Sunday, 28 February 2021 : Second Sunday of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Mark 9 : 2-10

At that time, six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain. There, His appearance was changed before their eyes. Even His clothes shone, becoming as white as no bleach of this world could make them. Elijah and Moses appeared to them; the two were talking with Jesus.

Then Peter spoke and said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to say; they were overcome with awe. But a cloud formed, covering them in a shadow, and from the cloud came a voice, “This is My Son, the Beloved : listen to Him!”

And suddenly, as they looked around, they no longer saw anyone except Jesus with them. As they came down the mountain, He ordered them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept this to themselves, although they discussed with one another what ‘to rise from the dead’ could mean.

Sunday, 28 February 2021 : Second Sunday of Lent (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Romans 8 : 31b-34

If God is with us, who shall be against us? If He did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not give us all things with Him? Who shall accuse those chosen by God : He takes away their guilt? Who will dare to condemn them?

Christ, Who died, and better still, rose, and is seated at the right hand of God, interceding for us?

Sunday, 28 February 2021 : Second Sunday of Lent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 115 : 10 and 15, 16-17, 18-19

I have kept faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted.” It is painful to YHVH to see the death of His faithful.

O YHVH, 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 YHVH.

I will carry out my vows to YHVH in the presence of His people, in the courts of the House of YHVH, in your midst, o Jerusalem.

Sunday, 28 February 2021 : Second Sunday of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Genesis 22 : 1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18

Some time later, God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he answered, “Here I am.” Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I shall point out to you.”

They came to the place to which God had directed them. Abraham then stretched out his hand to seize the knife and slay his son. But the Angel of YHVH called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

And he said, “Here I am.” “Do not lay your hand on the boy; do not harm him, for now I know that you fear God, and you have not held back from Me your only son.” Abraham looked around and saw behind him a ram caught by its horns in a bush. He offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son.

And the Angel of YHVH called from heaven a second time. “By Myself I have sworn, it is YHVH Who speaks, because you have done this and not held back your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the land of their enemies. All the nations of the earth will be blessed through your descendants because you have obeyed Me.”

(Usus Antiquior) Second Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 28 February 2021 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Preface, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Offertory

Psalm 118 : 47, 48

Meditabor in mandatis Tuis, quae dilexi valde : et levabo manus meas ad mandata Tua, quae dilexi.

English translation

I will meditate on Your commandments, which I have loved exceedingly, and I will lift up my hands to Your commandments, which I have loved.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Sacrificiis praesentibus, Domine, quaesumus, intende placatus : ut et devotioni nostrae proficiant et saluti. 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 graciously we beg, o Lord, upon the sacrifices here before You, that they may profit both our devotion and our 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.

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 5 : 2-4

Intellege clamorem meum : intende voci orationes meae, Rex meus et Deus meus : quoniam ad Te orabo, Domine.

English translation

Understand my cry, hearken to the voice of my prayer, o my King and my God. For to You will I pray, o Lord.

Post-Communion Prayer

Supplices Te rogamus, omnipotens Deus : ut quos Tuis reficis sacramentis, Tibi etiam placitis moribus dignanter deservire concedas. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Grant, we beseech You, o Almighty God, that we, whom You refreshed with Your sacraments, may also serve You worthily with conduct to Your liking. 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) Second Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 28 February 2021 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Violet

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

Matthew 17 : 1-9

In illo tempore : Assumpsit Jesus Petrum, et Jacobum, et Joannem fratrem eius, et duxit illos in montem excelsum seorsum : et transfiguratus est ante eos. Et resplenduit facies Ejus sicut sol : vestimenta autem Ejus facta sunt alba sicut nix.

Et ecce, apparuerunt illis Moyses et Elias cum Eo loquentes. Respondens autem Petrus, dixit ad Jesum : Domine, bonum est nos hic esse : si vis, faciamus hic tria tabernacula, Tibi unum, Moysi unum et Eliae unum.

Adhuc eo loquente, ecce, nubes lucida obumbravit eos. Et ecce vox de nube, dicens : Hic est Filius Meus dilectus, in quo mihi bene complacui : Ipsum audite. Et audientes discipuli, ceciderunt in faciem suam, et timuerunt valde. Et accessit Jesus, et tetigit eos, dixitque eis : Surgite, et nolite timere.

Levantes autem oculos suos, neminem viderunt nisi solum Jesum. Et descendentibus illis de monte, praecepit eis Jesus, dicens : Nemini dixeritis visionem, donec Filius Hominis a mortuis resurgat.

English translation

At that time, Jesus took Peter and James, and John his brother, and brought them up into a high mountain apart, and He was transfigured before them. And His face shone as the sun, and His garments became white as snow.

And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elijah talking with Him. And Peter answering, said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If You will, let us make here three tabernacles, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.

And as he was still speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them, and lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him.” And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face and were very much afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said to them, “Arise and do not fear.”

And they lifting up their eyes saw no one, but only Jesus. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, “Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”

(Usus Antiquior) Second Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 28 February 2021 : Gradual and Tract

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Gradual

Psalm 24 : 17-18

Tribulationes cordis mei dilatatae sunt : de necessitatibus meis eripe me, Domine.

Response : Vide humilitatem meam et laborem meum : et dimitte omnia peccata mea.

English translation

The troubles of my heart are multiplied; deliver me from my necessities, o Lord.

Response : See my abjection and my labour, and forgive all my sins.

Tract

Psalm 105 : 1-4

Confitemini Domino, quoniam bonus : quoniam in saeculum misericordia Ejus.

Response : Quis loquetur potentias Domini : auditas faciet omnes laudes Ejus?

Response : Beati, qui custodiunt judicium et faciunt justitiam in omni tempore.

Response : Memento nostri, Domine, in beneplacito populi Tui : visita nos in salutari Tuo.

English translation

Give glory to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.

Response : Who shall declare the powers of the Lord? Who shall set forth all His praises?

Response : Blessed are those who keep judgment, and do justice at all times.

Response : Remember us, o Lord, in the favour of Your people, visit us with Your salvation.

(Usus Antiquior) Second Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 28 February 2021 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Violet

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

1 Thessalonians 4 : 1-7

Fratres : Rogamus vos et obsecramus in Domino Jesu : ut, quemadmodum accepistis a nobis, quomodo oporteat vos ambulare et placere Deo, sic et ambuletis, ut abundetis magis. Scitis enim, quae praecepta dederim vobis per Dominum Jesum.

Haec est enim voluntas Dei, sanctificatio vestra : ut abstineatis vos a fornicatione, ut sciat unusquisque vestrum vas suum possidere in sanctificatione et honore; non in passione desiderii, sicut et gentes, quae ignorant Deum : et ne quis supergrediatur neque circumveniat in negotio fratrem suum : quoniam vindex est Dominus de his omnibus, sicut praediximus vobis et testificati sumus.

Non enim vocavit nos Deus in immunditiam, sed in sanctificationem : in Christo Jesu, Domino nostro.

English translation

Brethren, we pray and beseech you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received of us, how you ought to walk, and to please God, so also you would walk, that you may abound the more. For you know what precepts I have given to you by the Lord Jesus.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication, that every one of you should know how to possess His vessel in sanctification and honour, not in the passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God, and that no man overreach, nor deceive his brother in business, because the Lord is the Avenger of all these things, as we have told you before, and have testified.

For God had not called us unto uncleanness, but unto sanctification, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Usus Antiquior) Second Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 28 February 2021 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Introit

Psalm 24 : 6, 3, 22 and 1-2

Reminiscere miserationum Tuarum, Domine, et misericordiae Tuae, quae a saeculo sunt : ne umquam dominentur nobis inimici nostri : libera nos, Deus Israel, ex omnibus angustiis nostris.

Ad Te, Domine, levavi animam meam : Deus meus, in Te confido, non erubescam.

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

English translation

Remember, o Lord, Your bowels of compassion, and Your mercies that are from the beginning of the world, lest at any time our enemies rule over us. Deliver us, o God of Israel, from all our tribulations.

To You, o Lord, have I lifted up my soul. In You, o My God, I put my trust. Let me not be ashamed.

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 omni nos virtute destitui : interius exteriusque custodi; ut ab omnibus adversitatibus muniamur in corpore, et a pravis cogitationibus mundemur in mente. 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 saw how we are destitute of all strength, keep us inwardly and outwardly, that in body we may be defended from all adversities, and in mind cleansed of evil thoughts. 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, 27 February 2021 : 1st Week of Lent, Memorial of St. Gregory of Narek, Abbot and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we listened to the words of the Scripture, we are reminded of the importance of obeying the Law and commandments of the Lord in our lives, to be obedient to God and to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to His cause. The Lord has called us all to follow Him and this is what we should be doing with our lives, to walk in His path faithfully and to do what He has asked us to do.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of Deuteronomy the account of the moment when Moses spoke to the people of Israel with regards to the Law and the Commandments that God has revealed to them through him. God has given His people those laws and commandments in order to help and guide the people in their path and journey that they may remain firm and faithful to the path that He has shown them and not fall instead to the false ways and the temptations of the world.

Moses reminded the people to obey the ways of the Lord and to keep faithfully His precepts within their hearts, to understand and appreciate what it means to be God’s beloved and chosen people, that is to be those whom God had favoured and blessed. God has established His Covenant with Abraham, their forefathers and their other ancestors, and thus, as part of the Covenant that God had made and subsequently renewed with them, the people of Israel had to keep the Law and the commandments faithfully.

However, as history showed it through the accounts of the Scripture and others, the people of Israel did not always remain faithful. They fell again and again into sinful ways, abandoning God for the comforts of life and the allures of pagan idols and gods, and they forsake the Law and the commandments which they and their ancestors had sworn to keep as part of the Covenant between God and them.

Yet, as we can see throughout the Scriptures in the Old Testament, the Lord did not give up on His people as He kept on sending messengers and prophets, one after another to remind the people and to help them in finding their path back towards Him. The Lord then sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour, to our midst to be the fulfilment of all the prophecies and the promises He has made, in saving those whom He loved, the sons and daughters of mankind.

And in our Gospel passage today we heard how the Lord told His disciples to show love to one another generously, especially towards those who have despised and been angry towards them, those who had persecuted them and made their lives difficult. The Lord wanted them all to show true love and generous charity, care and compassion towards one another, in the same way that He has loved them, for indeed, that is the true essence, meaning and purpose of the Law which He has imparted to all of them through Moses and the prophets.

Through the Lord and His revelation of truth, the waywardness of the people and all those who professed to follow the Law like many among the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law had been exposed. Instead of just merely focusing on the superficial and the minute details of the Law and its many rules and regulations, but not understanding the true meaning and purpose of the Law, the Lord wanted all of us to be able to truly understand what His Law is all about, and ultimately how we can bring ourselves closer to Him through our true and wonderful obedience to His Law and commandments.

Many of our predecessors had not been faithful because they failed to understand that in order to have true and genuine faith in the Lord, we need to practice what we believe in within our own lives, to show the love we ought to have for God and to love Him just as He has loved us all these while. And the same love we should also show to our fellow brethren, to all those whom we encounter, and even, as the Lord Himself said, to show love to those who have not loved us and despised us. This is our calling as Christians, to be holy in life and to be exemplary in how we act towards one another.

And today we can also imitate the good examples set by St. Gregory of Narek, an Armenian saint and Abbot just recently elevated to the position of a Doctor of the Church by Pope Francis and inserted in the General Roman Calendar for celebration in the Universal Church. St. Gregory of Narek was renowned for his piety and great contributions to the faith in Armenia where he was a priest and abbot, especially for his works on the literature work of the Book of Lamentations, a great compilation of poetry and other literary expressions of the love for God.

St. Gregory of Narek also worked on other literary pieces of work, and he was renowned for his piety as well, which inspired so many people throughout history. He showed his love for God through his own unique way, and we too can follow in his dedication and desire to love God in our own way of life. Are we willing and able to commit ourselves to that, brothers and sisters in Christ? Let us all consider this carefully throughout this season of Lent so that we may make best use of this time to glorify the Lord anew through our lives.

May God bless us all and may He strengthen each and every one of us so that we may always persevere in faith despite all the challenges and the many temptations that we face daily in life. May God be with us all, now and always. Amen.