(Usus Antiquior) Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (I Classis) – Friday, 11 June 2021 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : White

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. John

John 19 : 11-37

In illo tempore : Judaei (quoniam Parasceve erat), ut non remanerent in cruce corpora sabbato (erat enim magnus dies ille sabbati), rogaverunt Pilatum, ut frangerentur eorum crura, et tollerentur. Venerunt ergo milites : et primi quidem fregerunt crura et alterius, qui crucifixus est cum eo.

Ad Jesum autem cum venissent, ut viderunt eum jam mortuum, non fregerunt ejus crura, sed unus militum lancea latus ejus aperuit, et continuo exivit sanguis et aqua. Et qui vidit, testimonium perhibuit : et verum est testimonium ejus.

Et ille scit quia vera dicit, ut et vos credatis. Facta sunt enim haec ut Scriptura impleretur : Os non comminuetis ex eo. Et iterum alia Scriptura dicit : Videbunt in quem transfixerunt.

English translation

At that time, the Jews (because it was the Eve of the Passover) so that the bodies might not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day (for that was a great Sabbath day) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. The soldiers therefore came, and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with Him.

But after they came to Jesus, they saw that He was already dead, so they did not break His legs, but one of the soldiers with a spear opened His side, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he who saw it had given testimony, and his testimony is true.

And he knows that he said the truth, that you may also believe. For these things were done that the Scripture might be fulfilled, ‘You shall not break a bone of His.’ And again another Scripture said, ‘They shall look on Him whom they pierced.’

(Usus Antiquior) Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (I Classis) – Friday, 11 June 2021 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 24 : 8-9 and Matthew 11 : 29

Dulcis et rectus Dominus : propter hoc legem dabit delinquetibus in via.

Response : Diriget mansuetos in judicio, docebit mites vias suas.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Tollite jugum meum super vos, et discite a me, quia mitis sum et humilis Corde, et invenietis requiem animabus vestris. Alleluja.

English translation

The Lord is sweet and righteous, therefore He will give a law to sinners in the way.

Response : He will guide the mild in judgment. He will teach the meek His ways.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : Take up My yoke upon you and learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (I Classis) – Friday, 11 June 2021 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : White

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

Ephesians 3 : 8-12, 14-19

Fratres : Mihi, omnium sanctorum minimo, data est gratia haec, in gentibus evangelizare investigabiles divitias Christi, et illuminare omnes, quae sit dispensatio sacramenti absconditi a saeculis in Deo, qui omnia creavit : ut innotescat principatibus et potestatibus in caelestibus per Ecclesiam multiformis sapientia Dei, secundum praefinitionem saeculorum, quam fecit in Christo Jesu, Domino nostro, in quo habemus fiduciam et accessum in confidentia per fidem ejus.

Hujus rei gratia flecto genua mea ad Patrem Domini nostri Jesu Christi, ex quo omnis paternitas in caelis ei in terra nominatur, ut det vobis, secundum divitias gloriae suae, virtute corroborari per Spiritum ejus in interiorem hominem, Christum habitare per fidem in cordibus vestris : in caritate radicati et fundati, ut possitis comprehendere cum omnibus sanctis, quae sit latitudo, et longitudo, et sublimitas, et profundum : scire etiam supereminentem scientiae caritatem Christi, ut impleamini in omnem plenitudinem Dei.

English translation

Brethren, to me, the least of all the saints, is given this grace, to preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to enlighten all men, that they may see what is the dispensation of the mystery which had been hidden from eternity in God, who created all things, that the manifold wisdom of God may be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places through the Church, according to the eternal purpose, which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.

For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened by His Spirit with might unto the inward man, that Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts, that being rooted and founded in charity, you may be able to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth, and length, and height and depth, to know also the charity of Christ, which surpasses all understanding, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.

(Usus Antiquior) Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (I Classis) – Friday, 11 June 2021 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : White

Introit

Psalm 32 : 11, 19

Cogitationes Cordis Ejus in generatione et generationem : ut eruat a morte animas eorum et alat eos in fame.

Exsultate, justi, in Domino : rectos decet collaudatio.

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

English translation

The thoughts of His heart to all generations : to deliver their souls from death and feed them in famine.

Rejoice in the Lord, o all of you who are just, praise becoming of the upright.

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 nobis in Corde Filii Tui, nostri vulnerato peccatis, infinitos dilectionis thesauros misericorditer largiri dignaris : concede, quaesumus; ut, illi devotum pietatis nostrae praestantes obsequium, dignae quoque satisfactionis exhibeamus officium. 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 in the Heart of Your Son, wounded by our sins, had designed mercifully to bestow infinite treasures of love upon us; grant, we beseech You, that as we offer Him the faithful service of our devotion, we may also make worthy reparation. 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.

Thursday, 10 June 2021 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Lord reminding us to be faithful to Him, to His Law and commandments, that we will truly be faithful to the Lord not just in name only but also in spirit, and truly appreciate and understand the meaning, intention and the purpose of the Law and the commandments of God. The Lord has called us all to follow Him, and we ought to walk in His path sincerely and with genuine love and commitment for Him.

This means that we should not just obey the Law for the sake of obeying it, or doing so without understanding the true meaning and intention of the Law. Or else, we will end up like the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, many of whom enforced a strict interpretation and obedience to the Law, its rules and regulations, and yet, failed to understand and appreciate that the Law of God was meant to lead God’s people to Him and to teach them all to love Him and to be filled with love, to know love and to practice love in their lives.

In our first reading today we heard the words of St. Paul in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in the city of Corinth, reminding them and all of us that we have received the truth of the Lord from none other than Christ Himself, and through the Holy Spirit as passed down to us through the Apostles and the Church. What was unknown to the people of the past, as highlighted by the figurative ‘veil of Moses’ has been made known and revealed by the revelation of Christ, the Saviour of the world. The Lord is no longer hidden from us and He has made Himself known to us.

And therefore, all of us as Christians we have been blessed to know the Lord much more personally, to recognise His truth and to know His love, to be at the receiving end of that love. Do we realised then just how blessed and beloved we are, brothers and sisters in Christ? Or do we still take it for granted that we have been so fortunate? This is what each and every one of us need to reflect as we discern our path in life. We have to be faithful ever more in our every actions and deeds, in our every interactions with one another, that we truly embody our Christian faith and truth.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord speaking to the people and to His disciples that they ought to be faithful and to follow the Lord more faithfully than the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, for those people only applied and understood the Law superficially and did not truly love the Lord from their heart. Their actions and obedience to the Law came about because they were swayed by their pride and desire for worldly glory and praise, their influential and powerful position in the community among others.

The Lord told them all that to be faithful, one must really understand that the Law is truly about love, showing and teaching us how to love one another just as we also ought to love the Lord wholeheartedly, more so than we love ourselves. If we love ourselves too much, like that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, then we will realise that we may have no place for God and for others in our hearts and minds. That is why we need to get rid from ourselves the excesses of our human pride and desires, that we may come to realise God’s love and what we all need to do to be faithful to Him.

Let us all therefore be true Christians in all of our words, actions, dealings and interactions, showing love and concern for one another, and be willing to forgive one another our faults and mistakes towards each other, just as the Lord Himself has loved us and is willing to forgive us our sins despite our numerous faults, mistakes and trespasses. This is why, brothers and sisters, if we do not know how to live our lives as Christians, then we do not need to look further than the Lord Himself as our example, and also we have the amazing saints, our holy predecessors, whose lives can be inspiration for us to follow.

May the Lord be with us all and may He strengthen us that we may always be faithful and may grow ever more in love towards Him. May He guide us and give us the encouragement and the energy to persevere through the many trials and challenges that we may have to face in our respective journeys of faith. May God bless us all, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

Thursday, 10 June 2021 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 5 : 20-26

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “I tell you, if your sense of right and wrong is not keener than that of the Lawyers and the Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

“You have heard, that it was said to our people in the past : Do not commit murder; anyone who murders will have to face trial. But now I tell you : whoever gets angry with a brother or sister will have to face trial. Whoever insults a brother or sister is liable, to be brought before the council. Whoever calls a brother or sister ‘Fool!’ is liable, of being thrown into the fire of hell.”

“So, if you are about to offer your gift at the altar, and you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there, in front of the altar; go at once, and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift to God.”

“Do not forget this : be reconciled with your opponent quickly when you are together on the way to court. Otherwise he will turn you over to the judge, who will hand you over to the police, who will put you in jail. There, you will stay, until you have paid the last penny.”

Thursday, 10 June 2021 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 84 : 9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14

Would, that I hear God’s proclamation, that He promise peace to His people, His saints. Yet, His salvation is near to those who fear Him, and His glory will dwell in our land.

Love and faithfulness have met; righteousness and peace have embraced. Faithfulness will reach up from the earth while justice bends down from heaven.

YHVH will give what is good, and our land will yield its fruit. Justice will go before Him, and peace will follow along His path.

Thursday, 10 June 2021 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 Corinthians 3 : 15 – 2 Corinthians 4 : 1, 3-6

Up to this very day, whenever they read Moses, the veil remains over their understanding but, for whoever turns to the Lord, the veil shall be removed. The Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

So, with unveiled faces, we all reflect the glory of the Lord, while we are transformed into His likeness, and experience His glory, more and more by the action of the Lord, Who is Spirit.

Since this is our ministry, mercifully given to us, we do not weaken. In fact, if the Gospel we proclaim remains obscure, it is obscure only for those who go to their own destruction. The God of this world has blinded the minds of these unbelievers, lest they see the radiance of the glorious Gospel of Christ, Who is God’s Image.

It is not ourselves we preach, but Christ Jesus, as Lord; and, for Jesus’ sake, we are your servants. God, Who said, ‘Let the light shine out of darkness’, has also made the light shine in our hearts, to radiate, and to make known the glory of God, as it shines in the face of Christ.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Ephrem, Deacon and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Deacons)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard the words of the Lord in the Scripture, to obey the Law of God and to walk in His path faithfully, that in all things and in all of our actions we will always be righteous and act in accordance to the teachings and truth of the Lord. This is our calling as Christians, and this is what we are expected to do as those who follow the Lord and profess our faith in Him. Otherwise, we are no better than hypocrites who profess to be faithful and yet lacking genuine faith.

In our first reading today, we listened to St. Paul in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in the city of Corinth speaking to us and all the faithful that we are all the ministers and partakers of the New Covenant that God has established with each and every one of us. As such, as the Lord has called us to follow Him and to do His will, we ought to be proud and committed to this mission which He has entrusted to us. To be those whom God loves and cares for is truly a privilege, a wonderful honour, that surpasses even the glory of those who went before us in the Old Covenant.

And the Law of God is always before us, as the reason for our faith and existence, as something that God has placed in our midst to be our guide and focus, so that we will not easily be swayed into the wrong path in life. He has given us all this Law that we can remain firmly centred on Him and that we will not be distracted by the many temptations present all around us, or all the falsehoods and lies of the devil trying to derail us off the path towards God and His salvation.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord speaking to His disciples and to the people gathered regarding the matter of the Law, as He has always been confronted and opposed by the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, all those who rigidly and jealously defended the Law of Moses and its interpretation, their own perception and way of understanding the Law of God as revealed through Moses. And when the Lord came into this world, revealing the truth about the Law, they charged Him with breaking the Law and disobeying its tenets.

It was in fact the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law who were in the wrong, as they had lost their way and misinterpreted the Law as a culmination of centuries of misunderstandings and failure to appreciate the true meaning and purpose of the Law. They applied the Law and understood it only rudimentarily, using the Law instead to impose harsh limitations and burdens on the people, and using the Law to bring about control and segregation among the faithful, with the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law priding themselves for being the ones who were supposedly most knowledgeable and most obedient to the Law.

Yet, the Lord revealed that the Law of God is not about all that, for His Law is the Law of Love, and is intended to bring all of us mankind to discover more about the Lord and to grow to love Him. All the commandments and the tenets of the Law were in fact guidance and help for everyone that all of us may be reminded and may be strengthened in our journey of faith, that we can remain focused, centred and obedient to God in all things, by our love for Him and by the genuine relationship we build up with Him and with one another, and not through fear and oppression as advocated by the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, as Christians, we have received this same truth from God and we have become the ministers of Our Lord’s New Covenant, and the ones who should know and understand the more perfected Law, and thus, we should become its faithful witnesses and missionaries, to reach out to more and more people bearing the truth about the Law and the Lord. We have to be active in living up to our Christian faith and expectations, to be truly obedient to the Lord and to walk in His ways, always and at all times.

Today we also celebrate the feast of St. Ephrem, a holy and dedicated servant of God, a renowned Deacon and later honoured as one of the Doctors of the Church. St. Ephrem is a great role model and inspiration for all of us on how we can be also dedicated to the Lord and obey His Law faithfully as examples on our own to our fellow brethren. St. Ephrem faithfully served the Church and his local community of faithful and beyond as a deacon, and also through his many works and writings, he defended the true faith against the falsehoods of many heresies that were rampant at that time.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, are we willing and able to commit ourselves to love the Lord and to be genuine Christians in our lives? Are willing to follow the path that God has shown before us, and to spend the time and the effort to glorify the Lord by our lives? Let us all commit ourselves anew to Him and let us be ever more faithful, be ever more dedicated in all things. May the Lord be with us all and may He strengthen us with the courage to remain faithful to His Law and commandments, that we may be great inspiration and examples for one another. Amen.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Ephrem, Deacon and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Deacons)

Matthew 5 : 17-19

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Do not think that I have come to annul the Law and the prophets. I have not come to annul them, but to fulfil them. I tell you this : as long as heaven and earth last, not the smallest letter or dot in the Law will change, until all is fulfilled.”

“So then, whoever breaks the least important of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be the least in the kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys them, and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the kingdom of heaven.”