Sunday, 15 March 2020 : Third Sunday of Lent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 94 : 1-2, 6-7, 8-9

Come, let us sing to the Lord, let us make a joyful sound to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him giving thanks, with music and songs of praise.

Come and worship; let us bow down, kneel before the Lord, our Maker. He is our God, and we His people; the flock He leads and pastures. Would that today you heard His voice!

Do not be stubborn, as at Meribah, in the desert, on that day at Massah, when your ancestors challenged Me, and they put Me to the test.

Sunday, 15 March 2020 : Third Sunday of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Exodus 17 : 3-7

But the people thirsted for water at Rephidim and grumbled against Moses, “Why did you make us leave Egypt to have us die of thirst with our children and our cattle?”

So Moses cried to YHVH, “What shall I do with the people? They are almost ready to stone me!” YHVH said to Moses, “Go ahead of the people and take with you the elders of Israel. Take with you the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you on the rock at Horeb. You will strike the rock and water will flow from it and the people will drink.”

Moses did this in the presence of the elders of Israel. The place was called Massah and Meribah because of the complaints of the Israelites, who tested YHVH saying, “Is YHVH with us or not?”

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 15 March 2020 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Preface, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Offertory

Psalm 18 : 9, 10, 11, 12

Justitiae Domini rectae, laetificantes corda, et judicia Ejus dulciora super mel et favum : nam et servus Tuus custodit ea.

English translation

The justices of the Lord are right, rejoicing hearts, and His judgments are sweeter than honey and the honeycomb; for Your servant kept them.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Haec hostia, Domine, quaesumus, emundet nostra delicta : et, ad sacrificium celebrandum, subditorum Tibi corpora mentesque sanctificet. 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 this offering, o Lord, we beseech You, wipe out our sins, and sanctify the bodies and minds of Your servants for the celebration of the sacrifice. 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 83 : 4-5

Passer invenit sibi domum, et turtur nidum, ubi reponat pullos suos : altaria Tua, Domine virtutum. Rex meus, et Deus meus : beati, qui habitant in domo Tua, in saeculum saeculi laudabunt Te.

English translation

The sparrow had found herself a house, and the turtle a nest, where she may lay her young ones. Your altars, o Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house, they shall praise You forever and ever.

Post-Communion Prayer

Acunctis nos, quaesumus, Domine, reatibus et periculis propitiatus absolve : quos tanti mysterii tribuis esse participes. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
English translation

Be merciful, o Lord, we beseech You, and free us from all sins and dangers, as You had granted us to be sharers in this great mystery. 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) Third Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 15 March 2020 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Violet

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

Luke 11 : 14-28

In illo tempore : Erat Jesus ejiciens daemonium, et illud erat mutum. Et cum ejecisset daemonium, locutus est mutus, et admiratae sunt turbae. Quidam autem ex eis dixerunt : In Beelzebub, principe daemoniorum, ejicit daemonia. Et alii tentantes, signum de caelo quaerebant ab Eo.

Ipse autem ut vidit cogitationes eorum, dixit eis : Omne regnum in seipsum divisum desolabitur, et domus supra domum cadet. Si autem et satanas in seipsum divisus est, quomodo stabit regnum ejus? Quia dicitis, in Beelzebub Me ejicere daemonia. Si autem ego in Beelzebub ejicio daemonia : filii vestri in quo ejiciunt? Ideo ipsi judices vestri erunt.

Porro si in digito Dei ejicio daemonia : profecto pervenit in vos regnum Dei. Cum fortis armatus custodit atrium suum, in pace sunt ea, quae possidet. Si autem fortior eo superveniens vicerit eum, universa arma ejus auferet, in quibus confidebat, et spolia ejus distribuet.

Qui non est mecum, contra me est : et qui non colligit mecum, dispergit. Cum immundus spiritus exierit de homine, ambulat per loca inaquosa, quaerens requiem : et non inveniens, dicit : Revertar in domum meam, unde exivi. Et cum venerit, invenit eam scopis mundatam, et ornatam.

Tunc vadit, et assumit septem alios spiritus secum nequiores se, et ingressi habitant ibi. Et fiunt novissima hominis illius pejora prioribus. Factum est autem, cum haec diceret : extollens vocem quaedam mulier de turba, dixit illi : Beatus venter, qui te portavit, et ubera, quae suxisti.

At ille dixit : Quinimmo beati, qui audiunt verbum Dei, et custodiunt illud.

English translation

At that time, Jesus was casting out a devil, and the same was dumb, and when He had cast out the devil, the dumb spoke, and the multitude were in admiration at it, but some of them said, “He cast out devils by Beelzebub the prince of devils.” And others tempting, asked of Him a sign from heaven.

But He seeing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to desolation, and house upon house shall fall; and if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? Because you say, that through Beelzebub I cast out devils by Beelzebub, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.”

“But if I by the finger of God cast out devils, doubtless the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man armed kept his court, those things which he possessed are in peace, but if a stronger one that he comes upon him, and overcome him, he will take away all his armour wherein he trusted, and will distribute his spoils.”

“He who is not with Me, is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me, scatters. When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he walked through places without water, seeking rest, and not finding it, he said, I will return into my house from whence I came out. And when he comes, he found it swept and garnished.”

“Then he went, and took with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and entering in they dwell there, and the last state of that man became worse than the first.” And it came to pass, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and breasts upon which You have suckled.”

But He said, “Yea, rather blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.”

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 15 March 2020 : Gradual and Tract

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Gradual

Psalm 9 : 20, 4

Exsurge, Domine, non praevaleat homo : judicentur gentes in conspectu Tuo.

Response : In convertendo inimicum meum retrorsum, infirmabuntur, et peribunt a facie Tua.

English translation

Arise, o Lord, let not man be strengthened, let the Gentiles be judged in Your sight.

Response : When my enemy shall be turned back, they shall be weakened and perish before Your face.

Tract

Psalm 122 : 1-3

Ad Te levavi oculos meos, qui habitas in caelis.

Response : Ecce, sicut oculi servorum in manibus dominorum suorum.

Response : Et sicut oculi ancillae in manibus dominae suae ita oculi nostri ad Dominum, Deum nostrum, donec misereatur nostri.

Response : Miserere nobis, Domine, miserere nobis.

English translation

To You have I lifted up my eyes, You Who dwells in heaven.

Response : Behold as the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters.

Response : And as the eyes of the handmaid are on the hands of her mistress, so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until He has mercy on us.

Response : Have mercy on us, o Lord, have mercy on us.

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 15 March 2020 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Violet

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

Ephesians 5 : 1-9

Fratres : Estote imitatores Dei, sicut filii carissimi : et ambulate in dilectione, sicut et Christus dilexit nos, et tradidit semetipsum pro nobis oblationem, et hostiam Deo in odorem suavitatis. Fornicatio autem et omnis immunditia aut avaritia nec nominetur in vobis, sicut decet sanctos : aut turpitudo aut stultiloquium aut scurrilitas, quae ad rem non pertinet : sed magis gratiarum actio.

Hoc enim scitote intelligentes, quod omnis fornicator aut immundus aut avarus, quod est idolorum servitus, non habet hereditatem in regno Christi et Dei. Nemo vos seducat inanibus verbis : propter haec enim venit ira Dei in filios diffidentiae. Nolite ergo effici participes eorum.

Eratis enim aliquando tenebrae : nunc autem lux in Domino. Ut filii lucis ambulate : fructus enim lucis est in omni bonitate et justitia et veritate.

English translation

Brethren, may all of you become followers of God, as most dear children, and walk in love, as Christ also had loved us, and had delivered Himself for us, and oblation and a sacrifice to God, for an odour of sweetness. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as became the saints, nor obscenity, nor foolish talking, nor scurrility, which is to no purpose, but rather giving of thanks.

For all of you should know this, and understand, that no fornicator, nor unclean, nor covetous person, which is a serving of idols, had any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words, for because of these things came the anger of God upon the children of unbelievers. Be you not partakers with them.

For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk all of you as children of the light, for the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice and truth.

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 15 March 2020 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Introit

Psalm 24 : 15-16 and 1-2

Oculi mei semper ad Dominum, quia ipse evellet de laqueo pedes meos : respice in me, et miserere mei, quoniam unicus et pauper sum ego.

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

My eyes are ever towards the Lord, for He shall pluck my feet out of the snare. May You look upon me, and have mercy on me, for I am alone and poor.

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

Quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, vota humilium respice : atque, ad defensionem nostram, dexteram Tuae majestatis extende. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Have regard to the desires of the lowly, o Almighty God, we beseech You, and stretch forth the right hand of Your majesty in our defence. 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, 14 March 2020 : 2nd Week of Lent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we listened to the passages of the Scriptures, our attention and focus are brought on the mercy and compassionate nature of Our God. This we heard first of all from the words of the prophet Micah who spoke of God’s love and guidance for His people as their Lord and Shepherd, and then followed by the famous parable of the prodigal son in our Gospel passage today, a story that all of us are certainly familiar with.

In the first reading we heard of the prophet Micah who spoke of the Lord as the Shepherd of the people of Israel, as the One Who guides the people through and provides for them all throughout their history, reminding of His great deeds and wonders especially when He brought out the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt, protecting them from their enemies and destroyed all those who opposed and wanted to defeat them.

The prophet Micah was also speaking in the manner of a prayer, asking God to be merciful on His people just as He had been merciful with them in the past, forgiving them their sins and turning them over a new lease of life when they regretted their sins and repented from those wickedness they have committed. The prophet also spoke to God of the promises and the Covenant which He had made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all of His faithful servants, to turn away from His anger and be merciful on their descendants.

Through all these, and linking to what we certainly know in the parable of the prodigal son, we can see how God indeed is not an angry and fearsome God that many of us often thought, but rather, a loving, compassionate and merciful God Who wants each and every one of us to be reconciled to Him. The prodigal son in the parable, which represents us as the sinners, separated from the father’s love, as the father represents God, shows us that no matter how worried or scared one may be to be reconciled to our loving Father in heaven, the truth is that He loves us even greater than He despises our sins.

Yet, this is where we must understand that unless we make the effort to return to the Father, even in shame and humiliation, we can never find the path to reconciliation with Him. The younger son had squandered off his portion of inheritance, and did all sorts of vices and wicked things during his time in the foreign land, and when he ran out of everything, he resolved after consideration and deliberations, to return to his father even though he had to swallow his pride and lose his face, to be humiliated and even to beg his father to treat him just like one of his father’s servants.

In all of that, we can see how the prodigal son summoned the courage and the strength to journey back to his father in repentance and regret, willing to humble himself that he might be reconciled to his father. And this is what all of us must also do as we journey towards God, our loving Father and Creator, and embrace His generous offer of love and mercy. Just as the father of the prodigal son welcomed his long lost son so passionately when they were reconciled, so is our loving Father as well. God is truly joyful to have us reconciled with Him, when we are sincere in our desire to turn away from our sins and to embrace fully once again, His love and grace.

Now, let us all reflect, brothers and sisters in Christ, on what our lives have been thus far. Have we allowed our pride and ego, our greed and desires, our attachments to sin and the various wickedness of this world to prevent us and become obstacles for us in our journey to be reconciled with God? Have we allowed ourselves to continue to sin because we are too afraid to admit that we have been wrong and that we have been defiled by the sins we committed? Or have we allowed ourselves to fear God and His anger and retribution just because we failed to recognise His genuine love and desire to forgive us?

Have we allowed the devil to tempt us to continue to sin by indulging in all sorts of things that go against God’s will, because they pander to our desires, our ambitions and wishes? Have we become too attached to the lures of power, worldly glory and fame, of pleasures and satisfactions of our bodies among many other things? Let us really carefully discern on all these as we progress through this blessed penitential season of Lent, so that we truly may follow the example of the prodigal son in returning to the love of his father, that we ourselves may be reconciled with God, our loving and ever merciful Father.

Let us all realise that God despises our sins, not us as the sinners. After all, He created us all in love, for the reason of sharing His love for us, and His love endures so much that He was willing to give us His ultimate gift of love in Christ, His own Beloved Son, to be our Saviour, redeeming us all through the most painful and bitter pain of the Cross, making the ultimate sacrifice of love for our sake. And this is indeed for us to remember, that with every sins we committed, we inflict those blows and injuries on the Lord.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all sin no more and strive to be upright in all of our dealings and actions, to be good to our fellow brothers and sisters, that we show love and compassion to those who have wronged us, to forgive them their faults and mistakes just as we also should ask to be forgiven our own mistakes and faults, which we may not even realise that we have committed unto others around us, even to our family members, our friends and our loved ones. And it is important that we are merciful just as God our Father is merciful so that through our own mercy and forgiveness, compassion and love, we too are open to accept God’s offer of compassion, love and mercy.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us therefore strive to be merciful as the Father is merciful, and to love as the Father has loved us. Let us all be sorry for our sins and faults, to seek forgiveness through our genuine desire to repent and turn away from our sins and from all sorts of wickedness in our lives. May the Lord help us and may He give us the courage and strength to walk faithfully in this path that He has led us through, that we may truly find consolation and true happiness in Him, through the forgiveness of our sins and by being reconciled to our loving Father. Amen.

Saturday, 14 March 2020 : 2nd Week of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Luke 15 : 1-3, 11-32

At that time, tax collectors and sinners were seeking the company of Jesus, all of them eager to hear what He had to say. But the Pharisees and the scribes frowned at this, muttering, ‘This Man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

So Jesus told them this parable : “There was a man with two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘Give me my share of the estate.’ So the father divided his property between them. Some days later, the younger son gathered all his belongings and started off for a distant land, where he squandered his wealth in loose living.”

“Having spent everything, he was hard pressed when a severe famine broke out in that land. So he hired himself out to a well-to-do citizen of that place, and was sent to work on a pig farm. So famished was he, that he longed to fill his stomach even with the food given to the pigs, but no one offered him anything.”

“Finally coming to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will get up and go back to my father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against God, and before you. I no longer deserve to be called your son. Treat me then as one of your hired servants.’ With that thought in mind, he set off for his father’s house.”

“He was still a long way off, when his father caught sight of him. His father was so deeply moved with compassion that he ran out to meet him, threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. The son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.'”

“But the father turned to his servants : ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Bring out the finest robe and put it on him! Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet! Take the fattened calf and kill it! We shall celebrate and have a feast, for this son of mine was dead, and has come back to life; he was lost, and is found!’ And the celebration began.”

“Meanwhile, the elder son had been working in the fields. As he returned and approached the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what it was all about. The servant answered, ‘Your brother has come home safe and sound, and your father is so happy about it that he has ordered this celebration, and killed the fattened calf.'”

“The elder son became angry, and refused to go in. His father came out and pleaded with him. The son, very indignant, said, ‘Look, I have slaved for you all these years. Never have I disobeyed your orders. Yet you have never given me even a young goat to celebrate with my friends. Then when this son of yours returns, after squandering your property with loose women, you kill the fattened calf for him.'”

“The father said, ‘My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But this brother of yours was dead, and has come back to life; he was lost, and is found. And for that we had to rejoice and be glad.'”

Saturday, 14 March 2020 : 2nd Week of Lent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 102 : 1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12

Bless the Lord, my soul; all my being, bless His holy Name! Bless the Lord, my soul, and do not forget all His kindness.

He forgives all your sins and heals all your sickness; He redeems your life from destruction and crowns you with love and compassion.

He will not always scold nor will He be angry forever. He does not treat us according to our sins, nor does He punish us as we deserve.

As the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His love for those fearing Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove from us our sins.