(Usus Antiquior) Nativity of St. John the Baptist (I Classis) – Thursday, 24 June 2021 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : White

Offertory

Psalm 91 : 13

Justus ut palma florebit : sicut cedrus, quae in Libano est, multiplicabitur.

English translation

The just man shall flourish like the palm tree, he shall grow up like the cedar of Lebanon.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Tua, Domine, muneribus altaria cumulamus : illius nativitatem honore debito celebrantes, qui Salvatorem mundi et cecinit adfuturum et adesse monstravit, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium Tuum : Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

We heap Your altars with gifts, o Lord, celebrating with fitting honour the nativity of he who heralded the coming of the Saviour, and pointed Him out when He had come, our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who with You lives and reigns, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Communion

Luke 1 : 76

Tu, puer Propheta Altissimi vocaberis : praeibis enim ante faciem Domini parare vias ejus.

English translation

You, child, shall be called the Prophet of the Highest, for you shall go before the face of the Lord, to prepare His ways.

Post-Communion Prayer

Sumat Ecclesia Tua, Deus, beati Joannis Baptistae generatione laetitiam : per quem suae regenerationis cognovit auctorem, 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 Church, o God, be joyful at the birth of the Blessed John the Baptist, through whom she knew the Author of her regeneration, 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) Nativity of St. John the Baptist (I Classis) – Thursday, 24 June 2021 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : White

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

Luke 1 : 57-68

Elisabeth impletum est tempus pariendi, et peperit filium. Et audierunt vicini et cognati ejus, quia magnificavit Dominus misericordiam suam cum illa, et congratulabantur ei. Et factum est in die octavo, venerunt circumcidere puerum, et vocabant eum nomine patris sui Zachariam.

Et respondens mater ejus, dixit : Nequaquam, sed vocabitur Joannes. Et dixerunt ad illam : Quia nemo est in cognatione tua, qui vocatur hoc nomine. Innuebant autem patri ejus, quem vellet vocari eum. Et postulans pugillarem, scripsit, dicens : Joannes est nomen ejus. Et mirati sunt universi.

Apertum est autem illico os ejus et lingua ejus, et loquebatur benedicens Deum. Et factus est timor super omnes vicinos eorum : et super omnia montana Judaeae divulgabantur omnia verba haec : et posuerunt omnes, qui audierant in corde suo, dicentes : Quis, putas, puer iste erit? Etenim manus Domini erat cum illo.

Et Zacharias, pater ejus, repletus est Spiritu Sancto, et prophetavit, dicens : Benedictus Dominus, Deus Israel, quia visitavit et fecit redemptionem plebis suae.

English translation

Elizabeth’s full time of being delivered was come, and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had showed His great mercy towards her, and they congratulated with her. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they called him by his father’s name, Zachary.

And his mother answering, said, “Not so, but he shall be called John.” And they said to her, “There is none of your kindred that is called by that name.” And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And demanding a writing table, he wrote, saying, “John is his name.” And they all wondered.

And immediately his mouth was opened, and his tongue loosened, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came upon all their neighbours, and all these things were noised abroad over all the hill country of Judea, and all those who had heard them, laid them up in their heart, saying, “What a person, do you think, shall this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.

And Zachary his father was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he prophesied, saying, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, because He had visited, and wrought the redemption of His people.”

(Usus Antiquior) Nativity of St. John the Baptist (I Classis) – Thursday, 24 June 2021 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : White

Jeremiah 1 : 5, 9 and Luke 1 : 76

Priusquam te formarem in utero, novi te : et antequam exires de ventre, sanctificavi te.

Response : Misit Dominus manum suam, et tetigit os meum, et dixit mihi.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Tu, puer, Propheta Altissimi vocaberis : praeibis ante Dominum parare vias ejus. Alleluja.

English translation

Before I formed you in the bowels of your mother, I knew you, and before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you.

Response : The Lord put forth His hand, and touched my mouth, and said to me.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : You, child, shall be called the Prophet of the Highest, you shall go before the Lord to prepare His ways. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Nativity of St. John the Baptist (I Classis) – Thursday, 24 June 2021 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : White

Lectio Isaiae Prophetae – Lesson from Isaiah the Prophet

Isaiah 49 : 1-3, 5, 6-7

Audite, insular, et attendite, populi, de longe : Dominus ab utero vocavit me, de ventre matris meae recordatus est nominis mei. Et posuit os meum quasi gladium acutum : in umbra manus Suae protexit me, et posuit me sicut sagittam electam : in pharetra Sua abscondit me.

Et dixit mihi : Servus Meus es tu, Israel, quia in te gloriabor. Et nunc dicit Dominus, formans me ex utero servum sibi : Ecce, dedi te in lucem gentium, ut sis salus mea usque ad extremum terrae. Reges videbunt, et consurgent principes, et adorabunt propter Dominum et sanctum Israel, qui elegit te.

English translation

Give ear, you islands, and harken, you people from afar. The Lord had called me from the womb, from the bowels of my mother He had been mindful of my name. And He had made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of His hand He had protected me, and had made me as a chosen arrow, in His quiver He had hidden me.

And He said to me, “You are My servant Israel, for in you will I glory.” And now says the Lord who formed me from the womb to be His servant, “Behold I have given uou to be light of the gentiles, that you may be My salvation even to the farthest part of the earth. Kings shall see, and princes shall rise up, and adore for the Lord’s sake, and for the Holy One of Israel, Who had chosen you.”

(Usus Antiquior) Nativity of St. John the Baptist (I Classis) – Thursday, 24 June 2021 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : White

Introit

Isaiah 49 : 1, 2 and Psalm 91 : 2

De ventre matris meae vocavit me Dominus nomine meo : et posuit os meum ut gladium acutum : sub tegumento manus suae protexit me, et posuit me quasi sagittam electam.

Bonum est confiteri Domino : et psallere Nomini Tuo, Altissime.

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

English translation

The Lord had called me by my name from the womb of my mother, and He had made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He had protected me, and had made me as a chosen arrow.

It is good to give praise to the Lord, and to sing to Your Name, o Most High.

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 praesentem diem honorabilem nobis in beati Joannis nativitate fecisti : da populis Tuis spiritualium gratiam gaudiorum; et omnium fidelium menfes dirige in viam salutis aeternae. 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 had made this day honourable to us on account of the birth of blessed John, grant Your people the grace of spiritual joys, and direct the minds of all the faithful in the way of everlasting 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.

Wednesday, 23 June 2021 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 5-17

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there lived a priest named Zechariah, belonging to the priestly clan of Abiah. Elizabeth, Zechariah’s wife also belonged to a priestly family. Both of them were upright in the eyes of God, and lived blamelessly, in accordance with all the laws and commands of the Lord, but they had no child. Elizabeth could not have any and now they were both very old.

Now, while Zechariah and those with him were fulfilling their office, it fell to him by lot, according to the custom of the priests, to enter the Sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. At the time of offering incense, all the people were praying outside; it was then, that an Angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. On seeing the Angel, Zechariah was deeply troubled and fear took hold of him.

But the Angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, be assured that your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you shall name him John. He will bring joy and gladness to you, and many will rejoice at his birth. This son of yours will be great in the eyes of the Lord. Listen : he shall never drink wine or strong drink; but he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb.”

“Through him, many of the people of Israel will turn to the Lord their God. He, himself, will open the way to the Lord, with the spirit and power of the prophet Elijah; he will reconcile fathers and children; and lead the disobedient to wisdom and righteousness, in order to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Wednesday, 23 June 2021 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Peter 1 : 8-12

You have not, yet, seen Him, and, yet, you love Him; even without seeing Him, you believe in Him, and experience a heavenly joy beyond all words, for you are reaching the goal of your faith : the salvation of your souls.

This was the salvation for which the prophets so eagerly looked when, in days past, they foretold the favour of God, with regard to you. But they could only investigate when the Spirit of Christ present within them, pointed out the time and the circumstances, of this – the sufferings of Christ, and the glories which would follow.

It was revealed to them, that they were working, not for themselves, but for you. Thus, in these days, after the Holy Spirit has been sent from heaven, the Gospel’s preachers have taught you these mysteries, which even the Angels long to see.

Wednesday, 23 June 2021 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 70 : 1-2, 3-4a, 5-6ab, 15ab and 17

In You, o Lord, I seek refuge; let me not be disgraced. In Your justice help me and deliver me, turn Your ear to me and save me!

Be my Rock of refuge, a Stronghold to give me safety, for You are my Rock and my Fortress. Rescue me, o my God, from the hand of the wicked.

For You, o Lord, have been my Hope, my Trust, o God, from my youth. I have relied on You from birth : from my mother’s womb You brought me forth.

My lips will proclaim Your intervention and tell of Your salvation all day, little though it is what I can understand. You have taught me from my youth and until now I proclaim Your marvels.

Wednesday, 23 June 2021 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Jeremiah 1 : 4-10

A word of YHVH came to me, “Even before I formed you in the womb I have known you; even before you were born I had set you apart, and appointed you a prophet to the nations!”

I said, “Ah, Lord YHVH! I do not know how to speak; I am still young!” But YHVH replied, “Do not say; ‘I am still young’, for now you will go, whatever be the mission I am entrusting to you, and you will speak of whatever I command you to say. Do not be afraid of them, for I will be with you to protect you – it is YHVH Who speaks!”

Then YHVH stretched out His hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now I have put My words in your mouth. See! Today I give you authority over nations and over kingdoms to uproot and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

Wednesday, 23 June 2021 : 12th 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 in the Scriptures, we are all reminded of the Covenant which God has established with Abraham, our father in faith, the Covenant He made because He remembered His promise to those who have faith in Him. The Lord reassured Abraham that by his faith, he and his descendants shall be forever blessed and be in the grace of God.

The Lord made His Covenant and sealed it with him after Abraham remained firm and true, dedicating himself faithfully and committed himself all the way, and God knew Abraham for who he is, as He knows everything in each and every one of our hearts and minds, even to our deepest secrets and things that we ourselves may not even be aware of. And God knew that Abraham truly had faith in Him and loved Him with sincere and genuine intentions.

He promised Abraham that He will bless all of His descendants and that they will number as numerous as the stars in the skies and the sands on the shores of the seas. And everything did come to happen just as the Lord willed it, as Abraham became the father of many nations, and not only those who had been able to trace their descent to him, but also all who now call him and consider him as their father in faith, including that of all of us.

Then in our Gospel passage today we heard the Lord speaking to His disciples and the people using a parable regarding the matter of good fruits and good trees. He mentioned to the disciples, many of whom would have been familiar to the agricultural terms mentioned, how the trees that are good will produce good fruits, for at least most of the time, and they are unlikely to produce bad fruits. On the contrary, if the trees are bad in nature, then it is also unlikely that they will produce fruits that are good in quality.

And linking to what we also now know about the passing of these traits in the plants, we know that those traits came from the generation that came before them, and those earlier generations themselves got those traits from their previous generations. What this means is that, first of all, since all of us are in one way or another, the descendants of Abraham, coming from his descent by blood or by faith, then by right, we should have the same good traits that Abraham had with us.

However, the reality is that, as the Lord mentioned, there are bad seeds and bad trees among us, all those who have led wicked and rotten lives, disobedient against God and His ways, refusing to follow Him and following the whims of their own desires and greed. How did this happen, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is just like how plants and other living things can change due to certain things that happen in their genes or the environment.

For us, we allowed the corruption of sin and the wickedness it brought to mislead us, to change us and to bring us into the wrong path. It is often that we refuse to allow the Lord to enter into our lives and to help and guide us, and we often trust in our own strength and power, in our own intellect and ideas, that we ended up on the wrong path. This is how we ended up becoming the bad seeds and the bad trees, producing rotten and bad fruits because we have no real and genuine faith within us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all today recall the faith and the dedication showed by our father in faith, Abraham, in all that he had done, and in everything he had showed us in his life. We have received this faith, the revelation of truth, and all these knowledge. It is then up to us to decide whether we want to follow the path that the Lord has shown us, following the examples of Abraham, our father in faith, in this Covenant that the Lord has made and renewed with all of us.

May the Lord be with us and bless us in our every actions and way of life. May God strengthen each and every one of us in our faith, that we may be ever closer to Him and we may persevere through the challenges and trials we encounter through life. May God bless us always, now and forevermore. Amen.