Sunday, 16 August 2020 : Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Romans 11 : 13-15, 29-32

Listen to me, you who are not Jews : I am spending myself, as an Apostle to the pagan nations, but I hope my ministry will be successful enough to awaken the jealousy of those of my race, and, finally, to save some of them. If the world made peace with God, when they remained apart, what will it be, when they are welcomed? Nothing less than, a passing from death to life.

Because the call of God, and His gifts, cannot be nullified. Through the disobedience of the Jews, the mercy of God came to you who did not obey God. They, in turn, will receive mercy, in due time, after this disobedience, that brought God’s mercy to you. So, God has submitted all to disobedience, in order to show His mercy to all.

Sunday, 16 August 2020 : Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 66 : 2-3, 5, 6 and 8

May God be gracious and bless us, may He let His face shine upon us; that Your way be known on earth and Your salvation, among the nations.

May the countries be glad and sing for joy, for You rule the peoples with justice; and guide the nations of the world.

May the peoples praise You, o God, may all the peoples praise You! May God bless us and be revered, to the very ends of the earth.

Sunday, 16 August 2020 : Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Isaiah 56 : 1, 6-7

This is what YHVH says : Maintain what is right and do what is just, for My salvation is close at hand, My justice is soon to come. YHVH says to the foreigners who join Him, serving Him and loving His Name, keeping His Sabbath unprofaned and remaining faithful to His Covenant.

I will bring them to My holy mountain and give them joy in My house of prayer. I will accept on My altar their burnt offerings and sacrifices, for My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations.

(Usus Antiquior) Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 16 August 2020 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Green

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 had 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

Respice, Domine, quaesumus, nostram propitius servitutem : ut, quod offerimus, sit Tibi munus acceptum, et sit nostrae fragilitatis subsidium. 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 with mercy, we beseech You, o Lord, upon our homage, that the gift we offer may be accepted by You and be the support of our frailty. 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

Proverbs 3 : 9-10

Honora Dominum de tua substantia, et de primitiis frugum tuarum : et implebuntur horrea tua saturitate, et vino torcularia redundabunt.

 

English translation

Honour the Lord with your substance, and with the first of all your fruits and your barns shall be filled with abundance, and your presses shall run over with wine.

 

Post-Communion Prayer

Sentiamus, quaesumus, Domine, Tui perceptione sacramenti, subsidium mentis et corporis : ut, in utroque salvati, caelestis remedii plenitudine gloriemur. 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 receiving Your sacrament, we beseech You, o Lord, may we experience help in soul and body, that, being saved in both, we may glory in the fullness of our heavenly 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.

(Usus Antiquior) Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 16 August 2020 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Green

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Marcum – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark

Mark 7 : 31-37

In illo tempore : Exiens Jesus de finibus Tyri, venit per Sidonem ad mare Galilaeae, inter medios fines Decapoleos. Et adducunt Ei surdum et mutum, et deprecabantur Eum, ut imponat illi manum.

Et apprehendens Eum de turba seorsum, misit digitos Suos in auriculas ejus : et exspuens, tetigit linguam ejus : et suspiciens in caelum, ingemuit, et ait illi : Ephphetha, quod est adaperire. Et statim apertae sunt aures ejus, et solutum est vinculum linguae ejus, et loquebatur recte.

Et praecepit illis, ne cui dicerent. Quanto autem eis praecipiebat, tanto magis plus praedicabant : et eo amplius admirabantur, dicentes : Bene omnia fecit : et surdos fecit audire et mutos loqui.

 

English translation

At that time, Jesus going out to the coasts of Tyre, came by Sidon to the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. And they bring to Him one deaf and dumb, and they besought Him that He would lay His hand upon him.

And taking him from the multitude apart, He put His fingers into his ears and spitting, He touched his tongue, and looking up to heaven, He groaned and said to him, “Ephphetha!” that is, “May you be opened!” and immediately his ears were opened, and the ligaments of his tongue was loosened, and he spoke rightly.

And He charged them that they should tell no man, but the more He charged them so much the more a great deal did they publish it, the so much more did they wonder, saying, “He had done all things well, He had made both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.”

(Usus Antiquior) Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 16 August 2020 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 27 : 7, 1 and Psalm 80 : 2-3

In Deo speravit cor meum, et adjutus sum : et refloruit caro mea, et ex voluntate mea confitebor illi.

Response : Ad Te, Domine, clamavi : Deus meus, ne sileas, ne discedas a me.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Exsultate Deo, adjutori nostro, jubilate Deo Jacob : sumite psalmum jucundum cum cithara. Alleluja.

 

English translation

In God had my heart confided, and I have been helped, and my flesh had flourished again, and with my will I will give praise to Him.

Response : Unto You I will cry, o Lord. O my God, may You be not silent, and do not depart from me.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : Rejoice in God our helper, sing aloud to the God of Jacob. Take a pleasant psalm with the harp. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 16 August 2020 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Green

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

1 Corinthians 15 : 1-10

Fratres : Notum vobis facio Evangelium, quod praedicavi vobis, quod et accepistis, in quo et statis, per quod et salvamini : qua ratione praedicaverim vobis, si tenetis, nisi frustra credidistis.

Tradidi enim vobis in primis, quod et accepi : quoniam Christus mortuus est pro peccatis nostris secundum Scripturas : et quia sepultus est, et quia resurrexit tertia die secundum Scripturas : et quia visus est Cephae, et post hoc undecim.

Deinde visus est plus quam quingentis fratribus simul, ex quibus multi manent usque adhuc, quidam autem dormierunt. Deinde visus est Jacobo, deinde Apostolis omnibus : novissime autem omnium tamquam abortivo, visus est et mihi.

Ego enim sum minimus Apostolorum, qui non sum dignus vocari Apostolus, quoniam persecutus sum Ecclesiam Dei. Gratia autem Dei sum id quod sum, et gratia ejus in me vacua non fuit.

 

English translation

Brethren, I make known unto you the gospel which I preached to you, which you have also received, and wherein you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast after what manner I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain.

For I delivered unto you first of all, which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, and after that by the Eleven.

Then He was seen by more than five hundred brethren at once, of whom many remain until this present day, and some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all of the Apostles. And last of all He was also seen by me, as by one born out of due time.

For I am the least of the Apostles, who am not worthy to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God, but by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace in me had not been void.

(Usus Antiquior) Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 16 August 2020 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Green

Introit

Psalm 67 : 6-7, 36, 2

Deus in loco sancto suo : Deus qui inhabitare facit unanimes in domo : ipse dabit virtutem et fortitudinem plebi suae.

Exsurgat Deus, et dissipentur inimici Ejus : et fugiant, qui oderunt eum, a facie Ejus.

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

 

English translation

God in His holy place; God Who made men of one mind to dwell in a house. He shall give power and strength to His people.

Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered, and let those who hate Him flee from before His face.

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

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui, abundantia pietatis Tuae, et merita supplicum excedis et vota : effunde super nos misericordiam Tuam; ut dimittas quae conscientia metuit, et adjicias quod oratio non praesumit. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Almighty, eternal God, You Who in the abundance of Your loving kindness, had exceeded both the deserts and the hopes of Your suppliants, pour forth Your mercy upon us, to take away from us those things which our conscience feared, and to add that which our prayer did not presume to ask. 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 August 2020 : Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the great Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, remembering the moment when Mary, the Mother of God at the end of her earthly existence, was brought up body and soul into the glory of heaven, what is known as the ‘Assumption’ of Mary. This day we celebrate the moment when Mary enter the heavenly glory prepared for her by her Son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Pope Pius XII declared the Dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the year of Our Lord 1950, just 70 years ago, but this did not mean that the Assumption of Mary is a new concept of our faith. Rather, it is a formal declaration that this important tenet of our faith is truly and undeniably part of our Christian deposit of faith, which our brethren in the Eastern Church also celebrate as the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, essentially the same in concept and purpose.

When we talk of the Assumption or the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, sometimes we confuse it with the Ascension of the Lord Jesus. The difference between the two is such that while the Lord ascended into Heaven by His own power, will and might, Mary is assumed into Heaven, by the will and power of God, and not by her own power, will or might. She received this great grace by virtue of her motherhood of the Lord, her being the Mother of God Most High, the Son of God and Saviour of all.

For the Lord Jesus is the conqueror of sin and death, by His suffering and death on the cross, in which He offered Himself as the perfect and loving sacrifice in atonement for our sins and faults. He triumphed over death through His Resurrection, showing that death, which is the consequence of sin, has no more power over us as long as we put our trust in God as Our Lord and Saviour. He has showed us the path forward beyond death and into a new life of eternal glory prepared for us.

And because of this, as I mentioned earlier, according to the traditions of the Church from the earliest history and beginning of the Church, Christians have always believed that Mary, the Mother of God, did not suffer death unlike all of us, as after all, how can the Mother of the One Who conquered death and triumphed over it by His resurrection be herself subjected to the same death? This is also linked to the strong belief in Mary’s Immaculate and sinless state, as from the earliest days of the Church, it has also been a belief of the Church that Mary was conceived without sin, the Immaculate Conception, and remained free from sin afterwards.

Mary was unique and special, by the singular grace of God because she was to be the new and infinitely better Ark of the Covenant. And just as the original Ark was crafted from the finest and most precious of earthly materials, thus, the New Ark, of the New Covenant was to be far exceeding the old Ark, by the pure and sinless state of this perfect New Ark, crafted not by the hands of any man, but by the hands of God Himself. Thus, that is why later on the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, and in turn the Dogma of the Assumption of Mary came to be formalised by the Church.

The Assumption is a logical outcome of the belief in the Immaculate Conception, again because death is the consequence for sin, and although every man has to suffer death because we have sinned, no matter how small our sins are, but Mary, having been conceived without sin, was never tainted or corrupted by sin at all, and therefore, logically death did not just have any power over her, but she should not suffer death because she never sinned in the first place.

There are two major schools of thought on what exactly happened in the Assumption of Mary into heaven, both with Mary ending up in the glory of Heaven, by the side of her Son, interceding for us as she is still doing to this day. One is that Mary did die, because she shared in the death of her Son, and not death because of the punishment or consequence for her sins, which did not exist. She loved her Son so much that she shared in her Son’s death, but her body did not rot or perish. Rather, she was put to sleep and then, body and soul, assumed into Heaven.

Another school of thought is that, Mary was directly assumed into Heaven, body and soul, without even passing through any form of death at all. But regardless of how exactly the Assumption of Mary happened, the fact is that Mary is now up there in Heaven, having been assumed body and soul, and reigning with her Son as the Queen Mother of Heaven, seated by her Son’s side as His confident and beloved Mother, and as our greatest intercessor.

Through Mary, His mother, the Lord wants to show us and affirm to us that faith in Him will only lead to an eternal glory and a new and eternal life, one that is free from the taints and shackles of sin and death. And through the Assumption, the Lord wants to show us the foretaste of heavenly glory for us, as it is told that in the end of days, all of us will be raised from death, and in body and soul, joining God in the eternity of glory, while those who reject God and His mercy, will be thrown, body and soul into eternal darkness and suffering.

Mary is the shining beacon of hope reminding us all what will happen to those who are virtuous and faithful, as Mary did not just merit this great honour because she is the Mother of God and conceived without sin, but because throughout life she remained free from sin, and completely dedicated to God because of the love she has for Him, obeying His Law, and later on, giving herself completely and committed herself to loving her Son, following Him all the way to the foot of the cross.

How about us, brothers and sisters in Christ? As I said earlier, God has shown us the sure promise of eternal life, a new life and existence no longer darkened by sin and suffering, filled with true and everlasting joy. However, all of these will only come to be when we follow the Lord and commit ourselves to Him wholeheartedly the way Mary has done in her own life. We can certainly do this if we strive and try our best, but the important question is, are we willing to do it?

Especially more than ever, during these difficult days and times, when the whole world is facing so many great challenges and trials, so many people were without hope and light in their lives, the Assumption of Mary is the beacon of hope that after everything that happened, we must not give in to those fears and uncertainties, but all the more we must trust in God and have faith in Him, looking at our blessed Mother, Mary for inspiration and example.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we mark this great and wonderful celebration of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, let us all reinspect our lives and look deep into ourselves, into our every actions and how we have lived our faith life all these while. Let us all look forward with hope to our own future entry into the eternal life of glory with God, by taking the concrete steps to live righteously with faith in God just as Mary had done in her own life.

May the Lord be with us and guide us, and through Mary, His mother’s constant intercession and help, more and more of us, the children of mankind, may come closer to God and receive the love and grace of God, and come closer to achieving the desired reconciliation and reunion with God, by which we will forever enjoy the fullness of God’s love. O Mary, Holy Mother of God, assumed in glory, body and soul into Heaven, pray for all of us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Saturday, 15 August 2020 : Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 39-56

Mary then set out for a town in the hill country of Judah. She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb.

Elizabeth was filled with Holy Spirit, and giving a loud cry, said, “You are most blessed among women, and blessed is the Fruit of your womb! How is it that the mother of my Lord comes to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. Blessed are you who believed that the Lord’s word would come true!”

And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my Saviour! He has looked upon His servant in her lowliness, and people forever will call me blessed.”

“The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is His Name! From age to age His mercy extends to those who live in His presence. He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.”

“He held out His hand to Israel, His servant, for He remembered His mercy, even as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.”

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned home.