(Usus Antiquior) Sexagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 7 February 2021 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Violet

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

Luke 8 : 4-15

In illo tempore : Cum turba plurima convenirent, et de civitatibus properarent ad Jesum, dixit per similitudinem : Exiit, qui seminat, seminare semen suum : et dum seminat, aliud cecidit secus viam, et conculcatum est, et volucres caeli comederunt illud.

Et aliud cecidit supra petram : et natum aruit, quia non habebat humorem. Et aliud cecidit inter spinas, et simul exortae spinae suffocaverunt illud. Et aliud cecidit in terram bonam : et ortum fecit fructum centuplum : Haec dicens, clamabat : Qui habet aures audiendi, audiat.

Interrogabant autem eum discipuli Ejus, quae esset haec parabola. Quibus ipse dixit : Vobis datum est nosse mysterium regni Dei, ceteris autem in parabolis : ut videntes non videant, et audientes non intellegant.

Est autem haec parabola : Semen est verbum Dei. Qui autem secum viam, hi sunt qui audiunt : deinde venit diabolus, et tollit verbum de corde eorum, ne credentes salvi fiant. Nam qui supra petram : qui cum audierint, cum gaudio suscipiunt verbum : et hi radices non habent : qui ad tempus credunt, et in tempore tentationis recedunt.

Quod autem in spinas cecidit : hi sunt, qui audierunt, et a sollicitudinibus et divitiis et voluptatibus vitae euntes, suffocantur, et non referunt fructum. Quod autem in bonam terram : hi sunt, qui in corde bono et optimo audientes verbum retinent, et fructum afferunt in patientia.

English translation

At that time, when a very great multitude was gathered together and hastened out of the cities unto Him, He spoke by a parable, “The sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside, and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.”

“And some others fell upon a rock, and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some others fell among thorns, and the thorns growing up with it, choked it. And some others fell upon good ground, and being sprung up, yielded fruits a hundredfold.” Saying these things, He cried out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

And His disciples asked Him what this parable might be. To whom He said, “To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God, but to the rest in parables, that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.”

“Now the parable is this : The seed is the word of God. And those by the wayside are those who hear, then the devil came, and took the word out of their heart, lest believing they should be saved. Now those upon the rock are those who when they hear, receive the word with joy, and these have no roots, for they believe for a while, and in time of temptation they fall away.”

“And those who fell among thorns are those who have heard, and going their way, are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and yield no fruit. But those on the good ground are those who in a good and very good heart, hearing the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit in patience.”

(Usus Antiquior) Sexagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 7 February 2021 : Gradual and Tract

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Gradual

Psalm 82 : 19, 14

Sciant gentes, quoniam Nomen Tibi Deus : Tu solus Altissimus super omnem terram.

Response : Deus meus, pone illos ut rotam, et sicut stipulam ante faciem venti.

English translation

Let the Gentiles know that God is Your Name. You alone are the Most High over all the earth.

Response : O my God, make them like a wheel, and as stubble before the face of the wind.

Tract

Psalm 59 : 4, 6

Commovisti, Domine, terram, et conturbasti eam.

Response : Sana contritiones ejus, qui mota est.

Response : Ut fugiant a facie arcus : ut liberentur electi Tui.

English translation

You have moved the earth, o Lord, and had troubled it.

Response : May You heal the breaches thereof, for it had been moved.

Response : That Your elect may flee from before the bow, that they may be delivered.

(Usus Antiquior) Sexagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 7 February 2021 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Violet

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

2 Corinthians 11 : 19-33 and 2 Corinthians 12 : 1-9

Fratres : Libenter suffertis insipientens : cum sitis ipsi sapientes. Sustinetis enim, si quis vos in servitutem redigit, si quis devorat, si quis accipit, si quis extollitur, si quis in faciem vos caedit. Secundum ignobilitatem dico, quasi nos infirmi fuerimus in hac parte.

In quo quis audet, (in insipientia dico) audeo et ego : Hebraei sunt, et ego : Israelitae sunt, et ego : Semen Abrahae sunt, et ego : Ministri Christi sunt, (ut minus sapiens dico) plus ego : in laboribus plurimis, in carceribus abundantius, in plagis supra modum, in mortibus frequenter.

A Judaeis quinquies quadragenas, una minus, accepi. Ter virgis caesus sum, semel lapidatus sum, ter naufragium feci, nocte et die in profundo maris fui : in itineribus saepe, periculis fluminum, periculis latronum, periculis ex genere, periculis ex gentibus, periculis in civitate, periculis in solitudine, periculis in mari, periculis in falsis fratribus : in labore et aerumna, in vigiliis multis, in fame et siti, in jejuniis multis, in frigore et nuditate : praeter illa, quae extrinsecus sunt, instantia mea cotidiana, sollicitudo omnium Ecclesiarum.

Quis infirmatur, et ego non infirmor? Quis scandalizatur, et ego non uror? Si gloriari oportet : quae infirmitatis meae sunt, gloriabor. Deus et Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, qui est benedictus in saecula, scit quod non mentior. Damasci praepositus gentis Aretae regis, custodiebat civitatem Damascenorum, ut me comprehenderet : et per fenestram in sporta dimissus sum per murum, et sic effugi manus ejus.

Si gloriari oportet (non expedit quidem), veniam autem ad visiones et revelationes Domini. Scio hominem in Christo ante annos quatuordecim, (sive in corpore nescio, sive extra corpus nescio, Deus scit 🙂 raptum hujusmodi usque ad tertium caelum.

Et scio hujusmodi hominem, (sive in corpore, sive extra corpus nescio, Deus scit 🙂 quoniam raptus est in paradisum : et audivit arcana verba, quae non licet homini loqui. Pro hujusmodi gloriabor : pro me autem nihil gloriabor nisi in infirmitatibus meis.

Nam, et si voluero gloriari, non ero insipiens : veritatem enim dicam : parco autem, ne quis me existimet supra id, quod videt in me, aut aliquid audit ex me. Et ne magnitudo revelationem extollat me, datus est mihi stimulus carnis meae angelus satanae, qui me colaphizet.

Propter quod ter Dominum rogavi, ut discederet a me : et dixit mihi : Sufficit tibi gratia mea : nam virtus in infirmitate perficitur. Libenter igitur gloriabor in infirmitatibus meis, ut inhabitet in me virtus Christi.

English translation

Brethren, you gladly suffer the foolish, whereas yourselves are wise. For you suffer if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devours you, if a man takes from you, if a man be lifted up, if a man strikes you in the face. I speak according to dishonour, as if we had been weak in this part.

Wherein if any man dare (I speak foolishly), I also dare. They are Hebrews, so am I. They are Israelites, so am I. They are the seed of Abraham, so am I. They are the ministers of Christ (I speak as one less wise), I am more, in many more labours, in prisons more frequently, in stripes above measure, in deaths often.

Of the Jews I had received forty stripes save one. Thrice I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I was in the depth of the sea. In journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own nation, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils from false brethren. In labour and painfulness, in much watchings, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness, besides those things which are without, my daily instance, the solicitude for all the churches.

Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is scandalised, and I am not on fire? If I must need glory, I will glory of the things that concern my infirmity. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is blessed forever, knows that I do not lie. At Damascus the governor of the nation under Aretas the king, guarded the city of the Damascenes to apprehend me, and through a window in a basket I was let down by the wall, and so escaped his hands.

If I must glory (it is not expedient indeed), but I will come to the visions and the revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ above fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I do not know, or out of the body, I do not know, but God knows) such one rapts even to the third heaven.

And I know such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell, but God knows), that he was caught up into paradise, and heard secret words, which it is not granted to man to utter. For such one I will glory, but for myself I will glory nothing, but in my infirmities.

For though I should have a mind to glory, I shall not be foolish, for I will say the truth. But I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he sees in me, or anything he heard from me. And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me.

For which thing thrice I besought the Lord, that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in infirmity.” Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

(Usus Antiquior) Sexagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 7 February 2021 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Introit

Psalm 43 : 23-26 and 2

Exsurge, quare obdormis, Domine? Exsurge, et ne repellas in finem : quare faciem Tuam avertis, oblivisceris tribulationem nostram? Adhaesit in terra venter noster : exsurge, Domine, adjuva nos, et libera nos.

Deus, auribus nostris audivimus : patres nostri annuntiaverunt nobis.

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

English translation

Arise, why do You sleep, o Lord? Arise, and cast us not off to the end. Why do You turn Your face away, and forgot our trouble? Our belly had cleaved to the earth. Arise, o Lord, help us and deliver us.

O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have declared to us.

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 quia ex nulla nostra actione confidimus : concede propitius; ut, contra adversa omnia, Doctoris gentium protectione muniamur. 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 see that we put not our trust in any deed of our own, mercifully grant that by the protection of the Teacher of the Gentiles we may be defended against all adversities. 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, 6 February 2021 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the narrative of the Lord as the Good Shepherd of all the faithful and as the One to guide all the people towards the salvation and eternal life found in God alone. Through Christ, the Lord has gathered all of us to Himself, and He has done this for us so that each and every one of us may be saved, and not fall into eternal damnation.

The Lord offered Himself as the worthy sacrifice and also acting as the High Priest in offering this gift that through His offering all of us receive the assurance of eternal life and true happiness, a joy that is everlasting and true, no longer burdened by the chains of sin. He has done all of these out of love for us, because He has seen how wretched we have been in our condition just as exemplified by our Gospel passage today.

In that occasion, the Lord saw how the people who were gathered to listen to Him were like sheep without a shepherd, without a guide and without a proper direction in life. He showed them the path towards His salvation and taught them even when He and His disciples were tired and exhausted. He dedicated Himself, truly like the Good Shepherd He is, patiently caring for the people entrusted to Him, loving them and showing them the true face of God’s love.

We have seen how God loved us so much that He willingly gave everything for our sake. Do we then appreciate the love He has shown us, brothers and sisters in Christ? Many of us often forget about God and we only remember Him when we need something from Him or require assistance from Him. When things are good for us, and when everything is fine, we quickly forget about Him and carry on living our lives in the same way and routine, again and again.

As Christians, all of us are called to live our lives with God at the centre of our lives and existence. We should do our very best to dedicate our actions and our daily living to glorify God at all times, to the very best of our abilities. We are all called to be inspiration for one another, to be exemplary in how we lead a Christ-like life, to be filled with love for God and to be filled with love for our fellow brothers and sisters.

The Lord has called us all to follow His example as the Good Shepherd, to show love and care for one another, and to be genuinely compassionate towards those who need our help and attention. He wants us to live up to our Christian calling and be genuine Christian at all times, dedicating ourselves to serve God and to stand up for our faith whenever it is necessary. That is how we inspire others to follow the Lord and be faithful as well.

Today, all of us celebrate the memory of the great saints, St. Paul Miki and his companions, the Holy Martyrs of Nagasaki, the Twenty-Six Martyrs of Japan. At that time, the Church in Japan had been going through a period of very rapid expansion that saw hundreds of thousands of people converting to the Christian faith. However, the initially supportive authorities began to be wary of the rapid expansion and powerful influence of the Church, and the then Regent of Japan, Hideyoshi Toyotomi began to persecute Christians throughout the realm.

St. Paul Miki was among those who were arrested for their faith, and they were tried and condemned to death in Kyoto, the then Imperial capital of Japan and the seat of the Regent. St. Paul Miki and his companions were forced to undergo the most painful journey from Kyoto to Nagasaki, halfway across Japan on foot, a distance of almost a thousand kilometres, to the place of their martyrdom. Perhaps the authorities hoped that some among them would give up and abandon their faith.

On the contrary, St. Paul Miki and his companions, the Twenty-Six Holy Martyrs took courage in God and sang the glorious hymn ‘Te Deum’ in praise of God throughout their journey, thanking and glorifying God as they marched towards their deaths. They remained faithful to the very end and faced martyrdom with courage, receiving from the Lord, their Divine Master and Good Shepherd, the crown of true and everlasting glory and happiness.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, are we willing and able to follow in the footsteps of our holy and devout predecessors? Are we willing to commit ourselves to the good cause of the Lord and to spend the time and effort to proclaim the greater glory of God through our own lives, our actions and deeds? Let us all reflect on this and discern in what way we can live up to our Christian calling, in following the call and example of Our Lord, our Good Shepherd and Master. May God continue to guide us and bless us abundantly in all of our good endeavours, now and always. Amen.

Saturday, 6 February 2021 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Mark 6 : 30-34

At that time, the Apostles returned and reported to Jesus all they had done and taught. Then He said to them, “Go off by yourselves to a remote place and have some rest.” For there were so many people coming and going that the Apostles had no time even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a secluded area by themselves.

But people saw them leaving and many could guess where they were going. So, from all the towns, they hurried there on foot, arriving ahead of them. As Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He had compassion on them for they were like sheep without a shepherd. And He began a long teaching session with them.

Saturday, 6 February 2021 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

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

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. 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.

Saturday, 6 February 2021 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Hebrews 13 : 15-17, 20-21

Let us, then, continually offer through Jesus a sacrifice of praise to God, that is the fruit of lips celebrating His Name. Do not neglect good works and common life, for these are sacrifices pleasing to God. Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are concerned for your souls and are accountable for them. Let this be a joy for them rather than a burden, which would be of no advantage for you.

May God give you peace, He Who brought back from among the dead Jesus our Lord, the Great Shepherd of the sheep, Whose Blood seals the eternal covenant. He will train you in every good work, that you may do His will, for it is He Who works in us what pleases Him, through Jesus Christ, to Whom all glory be forever and ever. Amen!