Thursday, 25 March 2021 : Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord (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.

Thursday, 25 March 2021 : Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Hebrews 10 : 4-10

And never will the blood of bulls and goats take away these sins. This is why on entering the world, Christ says : You did not desire sacrifice and offering; You were not pleased with burnt offerings and sin offerings. Then I said : “Here I am. It was written of Me in the scroll. I will do Your will, o God.”

First He says : “Sacrifice, offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings You did not desire nor were You pleased with them – although they were required by the Law. Then He says : Here I am to do Your will. This is enough to nullify the first will and establish the new. Now, by this will of God, we are sanctified once and for all by the sacrifice of the Body of Christ Jesus.

Thursday, 25 March 2021 : Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 39 : 7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11

Sacrifice and oblation You did not desire; this You had me understand. Burnt offering and sin offering You do not require. Then I said, “Here I come!”

“As the scroll says of me. To do Your will is my delight, o God, for Your law is within my heart.”

In the great assembly I have proclaimed Your saving help. My lips, o Lord, I did not seal – You know that very well.

I have not locked up in my heart Your saving help, but have spoken about it – Your deliverance and Your faithfulness; I have made no secret of Your truth and of Your kindness in the great assembly.

Thursday, 25 March 2021 : Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 7 : 10-14 and Isaiah 8 : 10

Once again YHVH addressed Ahaz, “Ask for a sign from YHVH your God, let it come either from the deepest depths or from the heights of heaven.”

But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask, I will not put YHVH to the test.” Then Isaiah said, “Now listen, descendants of David. Have you not been satisfied trying the patience of people, that you also try the patience of my God? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign : The Virgin is with Child and bears a Son and calls His Name Immanuel.”

“Devise a plan and it will be thwarted, make a resolve and it will not stand, for God-is-with-us.”

(Usus Antiquior) Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double I Classis) – Thursday, 25 March 2021 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Preface, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : White

Offertory

Luke 1 : 28. 42

Ave, Maria, gratia plena; Dominus tecum : Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui.


English translation

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the Fruit of your womb.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

In mentibus nostris, quaesumus, Domine, verae fidei sacramenta confirma : ut, qui conceptum de Virgine Deum verum et hominem confitemur; per ejus salutiferae resurrectionis potentiam, ad aeternam mereamur pervenire laetitiam. 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

Confirm, o Lord, in our minds, we beseech You, the mysteries of the true faith, that we who confess Him Who was conceived of a Virgin to be true God and man, may deserve to arrive at eternal joy, by the power of His saving resurrection. 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.

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 annunciationem 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 right and just, and availing unto our 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 Annunciation of the Blessed Mary ever Virgin, should praise, bless and proclaim You. For she conceived Your only begotten Son by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, and losing not the glory of her virginity, gave to the world the everlasting Light, Jesus Christ Our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Your majesty, the Dominions 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 our voices also, while we say with lowly praise.

Communion

Isaiah 7 : 14

Ecce Virgo concipiet et pariet Filium : et vocabitur Nomen Ejus Emmanuel.

English translation

Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bring forth a Son, and His Name shall be called Emmanuel.

Post-Communion Prayer

Gratiam Tuam, quaesumus, Domine : mentibus nostris infunde : ut qui, Angelo nuntiate, Christi Filii Tui incarnationem cognovimus; per passionem Ejus et crucem, ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. 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

Pour forth, we beseech You, o Lord, Your grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Your Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may, by His Passion and Cross, be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. 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.

(Usus Antiquior) Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double I Classis) – Thursday, 25 March 2021 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : White

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

Luke 1 : 26-38

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. Quae cum audisset, turbata est in sermone ejus : et cogitabat, qualis esset ista salutatio.

Et ait Angelus ei : Ne timeas, Maria, invenisti enim gratiam apud Deum : ecce, concipies in utero et paries filium, et vocabis Nomen Ejus Jesum. Hic erit magnus, et Filius Altissimi vocabitur, et dabit illi Dominus Deus sedem David, patris Ejus : et regnabit in domo Jacob in aeternum, et regni Ejus non erit finis.

Dixit autem Maria ad Angelum : Quomodo fiet istud, quoniam virum non cognosco? Et respondens Angelus, dixit ei : Spiritus Sanctus superveniet in te, et virtus Altissimi obumbrabit tibi. Ideoque et quod nascetur ex te Sanctum, vocabitur Filius Dei.

Et ecce, Elisabeth, cognata tua, et ipsa concepit filiumin senectute sua : et hic mensis sextus est illi, quae vocatur sterilis : quia non erit impossibile apud Deum omne verbum. Dixit autem Maria : Ecce ancilla Domini, fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.

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 being come in, said unto her, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women.” Having heard this, she was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.

And the Angel said to her, “Do not fear, Mary, for you have found grace with God. Behold you shall conceive in your womb and shall bring forth a Son, and you shall call His Name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High, the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father, and He shall reign in the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.”

And Mary said to the Angel, “How shall this be done, because I do not know any man?” And the Angel answering said to her, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you. And therefore also the Holy One which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God.”

“And behold your cousin Elizabeth, she also had conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren, because no word shall be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word.”

(Usus Antiquior) Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double I Classis) – Thursday, 25 March 2021 : Gradual and Tract

Liturgical Colour : White

Gradual

Psalm 44 : 3, 5

Diffusa est gratia in labiis tuis : propterea benedixit te Deus in aeternum.

Response : Propter veritatem et mansuetudinem et justitiam : et deducet te mirabiliter dextera tua.

English translation

Grace is poured abroad in your lips, therefore God had blessed you forever.

Response : Because of truth, meekness and justice, and your right hand shall conduct you wonderfully.

Tract

Psalm 44 : 11, 12, 13, 10, 15, 16

Audi, filia, et vide, et inclina aurem tuam : quia concupivit Rex speciem tuam.

Response : Vultum tuum deprecabuntur omnes divites plebis : filiae regum in honore tuo.

Response : Adducentur Regi Virgines post eam : proximae ejus afferentur Tibi.

Response : Adducentur in laetitia et exsultatione : adducentur in templum Regis.

English translation

Harken, o daughter and see, and incline your ear, for the King had greatly increased your beauty.

Response : All the rich among the people shall entreat your countenance, the daughter of kings, your honour.

Response : After her shall virgins be brought to the King, her neighbours shall be brought to You.

Response : They shall be brought with gladness and rejoicing. They shall be brought into the Temple of the King.

(Usus Antiquior) Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double I Classis) – Thursday, 25 March 2021 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : White

Lectio Isaiae Prophetae – Lesson from Isaiah the Prophet

Isaiah 7 : 10-15

In diebus illis : Locutus est Dominus ad Achaz, dicens : Pete tibi signum a Domino, Deo tuo, in profundum inferni, sive in excelsum supra. Et dixit Achaz : Non petam et non tentabo Dominum. Et dixit : Audite ergo, domus David : Numquid parum vobis est, molestos esse hominibus, quia molesti estis et Deo meo? Propter hoc dabit Dominus ipse vobis signum. Ecce, Virgo concipiet et patriet filium, et vocabitur Nomen Ejus Emmanuel. Butyrum et mel comedet, ut sciat reprobare malum et eligere bonum.

English translation

In those days, the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, “Ask for a sign of the Lord your God, either unto the depth of hell, or to the height above.” And Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord.” And He said, “Hear therefore you, o house of David, is it a small thing for you to be grievous to men, that you are also grievous to My God also? Therefore, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and His Name shall be called Emmanuel. He shall eat butter and honey, that He may know to refuse the evil, and to choose the good.”

(Usus Antiquior) Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double I Classis) – Thursday, 25 March 2021 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : White

Introit

Psalm 44 : 13, 15, 16 and 2

Vultum tuum deprecabuntur omnes divites plebis : adducentur Regi Virgines post eam : proximae ejus adducentur tibi in laetitia in exsultatione.

Alleluja, Alleluja

Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum : dico ego opera mea Regi.

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

English translation

All the rich among the people shall entreat your countenance, after her shall virgins be brought to the King. Her neighbours shall be brought to you in gladness and rejoicing.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

My heart had uttered a good word. I speak my works to the King.

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 de Beatae Mariae Virginis utero Verbum Tuum, Angelo nuntiate, carnem suscipere voluisti : praesta supplicibus Tuis, ut, qui vere eam Genetricem Dei credimus, ejus apud te intercessionibus adjuvemur. 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 willed that at the message of an Angel, Your word should become flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, grant that we, Your suppliants, who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with You. 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.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021 : 5th Week of Lent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today all of us are reminded of the bravery and the courage with which the friends of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego stood by their faith before the great king of the Babylonians, the lord of many nations and the one who led the conquest of Judah and Jerusalem, destroying the city and the Temple of God, and how this can then be related and compared with what we heard in our Gospel passage today with regards to the Lord and His confrontation with the Jewish people.

In the first reading today, we heard of the moment when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down to the great golden statue built by king Nebuchadnezzar in his own image, as they held fast to their obedience and faith in God, and would not betray Him for the likeness of any idols or false gods. Even when faced with the full wrath of the king and the certain threat of suffering and death, all of them held firmly to their faith and did not give up their faith.

They were thus punished by the king of Babylon, to suffer and perish in the great furnace prepared for all those who dared to defy the command of the king. And as the king was furious with the refusal of the three friends of Daniel, and with their adamant and resolute stance against the worship of the idolatrous golden statue, he made the furnace to be much hotter, and threw the men into it. Yet, by divine providence and grace, they were unharmed. God protected them and sent His Angel to watch over them.

These three faithful men were among the people who had been brought off to exile in Babylon, as a people without a country, without land and honour left, humiliated and humbled. Their own original names were Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, as the names they were known by were actually forced upon them as the names the Babylonians imposed on them, as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. This symbolised the situation that they endured, bereft of their own homeland and even name, enslaved and oppressed.

Then we move on to our Gospel reading in which we heard the argument and confrontation between the Lord and the Jewish people in Judea, the latter referring to those who held and supported the hardline views of the Pharisees and therefore opposed the Lord Jesus and His works and ministry. The people argued that they were not enslaved and were free as they were the children of Abraham, when the Lord told them that if they were to believe in His words and accept His truth, then they would be free.

The people who refused to believe in Jesus hardened their hearts and stubbornly declined to listen to reason, and therefore they were actually enslaved. Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, they were enslaved, and not free, because they were controlled by their desires, ego and pride, their refusal to admit that they could be wrong and mistaken, as they heard the truth from the Lord.

They continued to resist the truth even after having witnessed all that the Lord had done, and even after they had heard the great wisdom in His teachings and revelations, and the authority with which He has taught the people. This can be indeed contrasted with the attitudes of the three friends of Daniel. While the former, the people of the time of Jesus were free, but their hearts were in fact enslaved by sin, and the latter, the friends of Daniel, while they were enslaved in body, yet in their hearts and minds, they were truly free, by God’s grace.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, having heard all of these, therefore we are all called to reflect on our own lives and actions. Have we been truly free, brothers and sisters? Are we still enslaved by sin, by our ego, pride, desire and all sorts of worldly concerns and temptations, while we may be free in body? This is why as we continue to progress through this season of Lent, we are all called to do self-introspection, reflect and ponder on what we can do to be more faithful and to be righteous in life.

There will be plenty of challenges and trials facing us, brothers and sisters in Christ, but we must not be afraid, for just as the Lord took care and protected the three men, the friends of Daniel from even the worst of persecutions, the Lord will also stand by our side, that even when we suffer, we will not be alone, and we will walk through and survive even the most challenging trials, by God’s grace, guidance and help. May the Lord be with us all, and may He strengthen us all that we may ever persevere in faith, at all times. Amen.