Sunday, 3 May 2020 : Fourth Sunday of Easter, Vocation Sunday, Feast of St. Philip and St. James, Apostles (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 22 : 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul.

He guides me through the right paths for His Name’s sake. Although I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are beside me : Your rod and Your staff comfort me.

You spread a table before me in the presence of my foes. You anoint my head with oil; my cup is overflowing.

Goodness and kindness will follow me all the days of my life. I shall dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.

Sunday, 3 May 2020 : Fourth Sunday of Easter, Vocation Sunday, Feast of St. Philip and St. James, Apostles (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 2 : 14a, 36-41

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and, with a loud voice, addressed them, “Let Israel then know for sure that God has made Lord and Christ this Jesus Whom you crucified.” When they heard this, they were deeply troubled. And they asked Peter and the other Apostles, “What shall we do, brothers?”

Peter answered : “Each of you must repent and be baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise of God was made to you and your children, and to all those from afar whom our God may call.”

With many other words Peter gave the message and appealed to them saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who accepted his word were baptised; some three thousand persons were added to their numbers that day.

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday after Easter (II Classis) – Sunday, 3 May 2020 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : White

Offertory

Psalm 145 : 2


Lauda, anima mea, Dominum : laudabo Dominum in vita mea : psallam Deo meo, quamdiu ero, Alleluja.

 

English translation


Praise the Lord, o my soul, in my life I will praise the Lord. I will sing to my God as long as I shall be. Alleluia.

 

Secret Prayer of the Priest


His nobis, Domine, mysteriis conferatur, quo, terrena desideria mitigantes, discamus amare caelestia. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation


By these mysteries, o Lord, may grace be given to us so that, by chastening our earthly desires, we may learn to love heavenly things. 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

John 16 : 16


Modicum, et non videbitis me, Alleluja : iterum modicum, et videbitis me, quia vado ad Patrem, Alleluja, Alleluja.

 

English translation


A little while, and now you shall not see Me, Alleluia. And again a little while, and you shall see Me, because I go to the Father. Alleluia, Alleluia.

 

Post-Communion Prayer

Sacramenta quae sumpsimus, quaesumus, Domine, et spiritualibus nos instaurent alimentis, et corporalibus tueantur 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


May the sacrament we have received, o Lord, we beseech You, both restore us with its spiritual nourishment and protect us with its help for our bodies. 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 after Easter (II Classis) – Sunday, 3 May 2020 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : White

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. John


John 16 : 16-22


In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus discipulis Suis : Modicum, et jam non videbitis me : et iterum modicum, et videbitis me : quia vado ad Patrem. Dixerunt ergo ex discipulis ejus ad invicem : Quid est hoc, quod dicit nobis : Modicum, et non videbitis me : et iterum modicum, et videbitis me, et quia vado ad Patrem? Dicebant ergo : Quid est hoc, quod dicit : Modicum? Nescimus, quid loquitur.

Cognovit autem Jesus, quia volebant eum interrogare, et dixit eis : De hoc quaeritis inter vos, quia dixi : Modicum, et non videbitis me : et iterum modicum, et videbitis me. Amen, amen, dico vobis : quia plorabitis et flebitis vos, mundus autem gaudebit : vos autem contristabimini, sed tristitia vestra vertetur in gaudium.

Mulier cum parit, tristitiam habet, quia venit hora ejus : cum autem pepererit puerum, jam non meminit pressurae propter gaudium, quia natus est homo in mundum. Et vos igitur nunc quidem tristitiam habetis, iterum autem videbo vos, et gaudebit cor vestrum : et gaudium vestrum nemo tollet a vobis.

 

English translation


At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “A little while, and now you shall not see Me, and again a little while, and you shall see Me, because I go to the Father.” Then some of His disciples said to one another, “What is this that He said to us, ‘A little while and you shall not see Me, and again a little while, and you shall see Me, and because I go to the Father?'” They said therefore, “What is this that He said, ‘A little while?’ We do not know what He spoke about.”

And Jesus knew that they had a mind to ask Him, and He said to them, “Of this do you inquire among yourselves because I said, ‘A little while and you shall not see Me, and again a little while, and you shall see Me? Amen, amen, I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice, and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

A woman when she is in labour had sorrow, because her hour has come, but when she had brought forth the child, she did not remember anymore the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. So you also now indeed have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man shall take from you.

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday after Easter (II Classis) – Sunday, 3 May 2020 : Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 110 : 9 and Luke 24 : 46


Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Redemptionem misit Dominus populo suo.

Alleluja.

Response : Oportebat pati Christum, et resurgere a mortuis : et ita intrare in gloriam suam. Alleluja.

 

English translation


Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : The Lord had sent redemption to His people.

Alleluia.

Response : It behooved Christ to suffer these things, and so to enter into His glory. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday after Easter (II Classis) – Sunday, 3 May 2020 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : White

Lectio Epistolae Beati Petri Apostoli – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Peter the Apostle


1 Peter 2 : 11-19


Carissimi : Obsecro vos tamquam advenas et peregrinos abstinere vos a carnalibus desideriis, quae militant adversus animam, conversationem vestram inter gentes habentes bonam : ut in eo, quod detrectant de vobis tamquam de malefactoribus, ex bonis operibus vos considerantes, glorificent Deum in die visitationis.

Subjecti igitur estote omni humanae creaturae propter Deum : sive regi, quasi praecellenti : sive ducibus, tamquam ab eo missis ad vindictam malefactorum, laudem vero bonorum : quia sic est voluntas Dei, ut benefacientes obmutescere faciatis imprudentium hominum ignorantiam : quasi liberi, et non quasi velamen habentes malitiae libertatem, sed sicut servi Dei.
Omnes honorate : fraternitatem diligite : Deum timete : regem honorificate. Servi, subditi estote in omni timore dominis, non tantum bonis et modestis, sed etiam dyscolis. Haec est enim gratia : in Christo Jesu, Domino nostro.

 

English translation


Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, to refrain yourselves from carnal desires which war against the soul, having your conversation good among the Gentiles, that whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by the good works, which they shall behold in you, glorify God in the day of visitation.

May you all be subject therefore to every human creature for God’s sake, whether it is to king as excelling, or to governors as sent by Him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of the good, for so is the will of God, that by doing well you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. As free, and not as making liberty a cloak for malice, but as the servants of God.

Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the King. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is worthy of thanksgiving in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday after Easter (II Classis) – Sunday, 3 May 2020 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : White

Introit

Psalm 65 : 1-2, 3


Jubilate Deo, omnis terra, Alleluja : psalmum dicite Nomini ejus, Alleluja : date gloriam laudi ejus, Alleluja, Alleluja, Alleluja.

Dicite Deo, quam terribilia sunt opera Tua, Domine! In multitudine virtutis Tuae mentientur Tibi inimici Tui.

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

 

English translation


Shout with joy to God, all the earth, Alleluia. Sing all of you a psalm to His Name, Alleluia. Give glory to His praise, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Say unto God, how terrible are Your works, o Lord! In the multitude of Your strength Your enemies shall lie to 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

Deus, qui errantibus, ut in viam possint redire justitiae, veritatis Tuae lumen ostendis : da cunctis, qui christiana professione censentur, et illa respuere, quae huic inimica sunt nomini; et ea, quae sunt apta, sectari. 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 showed the light of Your truth to those who went astray, that they may be able to return to the path of justice, grant unto all who profess themselves and are reckoned Christians, both to reject the things that are opposed to that name and to follow after the things that befit it. 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, 2 May 2020 : 3rd Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we listened to the words of the Scripture we are all reminded that to believe in God is not really as easy as we may think it is. It is often that believing in God require us to go against the norms and the conventions of this world. Our faith in Christ will require us to go beyond logic and merely worldly forms of understanding and knowledge, for this indeed requires us to have genuine faith to be able to believe in God.

In our first reading today, we heard about the works of St. Peter the Apostle, who went to the city of Lydda during his ministry and travel around in order to spread the Good News of the Lord. In that city, St. Peter performed a great miracle, in which he healed the sick man Aeneas, who had been paralysed and bedridden for over eight years without any hope, until the moment when through St. Peter, the Lord healed this man and made him whole again.

And then, St. Peter went to the town of Joppa and performed yet another great miracle, raising the faithful woman Tabitha from her death, just after she had passed on. Tabitha was restored to life by the grace and power of the Lord through His Apostle St. Peter, and witnessed by many people, who like at the healing of Aeneas in Lydda, all became believers and chose to be baptised as Christians. They believed because they truly saw how God had worked wonders in their midst.

All of these showed us just how the Lord has done things in ways that many would not have been able to comprehend using any of standard and conventional logic or intelligence of this world. Aeneas had been bedridden and paralysed for many years, something that even to this very day are still suffered by some people despite the great advancements in technology and science. None of these could completely heal the sick person in the way that Aeneas had been healed.

Similarly, the even more amazing resurrection of Tabitha defy any known logic and knowledge, as no human knowledge or ability were ever capable of overcoming death or even prolonging one’s life beyond what had been naturally determined by God. This, together with the resurrection of Lazarus and the dead daughter of a synagogue official by the Lord Jesus earlier in His ministry would serve as concrete proofs of how the Lord was truly the One sent by God to be the Saviour of the whole world.

Therefore, if we link these to what we have heard in our Gospel today, which from the sixth chapter of the Holy Gospel according to St. John on the conclusion of the discourse of the Bread of Life by Jesus to the people, then we will see how difficult it was indeed to be a follower of Christ. In fact, as we have heard, many of the followers of Jesus left Him behind after He spoke of Himself as the Bread of Life, with many of them refusing to believe Him and saying how can anyone believe in such hard truth and words?

That is the reality, brothers and sisters in Christ, that this faith in Christ, our Christian faith which we have is not something we should take for granted, as we may often find it difficult to remain faithful especially when we are confronted with arguments and realities that are opposite and in contrast to our faith. Yet, at the same time, it is entirely possible for us to continue to be faithful and to dedicate ourselves with all of our hearts for the Lord.

As the Lord Himself had shown us that no one can come to the Father except through Him, there were still some of those who trusted in Him and clung to Him, and these were probably considered as foolish and peculiar by others. Yet, in the end, all those who remained true to their faith in God were not disappointed, for the Lord was with them, guided them throughout their journey, and gave them all the promise of eternal glory for their commitment and faith in Him.

Today, we celebrate the feast of one saint who has been remembered as a great defender of the Christian faith, a champion of the true and orthodox faith of the Apostles and the Church fathers, himself a renowned Church father and elder, namely St. Athanasius, also known as a champion of Christian orthodoxy against various heresies, particularly against the Arian heresy that was then widespread and enjoyed support even among many bishops and the secular leaders.

St. Athanasius was the Bishop and Patriarch of Alexandria, and therefore was one of the most senior and influential leaders of the Church of his time. In response to the widespread Arian heresy both within his See and throughout the Church at the time, St. Athanasius led the efforts to counter the falsehoods of the Arians and tried his best to get rid of the heretical teachings both in his See and beyond. He was the rallying point and centre of the efforts to return to the true and orthodox Christian faith.

St. Athanasius had to endure a lot of trials and challenges for all of his efforts and his dedication to the truth of God, against all those who had chosen to believe in their own misguided and perverse version of the faith, which was how those heresies came to be in the first place. Those heretical teachings altered the truth of God and combined them with falsehoods and lies, which were perhaps more acceptable and palatable than the truth itself, but were wrong in essence and truth.

St. Athanasius had to go against both secular authorities and all those bishops, priests and lay supporters of the Arian heresy among others, and he spent many years in exile from his See of Alexandria, being exiled a total of five times no less. That was how St. Athanasius endured so much for being faithful and committed to the truth of God. St. Athanasius remained courageous and strong even despite all the oppositions against him and despite all the humiliations, attacks and other persecutions he had received.

In the end, St. Athanasius, his tireless efforts, his great personal piety and dedication to the Lord was instrumental as part of the greater effort by many others who also defended the true and unchanging Christian faith as upheld by the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea and the subsequent Ecumenical Councils. Arian heresy was eventually subdued, and the true faith triumphed at last. It did take many, many years before this victory was achieved.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all follow in the footsteps of St. Athanasius and be inspired by his faith and courage. Let us all stay firm in our dedication and commitment to the Lord, knowing that we may have to face opposition and challenges in our journey of faith, when our faith may be challenged by the temptations and the falsehoods that lie in this world and all around us, much as St. Athanasius himself had once experienced. Let us not be disheartened, for be assured that God Himself will be with us, and He will guide us through all these.

May the Lord be our help and may He strengthen us all to live our lives ever more faithfully from now on. May God be with us all and may He empowers us all to be courageous in being true Christians from now on. May God bless us all and our many good endeavours from now on for the greater glory of God. St. Athanasius, holy defender of faith and blessed servant of God, pray for us all. Amen.

Saturday, 2 May 2020 : 3rd Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 6 : 60-69

At that time, after the Jews heard Jesus, many of His followers said, “This language is very hard! Who can accept it?”

Jesus was aware that His disciples were murmuring about this, and so He said to them, “Does this offend you? Then how will you react when you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the Spirit that gives life, not the flesh. The words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life. But among you there are some who do not believe.”

From the beginning, Jesus knew who would betray Him. So He added, “As I have told you, no one can come to Me unless it is granted by the Father.” After this many disciples withdrew and no longer followed Him. Jesus asked the Twelve, “Will you also go away?

Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We now believe and know that You are the Holy One of God.”

Saturday, 2 May 2020 : 3rd Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 115 : 12-13, 14-15, 16-17

How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the Name of the Lord.

I will fulfil my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people. It is painful to the Lord to see the death of His faithful.

O Lord, I am Your servant, truly Your servant, Your handmaid’s son. You have freed me from my bonds. I will offer You a thanksgiving sacrifice; I will call on the Name of the Lord.