Sunday, 21 February 2021 : First Sunday of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Mark 1 : 12-15

At that time, the Spirit drove Jesus into the desert. He stayed in the desert forty days and was tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, but Angels ministered to Him.

After John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee and began preaching the Good News of God. He said, “The time has come; the kingdom of God is at hand. Change your ways and believe the Good News.”

Sunday, 21 February 2021 : First Sunday of Lent (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

1 Peter 3 : 18-22

Remember how Christ died, once, and for all, for our sins. He, the Just One, died for the unjust, in order to lead us to God. In the Body, He was put to death, in the Spirit, He was raised to life, and it was then, that He went to preach to the imprisoned spirits.

They were the generation who did not believe, when God, in His great patience, delayed punishing the world, while Noah was building the Ark, in which a small group of eight persons escaped, through water. That was a type of baptism that now saves you; this baptism is not a matter of physical cleansing, but of asking God to reconcile us, through the resurrection of Christ Jesus.

He has ascended to heaven, and is at the right hand of God, having subjected the Angels, Dominions and Powers.

Sunday, 21 February 2021 : First Sunday of Lent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 24 : 4-5ab, 6 and 7bc, 8-9

Teach me Your ways, o YHVH; make known to me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and instruct me, for You are my God, my Saviour.

Remember Your compassion, o YHVH, Your unfailing love from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, but in Your love remember me.

Good and upright, YHVH teaches sinners His way. He teaches the humble of heart and guides them in what is right.

Sunday, 21 February 2021 : First Sunday of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Genesis 9 : 8-15

God spoke to Noah and his sons, “See I am making a Covenant with you and with your descendants after you; also with every living animal with you : birds, cattle, that is, with every living creature of the earth that came out of the Ark. I establish My Covenant with you. Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

God said, “This is the sign of the Covenant I make between Me and you, and every animal living with you for all future generations. I set My bow in the clouds and it will be a sign of the Covenant between Me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember the Covenant between Me and you and every kind of living creature, so that never again will floodwaters destroy all flesh.”

(Usus Antiquior) First Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 21 February 2021 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Preface, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Offertory

Psalm 90 : 4-5

Scapulis Suis obumbrabit tibi Dominus, et sub pennis Ejus sperabis : scuto circumdabit te veritas Ejus.

English translation

The Lord will overshadow you with His shoulders, and under His wings you shall trust. His truth shall encompass you with a shield.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Sacrificium quadragesimalis initii sollemniter immolamus, Te, Domine, deprecantes : ut, cum epularum restrictione carnalium, a noxiis quoque voluptatibus temperemus. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

We solemnly offer the sacrifice at the beginning of Lent, beseeching You, o Lord, that, while we restrict ourselves in the use of bodily food, we may also refrain from indulgence in harmful pleasures. 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 90 : 4-5

Scapulis Suis obumbrabit tibi Dominus, et sub pennis Ejus sperabis : scuto circumdabit te veritas Ejus.

English translation

The Lord will overshadow you with His shoulders, and under His wings you shall trust. His truth shall encompass you with a shield.

Post-Communion Prayer

Tui nos, Domine, sacramenti libatio sancta restauret : et a vetustate purgatos, in mysterii salutaris faciat transire consortium. 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 holy partaking of Your sacrament strengthen us, o Lord, and purify us from the old life, and make us sharers in the mystery of salvation. 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) First Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 21 February 2021 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew

Matthew 4 : 1-11

In illo tempore : Ductus est Jesus in desertum a Spiritu, ut tentaretur a diabolo. Et cum jejunasset quadraginta diebus et quadraginta noctibus, postea esuriit. Et accedens tentator, dixit Ei : Si Filius Dei es, dic, ut lapides isti panes fiant.

Qui respondens, dixit : Scriptum est : Non in solo pane vivit homo, sed in omni verbo, quod procedit de ore Dei. Tunc assumpsit Eum diabolus in sanctam civitatem, et statuit Eum super pinnaculum templi, et dixit Ei : Si Filius Deus es, mitte Te deorsum. Scriptum est enim : Quia Angelis Suis mandavit de Te, et in manibus tollent Te, ne forte offendas ad lapidem pedem Tuum.

Ait illi Jesus : Rursum scriptum est : Non tentabis Dominum, Deum tuum. Iterum assumpsit Eum diabolus in montem excelsum valde : et ostendit Ei omnia regna mundi et gloriam eorum, et dixit Ei : Haec omnia Tibi dabo, si cadens adoraveris me.

Tunc dicit ei Jesus : Vade, Satana; scriptum est enim : Dominum, Deum tuum, adorabis, et illi soli servies. Tun reliquit Eum diabolus et ecce. Angeli accesserunt et ministrabant Ei.

English translation

At that time, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards He was hungry. And the tempter coming said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”

Jesus answered and said, “It is written, man does not live on bread alone, but in every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, and set Him upon the pinnacle of the Temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, cast Yourself down, for it is written, that He had given His Angels charge over You, and in their hands they shall bear You up, lest perhaps You dash Your foot against a stone.”

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, you shall not tempt the Lord your God.” Again the devil took Him up into a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of those, and said to Him, “All these I will give You, if falling down You will adore me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan, for it is written, the Lord your God shall you adore, and Him only shall you serve.” Then the devil left Him, and behold Angels came, and ministered to Him.

(Usus Antiquior) First Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 21 February 2021 : Gradual and Tract

Liturgical Colour : Violet



Gradual

Psalm 90 : 11-12

Angelis suis Deus mandavit de Te, ut custodiant Te in omnibus viis Tuis.

Response : In manibus portabunt Te, ne umquam offendas ad lapidem pedem Tuum.

English translation



God had given His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.

Response : In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

Tract

Psalm 90 : 1-7, 11-16



Qui habitat in adjutorio Altissimi, in protectione Dei caelincommorabitur.

Dicet Domino : Susceptor meus es Tu, et refugium meum : Deus meus, sperabo in eum.

Quoniam ipse liberavit me de laqueo venantium et a verbo aspero.

Scapulis suis obumbrabit Tibi, et sub pennis ejus sperabis.

Scuto circumdabit Te veritas ejus : non timebis a timore nocturno.

A sagitta volante per diem, a negotio perambulante in tenebris, a ruina et daemonio meridiano.

Cadent a latere tuo mille, et decem milia a dextris tuis : tibi autem non appropinquabit.

Quoniam Angelis suis mandavit de Te, ut custodiant te in omnibus viis tuis.

In manibus portabunt te, ne umquam offendas ad lapidem pedem tuum.

Super aspidem et basiliscum ambulabis, et conculcabis leonem et draconem.

Quoniam in me speravit, liberabo eum : protegam eum, quoniam cognovit nomen meum.

Invocabit me, et ego exaudiam eum : cum ipso sum in tribulatione.

Eripiam eum et glorificabo eum : longitudine dierum adimplebo eum, et ostendam illi salutare meum.

English translation



He who dwells in the aid of the Most High, shall abide under the protection of the God of heaven.

He shall say to the Lord, You are my Protector and my Refuge. My God, in Him I will trust.

For He had delivered me from the snare of the hunters, and from the sharp word.

He will overshadow you with His shoulders, and under His wings you shall trust.

His truth shall encompass you with a shield. You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night.

Of the arrow that flies in the day, of the business that walks about in the dark, of ruin and the noonday devil.

A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come nigh to you.

For He had given His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.

In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

You shall walk upon the asp and the basilisk, and you shall trample under your foot the lion and the dragon.

Because he had hoped in Me, I will deliver him, I will protect him, because he had known My Name.

He shall call upon Me, and I will hear him, I am with him in tribulation.

I will deliver him, and I will glorify him, I will fill him with the length of days, and I will show him My salvation.

(Usus Antiquior) First Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 21 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 6 : 1-10

Fratres : Exhortamur vos, ne in vacuum gratiam Dei recipiatis. Ait enim : Tempore accepto exaudivi Te, et in die salutis adjuvi Te. Ecce, nunc tempus acceptabile, ecce, nunc dies salutis.

Nemini dantes ullam offensionem, ut non vituperetur ministerium nostrum : sed in omnibus exhibeamus nosmetipsos sicut Dei ministros, in multa patientia, in tribulationibus; in necessitatibus, in angustiis, in plagis, in carceribus, in seditionibus, in laboribus, in vigiliis, in jejuniis, in castitate, in scientia, in longanimitate, in suavitate, in Spiritu Sancto, in caritate non ficta, in verbo veritatis, in virtute Dei, per arma justitiae a dextris et a sinistris : per gloriam et ignobilitatem : per infamiam et bonam famam : ut seductores et veraces : sicut qui ignoti et cogniti : quasi morientes et ecce, vivimus : ut castigati et non mortificati : quasi tristes, semper autem gaudentes : sicut egentes, multos autem locuplentates : tamquam nihil habentes et omnia possidentes.

English translation

Brethren, we exhort you that you receive not the grace of God in vain. For He said, “In an accepted time have I heard you, and in the day of salvation have I helped you. Behold now is the acceptable time, behold now is the day of salvation.”

“Giving no offence to any man, that our ministry be not blamed, but in all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in tribulations, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in prisons, in seditions, in labours, in watchings, in fastings, in chastity, in knowledge, in long suffering, in sweetness, in the Holy Spirit, in charity unfeigned, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the armour of justice on the right hand and on the left, by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastised, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as needy, yet enriching many; as having nothing, and possessing all things.”

(Usus Antiquior) First Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 21 February 2021 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Introit

Psalm 90 : 15, 16 and 1

Invocabit Me, et ego exaudiam eum, et glorificabo eum : longitudine dierum adimplebo eum.

Qui habitat in adjutorio Altissimi, in protectione Dei caeli commorabitur.

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

English translation

He shall call upon Me, and I will hear him; I will deliver him, and glorify him; I will fill him with length of days.

He who dwells in the aid of the Most High, shall abide under the protection of the God of heaven.

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 Ecclesiam Tuam annua quadragesimali observatione purificas : praesta familiae Tuae; ut, quod a Te obtinere abstinendo nititur, hoc bonis operibus exsequatur. 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, Who had purified Your Church with the annual observance of Lent, grant to Your household that what it strives to obtain from You by abstinence it may secure with good works. 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, 20 February 2021 : Saturday after Ash Wednesday (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day the Lord speaks to us through the words of the Scriptures that we have just heard, in which we heard a message of repentance and forgiveness from God. Through what we have heard, we are all reminded that God extends His mercy and forgiveness to all those who come and seek Him, and provided that we change our ways and sincerely seek to be reconciled with Him, we shall be forgiven our sins.

The prophet Isaiah came and preached at the pivotal moments in the history of the people of Israel, as he lived during those years when the northern kingdom of Israel, covering most of the ten tribes of the Israelites had been destroyed recently by the forces of the Assyrians, and most of its people brought off into forced exile in far-off lands in distant Assyria and Mesopotamia, away from the lands of their ancestors.

And at that time, the southern kingdom of Judah itself had been existentially threatened by its powerful neighbours, including from the Assyrians themselves, who came up to Jerusalem and besieged it, as king Sennacherib of Assyria almost conquered all of Judah and Jerusalem if not for the divine intervention of the Lord that wiped out the Assyrian forces and sent the king of Assyria back to his lands in shame.

All those were because of the lack of faith in the people of Israel, as they had abandoned the ways of the Lord, disobeyed the laws and commandments of God again and again, and refusing to listen to the many prophets and messengers that had been sent into their midst to call them back and remind them to stop their rebellious ways and turn back towards God.

Yet, the Lord never gave up on us, and He did not stop trying to seek us out and to turn us back towards Him, that we may be reconciled to Him, be forgiven from our many sins, and thus, He tirelessly continued to seek us out, and He gave us all the best of all gifts in this regard, that is the gift of our salvation through His own most beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have received the new assurance of eternal life and glory in God.

In our Gospel passage we heard of the calling of Levi, the tax collector by the Lord, Who called him to follow Him to be His disciple. Levi listened to the Lord’s call and immediately left everything behind and followed the Lord. Through this call, the man once known as Levi became a new man, called by God to be His Apostle, St. Matthew, who was also one of the Four Evangelists, in writing the Gospel attributed to him.

We see therefore how this man, a former tax collector, widely condemned and ostracised at his own time by the rest of the general community due to the strong prejudices that then existed on the tax collectors in labelling them as traitors to the nation and the people, as well as being greedy and exploitative of others, could become a great saint and one of the Apostles and the Evangelists no less.

We need to know that no one is truly away from God’s salvation and grace, and just as God Himself is also consistently and actively reaching out towards us, then in fact the mercy and forgiveness of God are truly readily and easily accessible for us, and the story of many of our predecessors, turned from sinners to saints, only serve to highlight this fact even more.

However, the main obstacle preventing us from finding our way to God is in fact our own reluctance, doubt and refusal to accept God’s generous offer of mercy and forgiveness. Many of us are unwilling to commit to the Lord and continued to live in the state of sin. That is why so many people still failed to receive the rich bounties of God’s grace and mercy. As long as we allow the many temptations present in the world to tempt us away from the Lord, then we are likely to remain distant from Him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore do our best to overcome the temptations of worldly desires and all other obstacles that are in the way of our reconciliation with God. Let us all be courageous in responding to the Lord with a renewed faith from now on, that we will remain faithful to the path that the Lord has showed us, and that we will always strive to walk faithfully in His presence, now and always. May God bless us and guide us in our path going forward in life. Amen.