, sicut praediximus vobis et testificati sumus.

Non enim vocavit nos Deus in immunditiam, sed in sanctificationem : in Christo Jesu, Domino nostro.

 

English translation

Brethren, we pray and beseech you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received of us, how you ought to walk, and to please God, so also you would walk, that you may abound the more. For you know what precepts I have given to you by the Lord Jesus.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication, that every one of you should know how to possess His vessel in sanctification and honour, not in the passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God, and that no man overreach, nor deceive his brother in business, because the Lord is the Avenger of all these things, as we have told you before, and have testified.

For God had not called us unto uncleanness, but unto sanctification, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Usus Antiquior) Second Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 8 March 2020 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Introit

Psalm 24 : 6, 3, 22 and 1-2

Reminiscere miserationum Tuarum, Domine, et misericordiae Tuae, quae a saeculo sunt : ne umquam dominentur nobis inimici nostri : libera nos, Deus Israel, ex omnibus angustiis nostris.

Ad Te, Domine, levavi animam meam : Deus meus, in Te confido, non erubescam.

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

 

English translation

Remember, o Lord, Your bowels of compassion, and Your mercies that are from the beginning of the world, lest at any time our enemies rule over us. Deliver us, o God of Israel, from all our tribulations.

To You, o Lord, have I lifted up my soul. In You, o My God, I put my trust. Let me not be ashamed.

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 omni nos virtute destitui : interius exteriusque custodi; ut ab omnibus adversitatibus muniamur in corpore, et a pravis cogitationibus mundemur in mente. 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, Who saw how we are destitute of all strength, keep us inwardly and outwardly, that in body we may be defended from all adversities, and in mind cleansed of evil thoughts. 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, 7 March 2020 : 1st Week of Lent, Memorial of St. Perpetua and St. Felicity, Martyrs (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures we are brought to focus our attention to the commandments and Law of God. The Lord has given us His laws and commandments, revealing to us and teaching us how we ought to live our lives in this world so that we may walk faithfully in His path and be righteous as we should have as Christians, God’s faithful ones.

From the Book of Deuteronomy, we are all reminded that the Law of God must be an important part of life which we obey, follow and practice in all aspects of our lives so that by our actions we may indeed prove that we truly belong to God and God really is the centre and focus of our lives and existence. And we are also reminded that obeying the Law and following the commandments of God must be centred on one very fundamental aspect, that is love. Without love, one cannot claim to be obedient to the Law of God.

It is the same sentiment and idea that our Gospel passage has shown us, as in that passage we heard the Lord Jesus Himself teaching His disciples and the people on the importance of love, and in fact not just any kind of love, but love that is pure, selfless, unbiased and non-judgmental or prejudiced, love that does not discriminate against anyone but one that is established and anchored on the wonderful love of God. This is what the Lord wants us to know and implement in our own lives.

In that Gospel passage the Lord said how as Christians all of us are challenged not just to love those who have already loved us, but also to love even those who have not loved us, those who hated us, those who persecuted us and are prejudiced and biased against us. He asked us all to show love even to all these people who have not been kind to us and who will likely not respond to our love in kind. That is what true love is all about, the love that expects no returns and love that is genuine and not because of desire for returns and reciprocity.

The reality is that many of us treat love as something that we expect things in return, even to the point of being transactional in nature. We often love because we feel happy because of it and we seek to gain satisfaction, joy and pleasure out of that love. The moment that challenges, trials and disagreements begin to appear, then our love fades and turns into bickering and even hatred. This was also why so many marriages ended in failure, relationships ended up being broken and divorces and broken families soared, all because of our selfish love.

Now, all of us are called to embrace God’s love, which is selfless and giving rather than selfish and receiving or expecting. And the Lord Himself had shown us this love by His own example, as He laid hung on the Cross, selflessly bearing for our sake all of our sins and their punishments, to suffer instead of us so that by His loving sacrifice, He may deliver us all from our sins and therefore bring us into salvation and eternal life.

It is what He meant when He said that God loves us all, and show His love even to those who are wicked and evil, by giving them His blessings and wonders even though those people have sinned against Him. Let us all not forget that the Lord Jesus Himself forgave all of His enemies and all those who persecuted Him and condemned Him to die on the Cross, praying that they were not to be held accountable for what they had done to Him on that day.

That is what we are all called to do, brothers and sisters in Christ, to show our pure, selfless and genuine love to one another, even to those who have made our lives difficult or even those who hated us and were prejudiced against us. Indeed, this is easier said that done, and it is important that we realise how we will definitely encounter challenges and difficulties, as well as temptations to hate and to be selfish, but as Christians, are we able to strive to be more loving as Our Lord Himself had done?

Today we also celebrate the feast of two famous saints and martyrs of the Church, two holy women, St. Perpetua and St. Felicity. St. Perpetua was a Roman young woman who became a Christian, but faced opposition from his own father who wanted her to recant her faith. Despite her persecution and being put in prison, St. Perpetua remained faithful to God and refused to recant her faith. In prison, St. Perpetua encountered a slave woman, a Christian named St. Felicity. St. Felicity gave birth to a daughter just before her martyrdom with St. Perpetua and some other Christians.

In the end, both St. Perpetua and St. Felicity remained faithful to the very end, and together with several other Christians, were thrown into the Colosseum and died in martyrdom against the terrible beasts used in the gladiatorial fights by the Romans. And we can see how both St. Perpetua and St. Felicity were filled with God’s love, love that is both selfless and giving, for they did not expect anything in return for their love towards God. Had they expected things in return for their faith, they would have abandoned their faith easily in the face of trials, persecutions and certain death.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, inspired by the good faith and loving examples of St. Perpetua and St. Felicity, and even more so, Our Lord Himself Who died for us on the Cross, let us all devote ourselves anew to God from now on, and make use of the wonderful opportunities and time given to us, especially in this season of Lent, to learn to love more selflessly and to be more faithful to God, to draw ever closer to Him and to be more righteous in His presence. May God bless us all. Amen.