Tuesday, 8 December 2020 : Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 26-38

In the sixth month, the Angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a young virgin, who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

The Angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean. But the Angel said, “Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a Son, and you shall call Him Jesus. He will be great, and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the kingdom of David, His ancestor; He will rule over the people of Jacob forever, and His reign shall have no end.”

Then Mary said to the Angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” And the Angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the Holy Child to be born of you shall be called Son of God. Even your relative Elizabeth is expecting a son in her old age, although she was unable to have a child; and she is now in her sixth month. With God nothing is impossible.”

Then Mary said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.” And the Angel left her.

Tuesday, 8 December 2020 : Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Ephesians 1 : 3-6, 11-12

Blessed be God, the Father of Christ Jesus our Lord, Who, in Christ, has blessed us from heaven, with every spiritual blessing. God chose us, in Christ, before the creation of the world, to be holy, and without sin in His presence.

From eternity He destined us, in love, to be His adopted sons and daughters, through Christ Jesus, thus fulfilling His free and generous will. This goal suited Him : that His loving-kindness, which He granted us in His beloved might finally receive all glory and praise.

By a decree of Him, Who disposes all things, according to His own plan and decision, we, the Jews, have been chosen and called, and we were awaiting the Messiah, for the praise of His glory.

Tuesday, 8 December 2020 : Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 97 : 1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4

Sing to YHVH a new song, for He has done wonders; His right hand, His holy arm, has won victory for Him.

YHVH has shown His salvation, revealing His justice to the nations. He has not forgotten His love, nor His faithfulness to Israel.

The farthest ends of the earth all have seen God’s saving power. All you, lands, make a joyful noise to YHVH, break into song and sing praise.

Tuesday, 8 December 2020 : Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Genesis 3 : 9-15, 20

YHVH God called the man saying to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard Your voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree I ordered you not to eat?”

The man answered, “The woman You put with me gave me fruit from the tree and I ate it.” God said to the woman, “What have you done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me and I ate.”

YHVH God said to the serpent, “Since you have done that, be cursed among all the cattle and wild beasts! You will crawl on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life. I will make you enemies, you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head and you will strike his heel.”

The man called his wife by the name of Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.

(Usus Antiquior) Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (I Classis) – Tuesday, 8 December 2020 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Preface, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : White

Offertory

Luke 1 : 28

Ave, Maria, gratia plena; Dominus tecum : benedicta tu in mulieribus. Alleluja.

English translation

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you amongst women. Alleluia.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Salutarem hostiam, quam in sollemnitate immaculatae Conceptionis beatae Virginis Mariae tibi, Domine, offerimus, suscipe et praesta : ut, sicut illam Tua gratia praeveniente ab omni labe immunem profitemur; ita ejus intercessione a culpis omnibus liberemur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Receive, o Lord, the saving oblation which we offer You on the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and grant that, as we confess her to have been preserved, by Your prevenient grace, from all taints of evil, so, through her intercession, we may be freed from all sins. 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 the Blessed Virgin Mary

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos Tibi semper et ubique gratias agere : Domine, Sancte Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus : Et Te in sollemnitate sacratissimi Rosarii de Beatae Mariae semper Virginis collaudare, benedicere et praedicare. Quae et Unigenitum Tuum Sancti Spiritus obumbratione concepit : et, virginitatis gloria permanente, lumen aeternum mundo effudit, Jesum 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 availing unto salvation, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to You, o Holy Lord, Father Almighty, Everlasting God, and on the solemnity of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, should praise and bless and proclaim You. For she conceived Your only begotten Son by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, and not losing the glory of her virginity, gave to the world the everlasting Light, Jesus Christ our Lord.

He through Whom the angels praise Your majesty, the Dominations worship it, and the Powers are in awe. The heavens and the heavenly hosts, and the blessed Seraphim join together in celebrating their joy. With these we pray to You joining also our voices, while we say with lowly praise :

Communion

Tradition of the Faith

Gloriosa dicta sunt de te, Maria : quia fecit tibi magna qui potens est.

English translation

Glorious things are spoken of you, o Mary, for He who is mighty has done great things unto you.

Post-Communion Prayer

Sacramenta quae sumpsimus, Domine, Deus noster : illius in nobis culpae vulnera reparent; a qua immaculatam Beatae Mariae Conceptionem singulariter praeservasti. 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 which we have received, o Lord, our God, heal in us the wounds of that sin from which by a singular privilege, You had preserved immaculate the conception of Blessed Mary. 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) Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (I Classis) – Tuesday, 8 December 2020 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : White

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

Luke 1 : 26-28

In illo tempore : Missus est Angelus Gabriel a Deo in civitatem Galilaeae, cui nomen Nazareth, ad Virginem desponsatam viro, cui nomen erat Joseph, de domo David, et nomen Virginis Maria. Et ingressus Angelus ad eam, dixit : Ave, gratia plena; Dominus tecum : benedicta tu in mulieribus.

English translation

At that time, the Angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the Angel having come in, said unto her, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you amongst women.”

(Usus Antiquior) Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (I Classis) – Tuesday, 8 December 2020 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : White

Judith 13 : 23 and Judith 15 : 10 and Canticles 4 : 7

Benedicta es tu, Virgo Maria, a Domino, Deo excelso, prae omnibus mulieribus super terram.

Response : Tu gloria Jerusalem, tu laetitia Israel, tu honorificentia populi nostri.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Tota pulchra es, Maria : et macula originalis non est in te, Alleluja.

English translation

Blessed are you, o Virgin Mary, by the Lord, the Most High God, above all women, upon the earth.

Response : You are the glory of Jerusalem, you are the joy of Israel, you are the honour of our people.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : You are all fair, o Mary, and there is in you no stain of original sin. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (I Classis) – Tuesday, 8 December 2020 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : White

Lectio libri Sapientiae – Lesson from the Book of Wisdom

Proverbs 8 : 22-35

Dominus possedit me in initio viarum suarum, antequam faceret a principio. Ab aeterno ordinata sum, et ex antiquis, antequam terra fieret. Nondum erant abyssi, et ego jam concepta eram : necdum fontes aquarum eruperant : necdum montes gravi mole constiterant : ante colles ego parturiebar : adhuc terram non fecerat et flumina et cardines orbis terrae.

Quando praeparabat caelos, aderam : quando certa lege et gyro vallabat abyssos : quando aethera firmabat sursum et librabat fontes aquarum : quando circumdabat mari terminum suum et legem ponebat aquis, ne transirent fines suos : quando appendebat fundamenta terrae.

Cum eo eram cuncta componens : et delectabar per singulos dies, ludens coram eo omni tempore : ludens in orbe terrarum : et deliciae meae esse cum filiis hominum. Nunc ergo, filii, audite me : Beati, qui custodiunt vias meas. Audite disciplinam, et estote sapientes, et nolite abjicere eam.

Beatus homo, qui audit me et qui vigilat ad fores meas cotidie, et observat ad postes ostii mei. Qui me invenerit, inveniet vitam et hauriet salutem a Domino.

English translation

The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His ways, before He made anything, from the beginning, I was set up from eternity, and of old, before the earth was made. The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived, neither had the fountains of waters as yet sprung out, the mountains with their huge bulk had not as yet been established, before the hills I was brought forth. He had not yet made the earth, nor the rivers, nor the poles of the world.

When He prepared the Heavens, I was there, when with a certain law and compass, He enclosed the depths, when He established the sky above, and poised the fountains of waters, when He compassed the sea with its bounds, and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits, when He balanced the foundations of the earth.

I was with Him, forming all things, and was delighted every day, playing before Him at all times, playing in the world, and My delight is to be with the children of men. Now therefore, you children, hear Me : Blessed are those who keep My ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and do not refuse it.

Blessed is the man who hears Me, and who watches daily at My gates, and waits at the posts of My doors. He who shall find Me, shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord.

(Usus Antiquior) Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (I Classis) – Tuesday, 8 December 2020 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : White

Introit

Isaiah 61 : 10 and Psalm 29 : 2

Gaudens gaudebo in Domino, et exsultabit anima mea in Deo meo : quia induit me vestimentis salutis : et indumento justitiae circumdedit me, quasi sponsam ornatam monilibus suis.

Exaltabo Te, Domine, quoniam suscepisti me : nec delectasti inimicos meos super me.

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

English translation

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God, for He had clothed me with the garments of salvation, and with the robe of justice He had covered me, as a bride adorned with her jewels.

I will extol You, o Lord, for You have upheld me, and have not made my enemies to rejoice over me.

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 per immaculatam Virginis Conceptionem dignum Filio Tuo habitaculum praeparasti : quaesumus; ut, qui ex morte ejusdem Filii Tui praevisa eam ab omni labe praeservasti, nos quoque mundos ejus intercessione ad Te pervenire concedas. Per eumdem 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 by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, had prepared a worthy dwelling for Your Son, we beseech You, that You, Who, by the death, foreseen by You, of the same Son, Your Son, had preserved her from all stain, will grant us also, by her intercession, to come to You pure in heart. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Monday, 7 December 2020 : 2nd Week of Advent, Memorial of St. Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture, we are all called to look upon the healing that God has presented to us, the healing that He has offered us and promised us, if we are faithful to Him and if we look upon Him with faith and hope, entrusting ourselves to His care, love and providence. If we are willing to open ourselves to God’s love and grace, we shall receive His most wonderful love and mercy.

In our first reading today, we have heard from the Book of the prophet Isaiah on the reassurance that God gave His people through Isaiah, of a new hope and strength that He gave them, that through His saving grace, the eyes of the blind would be opened, the paralytic and the weak would all run free, and those who were possessed by evil spirits and demons would be purified and liberated from their enslavement by those vile beings.

We heard of all these coming to fruition and fulfilment in Christ, as we heard in our Gospel passage today of the healing of the paralytic man by the Lord Jesus, as with many other examples of miracles and healing powers that the Lord had shown to multitudes of people, just exactly as how the prophet Isaiah had said it. But the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees were skeptical and doubted the Lord, refusing to believe in Him as they kept holding onto their pride and hardened their hearts against God’s truth and love manifested through Christ.

The Lord has shown them many wonders and a lot of genuine expressions of God’s love, and yet, some accused Him of blasphemy and colluding with the evil spirits, refusing to acknowledge that He has the authority over those spirits and as the promised Saviour of the world, the Son of God Most High, He has the power to forgive sins and to liberate mankind from their bondage to sins and death. He showed those dissidents, the true power of God and His love by healing the paralytic and restored him to good health.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we listened to these readings and reflect on the wonderful love of God, we are all reminded of our own shortcomings and weaknesses, our own predicaments, troubles and indeed, sickness. Why is that so, brothers and sisters in Christ? We may be perfectly healthy in body and mind, and yet, because of sin, we are spiritually sick and corrupted.

For sin corrupts our very innermost beings, and sin is truly very wicked and terrible, for while other diseases and conditions have some form of cure or ways to alleviate them, only God alone can forgive us our sins. It is by God’s grace and mercy alone that we are forgiven our sins and all the evils we have committed in our respective lives. We have to trust in His mercy and grace, and embrace His loving grace if we are to be forgiven and healed from this terrible affliction.

As we heard in our Gospel passage today, the Lord Himself specifically and explicitly mentioned that He, as God, has the power to forgive sins and to heal us all from all of our shortcomings. He can make us all whole again, but are we all willing to embrace His love and mercy, His compassion and forgiveness? Let us all consider all these, brothers and sisters in Christ, and if we are still stubborn in our refusal to embrace God’s love and mercy, let us harden our hearts no longer and open our hearts and minds to welcome the Lord.

In this season of Advent, we are all called to seek the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness, and to prepare ourselves well, especially spiritually that we may celebrate Christmas with true joy and with true appreciation of its importance to us. We have been given this great opportunity for us to rediscover our faith in God, and therefore, we should take this opportunity well, embracing God’s love at all times, and rethinking how we can continue living our lives with faith.

Today, we can also be inspired by St. Ambrose of Milan, a great saint and one of the original Doctors of the Church whose feast day we celebrate. St. Ambrose of Milan was truly a very influential leader of the Church as the Archbishop of Milan, head of one of the largest Christian communities of his time, just as it is still one of the largest today. In addition, his leadership and influence in the contemporary Church at the time, his contributions were truly immense.

St. Ambrose was well-known for being chosen as bishop by acclamation from the community, both the laity and the clergy alike at the time when the community was bitterly divided between the followers of the Arian heresy and those who remained faithful to the true Christian teachings. As both parties bickered especially in the decision of who was to succeed as Bishop of Milan, considering that the previous bishop had been an Arian heretic, the choice fell to St. Ambrose, well-respected by the people as the righteous and just administrator and governor of the region.

St. Ambrose worked hard to root out the corruption of heresy, particularly the Arian heresy aforementioned. In this, he faced a lot of opposition especially from the Arian clergy and also from powerful nobles who were favourable to the Arian cause and were Arian believers themselves. This included the Emperor and his family, where the Empress herself was an ardent believer of the heresy.

St. Ambrose did not let these to hinder his works or discourage him from doing what he had to do in leading his flock to the true faith. St. Ambrose spoke publicly and fearlessly against those who refused to believe in the truth, and even the Empress herself. He had to suffer a lot in the process, threatened and received a lot of trials, but, he remained firm and strong in his conviction and faith.

In later years, when the faithful Emperor Theodosius the Great ruled over the entire Empire, and worked against the Arian heresy, St. Ambrose was also remembered for his courage in standing up to the Emperor, when he was complicit in a massacre that happened in the city of Thessalonica. St. Ambrose excommunicated the Emperor, and only when the Emperor humbly made a public confession and repentance, that St. Ambrose welcomed him back to the Church with joy.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have heard all that St. Ambrose had done, his faith and contributions to the Church. Are we willing and able to follow his examples, in living our faith with genuine devotion, in being righteous and in the courage to remain strong in faith even against oppositions from the world? We have also heard of the power of God’s love and forgiveness, as what happened with the Emperor Theodosius when he committed a grave sin, and through repentance, he was welcomed back to the Church and God’s grace.

Are we willing to repent from our sinful ways, too, brothers and sisters in Christ? We have been given this great opportunity this Advent to seek the Lord and His forgiveness, and to purify ourselves from these corruptions of sin. Let us all make good use of the time and opportunity, and do our very best to serve the Lord faithfully from now on. May the Lord bless us all and guide us in our journey of faith, that each and every one of us may serve the Lord with ever greater dedication from now on. Amen.