Tuesday, 14 September 2021 : Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Numbers 21 : 4b-9

The people were discouraged by the journey and began to complain against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is neither bread nor water here and we are disgusted with this tasteless manna.”

YHVH then sent fiery serpents against them. They bit the people and many of the Israelites died. Then the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, speaking against YHVH and against you. Plead with YHVH to take the serpents away.”

Moses pleaded for the people and YHVH said to him, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a standard; whoever has been bitten and then looks at it shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a standard. Whenever a man was bitten, he looked towards the bronze serpent and he lived.

Alternative reading

Philippians 2 : 6-11

Though He was in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking on the nature of a servant, made in human likeness, and in His appearance found as a Man.

He humbled Himself by being obedient to death, death on the cross. That is why God exalted Him and gave Him the Name which outshines all names, so that at the Name of Jesus all knees should bend in heaven, on earth and among the dead, and all tongues proclaim that Christ Jesus is the Lord to the glory of God the Father.

(Usus Antiquior) Exaltation of the Holy Cross (II Classis) – Tuesday, 14 September 2021 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Preface, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Red

Offertory

Tradition of the Faith

Protege, Domine, plebem Tuam per signum Sanctae Crucis ab omnibus insidiis inimicorum omnium : ut tibi gratam exhibeamus servitutem, et acceptabile fiat sacrificium nostrum, Alleluja.

English translation

Through the sign of the Holy Cross, protect Your people, o Lord, from the snares of all enemies, that we may pay You a pleasing service, and our sacrifice be acceptable, Alleluia.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Jesu Christi, Domini nostri, Corpore et Sanguine saginandi, per quem Crucis est sanctificatum vexillum : quaesumus, Domine, Deus noster; ut, sicut illud adorare meruimus, ita perreniter Ejus gloriae salutaris potiamur effectu. 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

Being about to be fed with the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ our Lord, through Whom the banner of the Cross was sanctified, we beseech You o Lord, our God, that, as we have had the grace to adore it, so we may forever enjoy the effect of its salutary glory. 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 Holy Cross

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos Tibi semper et ubique gratias agere : Domine, Sancte Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus : Qui salutem humani generis in ligno Crucis constituisti : ut, unde mors oriebatur, inde vita resurgeret : et, qui in ligno vincebat, in ligno quoque vinceretur : 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 Holy Lord, Father Almighty, Eternal God, You Who had established the salvation of mankind in the wood of the Cross, that from whence death came into the world, thence a new life might spring, and that he who by a tree overcame, by a tree might be overthrown. 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 do magnify, and You do command that it be permitted to our lowliness to join with them in confessing You and unceasingly to repeat :

Communion

Tradition of the Faith

Per signum Crucis de inimicis nostris libera nos, Deus noster.

English translation

Through the sign of the Cross deliver us from our enemies, o our God.

Post-Communion Prayer

Adesto nobis, Domine, Deus noster : et, quos Sanctae Crucis laetari facis honore, ejus quoque perpetuis defende subsidiis. 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 You be with us, o Lord, our God, and as You had made us rejoice in honour of the Holy Cross, defend us also by its perpetual assistance. 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) Exaltation of the Holy Cross (II Classis) – Tuesday, 14 September 2021 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Red

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

John 12 : 31-36

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus turbis Judaeorum : Nunc judicium est mundi : nunc princeps hujus mundi ejiciatur foras. Et ego si exaltatum fuero a terra, omnia traham ad meipsum. (Hoc autem dicebat, significans, qua morte esset moriturus.)

Respondit ei turba; Nos audivimus ex lege, quia Christus manet in aeternum : et quomodo Tu dicis : Oportet exaltari Filium Hominis? Quis est iste Filius Hominis?

Dixit ergo eis Jesus : Adhuc modicum lumen in vobis est. Ambulate, dum lucem habetis, ut non vos tenebrae comprehendant : et qui ambulat in tenebris, nescit, quo vadat. Dum lucem habetis, credite in lucem, ut filii lucis sitis.

English translation

At that time, Jesus said to the multitude of the Jews, “Now is the judgment of the world, now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself. (Now this He said, signifying what death He should die.)

The multitude answered Him, “We have heard out of the Law, that Christ abides forever, and how can You say, the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is the Son of Man?”

Jesus therefore said to them, “Yet a little while, the Light is among you. Walk while you have the light, that the darkness does not overtake you. And he who walks in darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light.”

(Usus Antiquior) Exaltation of the Holy Cross (II Classis) – Tuesday, 14 September 2021 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : Red

Philippians 2 : 8, 9 and Tradition of the Faith

Christus factus est pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis.

Response : Propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum, et dedit illi Nomen, quod est super omne nomen.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Dulce lignum, dulces clavos, dulcia ferens pondera : quae sola fuisti digna sustinere Regem caelorum et Dominum. Alleluja.

English translation

Christ became obedient for us unto death, even the death of the cross.

Response : For which cause also God had exalted Him a Name which is above all names.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : Sweet the wood, sweet the nails, sweet the load that hangs thereon, to bear up the King and Lord of heaven nought was worthy save you, o Holy Cross. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Exaltation of the Holy Cross (II Classis) – Tuesday, 14 September 2021 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Red

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

Philippians 2 : 5-11

Fratres : Hoc enim sentite in vobis, quod et in Christo Jesu : qui, cum in forma Dei esset, non rapinam arbitratus est esse se aequalem Deo : sed semetipsum exinanivit, formam servi accipiens, in similitudinem hominum factus, et habitu inventus ut homo.

Humiliavit semetipsum, factus obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis. Propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum : et donavit illi Nomen, quod est super omne nomen :

(Genuflect)

Ut in Nomine Jesu omne genu flectatur caelestium, terrestrium, et infernorum : et omnis lingua confiteatur, quia Dominus Jesus Christus in gloria est Dei Patris.

English translation

Brethren, let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, Who being in the form of God, thought in not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself as nothing, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a Man.

He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. For which cause God also had exalted Him, and had given Him a Name which is above all names.

(Genuflect)

That in the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.

(Usus Antiquior) Exaltation of the Holy Cross (II Classis) – Tuesday, 14 September 2021 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Red

Introit

Galatians 6 : 14 and Psalm 66 : 2

Nos autem gloriari oportet in Cruce Domini nostri Jesu Christi : in quo est salus, vita et resurrectio nostra : per quem salvati et liberati sumus.

Deus misereatur nostri, et benedicat nobis : illuminet vultum suum super nos, et misereatur nostri.

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

English translation

But it behooves us to glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ in Whom is our salvation, life and resurrection, by Whom we are saved and delivered.

May God have mercy on us, and bless us, may He cause the light of His countenance to shine upon us, and may He have mercy on us.

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 nos hodierna die Exaltationis sanctae Crucis annua sollemnitate laetificas : praesta, quaesumus; ut, cujus mysterium in terra cognovimus, ejus redemptionis praemia in caelo mereamur. 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, You Who had gladdened us this day by the annual solemnity of the exaltation of the Holy Cross, grant, we beseech You, that, as we have known its mystery on earth, we may deserve in heaven the reward which it had purchased. 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.

Monday, 13 September 2021 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we listened to the readings from the Sacred Scriptures, we are all reminded to entrust ourselves to the Lord, through Christ Himself as the Moderator of the New Covenant between us and God. Christ our Lord has reunited us and the Lord, our God, and by His most loving sacrifice and death on the Cross, He has done all these because He loves each and every one of us without exception, and we should be inspired to follow His loving examples.

St. Paul elaborated on all of these in his Epistle to St. Timothy as mentioned in our first reading passage today. We heard the Apostle telling his godson and fellow servant of God, St. Timothy that God wanted the reconciliation of the whole entire world and for all of mankind to be reconciled with Him in love. To this extent, He has shown us all His enduring love, by His coming into the world in the person of Jesus Christ, whom St. Paul specifically mentioned in His act of ultimate loving sacrifice on the Cross, as He gave His life for the salvation of all.

If it was not for the love of God, all of us would have perished, and God could have erased us from existence with the mere simple will of His mind alone. Yet, He did not do that, and we may be wondering why. That is because He created each and every one of us out of love, of all races and origins, of all of our various communities and nations, of our uniqueness and diversity, all of us are equally beloved by God, no matter our background and our histories. God cares for us and has made us all to share with us His love. St. Paul mentioned all these as he reminds us all also to show God’s love in our own way of life.

Then we also heard from our Gospel passage today of the story from the time when the Lord Jesus encountered the Roman military officer, likely a centurion who had a servant who was very ill and near death, and the officer hoped that the Lord could heal his servant from his condition, and made him whole again. He came to seek the Lord and beseeched Him humbly to ask for His help and assistance. And this is something that is very significant because for someone of his stature and position, it is unprecedented for the Roman centurion to come and seek someone like the Lord Jesus.

Why is that so? That is because the Romans were the elites and the ruling people of the reigning superpower of that time, the Roman Empire, and for a Roman citizen, a truly privileged class at that time, and an army centurion no less, to come and meet with a Jewish teacher of the faith and miracle worker, as how Jesus was known at that time, was indeed unusual. The expectation would have been that the Lord ought to have come to the Roman officer instead to provide His services. And on the contrary, as we heard, not only that the Roman centurion came to the Lord, but He trusted in the Lord so much and had such faith in Him, that he humbly asked Him to command that the disease be driven away from his dear servant.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, that Roman officer had greater faith than many of the Israelites of that time. He was truly a man of God and someone filled with true love, as he was willing to go all the way to seek help and healing for his ailing and dear servant. If he had not loved or cared for his servant, he would not have done so, or bothered to spend the time to look for the Lord, and he would not have humbled himself so before the Lord, being a high ranking Roman officer that he was.

And that is exactly what the Lord Himself had done for us, brothers and sisters in Christ, we are so beloved and precious to God, that He was willing to humble Himself and to go all the way to seek us, to be reconciled with us and to see our healing and redemption. He did all these by offering Himself as the perfect offering and sacrifice for the atonement of all of our sins. We are all therefore reminded of the great and infinite love that God has shown us, and how each and every one of us should respond to Him with faith and love.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, are we not embarrassed and ashamed at the attitude that we have for the Lord as compared to the attitude showed by the Roman army officer? Many of us have not truly loved the Lord sincerely and many among us have treated the Lord with nothing but disdain and ignorance, refusing to commit ourselves to Him and not having the faith that we should have in Him. Instead, we placed our trust more in worldly things and matters, that led us further and further away from Him.

This is where we really should reflect upon the faith that the Roman centurion had in the Lord, and in the love which he has shown to his fellow men, his dear servant whom he cared for and loved. Are we able to follow the Lord and have faith in Him in the same manner? Today, we should also look upon the examples set by yet another great role model of faith, namely that of St. John Chrysostom, a great Doctor of the Church and a truly inspiring saint and servant of God, whose love for God and dedication to Him and His people should be our inspiration.

St. John Chrysostom was the Archbishop of Constantinople, then the Eastern capital of the Roman Empire, under the reign of the Emperor Arcadius. He was an ascetic earlier in his life, dedicated to the study of theology and other aspects of the Christian faith before becoming a deacon in Antioch and was remembered for his great and eloquent sermons, for which he was honoured as ‘Chrysostom’ which means the ‘golden-mouthed’ and became more and more famous at the time. Many pagans and unbelievers came to believe in God because of his sermons and piety, and many fellow Christians turned away from their sins and erroneous ways through his works.

St. John Chrysostom as the Archbishop of Constantinople presided over a period of great reform and purification of the Church from the excesses of worldly influences, especially from that of the corrupt practices of the Roman Empress Aelia Eudoxia. His reforms gained him the ire of the Empress and her powerful supporters, which led to more confrontations and eventually St. John Chrysostom publicly denounced the activities of the Empress and her associates. His enemies plotted against him and managed to get him exiled and banished away from his See, which led to a great revolt by the people and an earthquake which signified the signs of Divine displeasure at such a heinous act against God’s holy servant.

He was banished again after criticising the placing of a silver statue of the Empress near the Cathedral, and while he remained in exile, his steadfastness in defending the faith, the purity of morality and Church teachings were well-remembered and became great inspirations for many of those who came after him. St. John Chrysostom showed us all how one can commit oneself to the Lord and how we can dedicate ourselves to His cause. His love for the Lord, his dedication for the flock of the Lord entrusted to him and his other inspiring life examples should be inspiration for us to follow in our own lives.

May the Lord continue to be with us and strengthen us in our journey of faith, so that hopefully we may find our way to Him and be blessed in our every good works and endeavours, following in the faith and examples of the virtuous Roman centurion, St. John Chrysostom and many others of our holy predecessors. May God be with us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

Monday, 13 September 2021 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 7 : 1-10

At that time, when Jesus had finished teaching the people, He went to Capernaum. A Roman military officer lived there, whose servant was very sick and near to death, a man very dear to him. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent some elders of the Jews to persuade Him to come and save his servant’s life. The elders came to Jesus and begged Him earnestly, saying, “He deserves this of You, for he loves our people and even built a synagogue for us.”

Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house, when the Roman officer sent friends to give this message, “Sir, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy to welcome You under my roof. You see, I did not approach You myself. Just give the order, and my servant will be healed. For I myself, a junior officer, give orders to my soldiers, and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to the other, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”

On hearing these words, Jesus was filled with admiration. He turned and said to the people with Him, “I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.” The people, sent by the captain, went back to his house; there they found that the servant was well.

Monday, 13 September 2021 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 27 : 2, 7, 8-9

Hear my cry for mercy as I call to You for help, as I lift up my hands toward Your innermost Sanctuary.

YHVH is my strength, my shield; my heart was sure of Him; I have been helped and my heart exults; with my song I give Him thanks.

YHVH is the strength of His people, the saving refuge of His anointed. Save Your people, and bless Your inheritance, be their Shepherd and carry them forever.

Monday, 13 September 2021 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Timothy 2 : 1-8

First of all, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for everyone, for rulers of states, and all in authority, that we may enjoy a quiet and peaceful life, in godliness and respect. This is good and pleases God. For He wants all to be saved, and come to the knowledge of truth.

As there is one God, there is one Mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, Himself human, Who gave His life for the redemption of all. This is the testimony, given in its proper time, and of this, God has made me Apostle and herald. I am not lying, I am telling the truth : He made me teacher of the nations regarding faith and truth.

I want men, in every place, to lift pure hands, in prayer, to heaven, without anger and dissension.