Sunday, 23 January 2022 : Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Sunday of the Word of God, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 1 : 1-4 and Luke 4 : 14-21

Several people have set themselves to relate the events that have taken place among us, as they were told by the first witnesses, who later became ministers of the word. After I, myself, had carefully gone over the whole story from the beginning, it seemed right for me to give you, Theophilus, an orderly account, so that your Excellency may know the truth of all you have been taught.

At that time, Jesus acted with the power of the Spirit; and on His return to Galilee, the news about Him spread throughout all that territory. He began teaching in the synagogue of the Jews and everyone praised Him.

When Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, as He usually did. He stood up to read, and they handed Him the book of the prophet Isaiah.

Jesus then unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written : “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me. He has anointed Me, to bring good news to the poor; to proclaim liberty to captives; and new sight to the blind; to free the oppressed; and to announce the Lord’s year of mercy.”

Jesus then rolled up the scroll, gave it to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. Then He said to them, “Today, these prophetic words come true, even as you listen.”

Sunday, 23 January 2022 : Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Sunday of the Word of God, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 12 : 12-30

As the body is one, having many members, and all the members, while being many, form one body, so it is with Christ. All of us, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, have been baptised in one Spirit, to form one Body, and all of us have been given, to drink from the one Spirit. The Body has not just one member, but many.

If the foot should say, “I do not belong to the body for I am not a hand,” it would be wrong : it is part of the body! Even though the ear says, “I do not belong to the body for I am not an eye,” it is part of the body. If all the body were eye, how would we hear? And if all the body were ear, how would we smell?

God has arranged all the members, placing each part of the body as He pleased. If all were the same part where would the body be? But there are many members and one body. The eye cannot tell the hand, “I do not need you,” nor the head tell the feet, “I do not need you.”

Still more, the parts of our body that we most need are those that seem to be the weakest; the parts that we consider lower are treated with much care, and we cover them with more modesty because they are less presentable, whereas the others do not need such attention. God, Himself, arranged the body in this way, giving more honour to those parts that need it, so that the body may not be divided, but, rather, each member may care for the others. When one suffers, all of them suffer, and when one receives honour, all rejoice together.

Now, you are the Body of Christ, and each of you, individually, is a member of it. So God has appointed us in the Church. First Apostles, second prophets, third teachers. Then come miracles, then the gift of healing, material help, administration in the Church and the gift of tongues.

Are all Apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Can all perform miracles, or cure the sick, or speak in tongues, or explain what was said in tongues?

Alternative reading (shorter version)

1 Corinthians 12 : 12-14, 27

As the body is one, having many members, and all the members, while being many, form one body, so it is with Christ. All of us, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, have been baptised in one Spirit, to form one Body, and all of us have been given, to drink from the one Spirit. The Body has not just one member, but many.

Now, you are the Body of Christ, and each of you, individually, is a member of it.

Sunday, 23 January 2022 : Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Sunday of the Word of God, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 18 : 8, 9, 10, 15

The Law of the Lord is perfect : it gives life to the soul. The word of the Lord is trustworthy : it gives wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right : they give joy to the heart. The commandments of the Lord are clear : they enlighten the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is pure, it endures forever; the judgements of the Lord are true, all of them just and right.

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart find favour in Your sight, o Lord – my Redeemer, my Rock!

Sunday, 23 January 2022 : Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Sunday of the Word of God, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Nehemiah 8 : 2-4a, 5-6, 8-10

Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men, women and all the children who could understand what was being read. It was the first day of the seventh month.

So he read it before the plaza in front of the Water Gate from dawn till noon, before the men, women and those children who could understand. All the people were eager to hear the book of the law. Ezra, the teacher of the law, stood on a wooden platform built for that occasion.

Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was in a higher place; and when he opened it, all the people stood. Ezra praised YHVH the great God; and all the people lifted up their hands and answered, “Amen! Amen!” And they bowed their heads to the ground.

They read from the book of the law of God, clarifying and interpreting the meaning, so that everyone might understand what they were hearing. Then Ezra, the teacher of the law, said to the people, “This day is dedicated to YHVH, your God, so do not be sad or weep.”

He said this because all wept when they heard the reading of the law. Then he said to them, “Go and eat rich foods, drink sweet wine and share with him who has nothing prepared. This day is dedicated to the Lord, so do not be sad. The joy of YHVH is our strength.”

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday after Epiphany (II Classis) – Sunday, 23 January 2022 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Green

Offertory

Dextera Domini fecit virtutem, dextera Domini exaltavit me : non moriar, sed vivam, et narrabo opera Domini.

English translation

The right hand of the Lord had wrought strength, the right hand of the Lord had exalted me. I shall not die, but live, and shall declare the works of the Lord.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Haec hostia, Domine, quaesumus, emundet nostra delicta : et, ad sacrificium celebrandum, subditorum Tibi corpora mentesque sanctificet. 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 this offering, we beseech You, o Lord, wipe out our sins, and sanctify the bodies and minds of Your servants for the celebration of the sacrifice. 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.

Communion

Luke 4 : 22

Mirabantur omnes de his, quae procedebant de ore Dei.

English translation

They all wondered at these things, which proceeded from the mouth of God.

Post-Communion Prayer

Quos tantis, Domine, largiris uti mysteriis : quaesumus; ut effectibus nos eorum veraciter aptare digneris. 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 Lord, Who had given freely the enjoyment of so great mysteries, we beseech You that You would vouchsafe to render us truly worthy to receive their effects. 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) Third Sunday after Epiphany (II Classis) – Sunday, 23 January 2022 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Green

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

Matthew 8 : 1-13

In illo tempore : Cum descendisset Jesus de monte, secutae sunt eum turbae multae : et ecce, leprosus veniens adorabat eum, dicens : Domine, si vis, potes me mundare. Et extendens Jesus manum, tetigit eum, dicens : Volo. Mundare.

Et confestim mundata est lepra ejus. Et ait illi Jesus : Vide, nemini dixeris : sed vade, ostende te sacerdoti, et offer munus, quod praecepit Moyses, in testimonium illis.

Cum autem introisset Capharnaum, accessit ad eum centurio, rogans eum et dicens : Domine, puer meus jacet in domo paralyticus, et male torquetur. Et ait illi Jesus : Ego veniam, et curabo eum.

Et respondens centurio, ait : Domine, non sum dignus, ut intres sub tectum Meum : sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur puer Meus. Nam et ego homo sum sub potestate constituitus, habens sub me milites, et dico huic : Vade, et vadit; et alii : Veni, et venit; et servo meo : Fac hoc, et facit.

Audiens autem Jesus, miratus est, et sequentibus se dixit : Amen, dico vobis, non inveni tantam fidem in Israel. Dico autem vobis, quod multi ab Oriente et Occidente venient, et recumbent cum Abraham et Isaac et Jacob in regno caelorum : filii autem regni ejicientur in tenebras exteriores : ibi erit fletus et stridor dentium.

Et dixit Jesus centurioni : Vade et, sicut credidisti, fiat tibi. Et sanatus est puer in illa hora.

English translation

At that time, when Jesus has come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him; and behold a leper came and adored Him, saying, “Lord, if You will, You can make me clean.” And Jesus stretching forth His hand, touched him, saying, “I will, may you be clean.”

And forthwith his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you do not tell this to any man, but go and show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift which Moses commanded for a testimony unto them.”

And when He had entered into Capernaum, there came to Him a centurion beseeching Him, and saying, “Lord, my servant lie at home sick of the palsy, and is grievously tormented.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”

And the centurion making answer, said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers, and I say to this man, ‘Go’, and he goes, and to another, ‘Come’, and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this’ and he does it.”

And Jesus hearing this, marvelled, and said to those who followed Him, “Amen I say to you, I have not found so great a faith in Israel. And I say to you, that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, but the children of the kingdom shall be cast into the exterior darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go, and as you have believed, so be it done to you.” And the servant was healed at the same hour.

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday after Epiphany (II Classis) – Sunday, 23 January 2022 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 101 : 16-17 and Psalm 96 : 1

Timebunt gentes Nomen Tuum, Domine, et omnes reges terrae gloriam Tuam.

Response : Quoniam aedificavit Dominus Sion, et videbitur in majestate Sua.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Dominus regnavit, exsultet terra : laetentur insulae multae. Alleluja.

English translation

The Gentiles shall fear Your Name, o Lord, and all the kings of the earth Your glory.

Response : For the Lord had built up Zion, and He shall be seen in His majesty.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : The Lord had reigned, let the earth rejoice. Let many islands be glad. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday after Epiphany (II Classis) – Sunday, 23 January 2022 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Green

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

Romans 12 : 16-21

Fratres : Nolite esse prudentes apud vosmetipsos : nulli malum pro malo reddentes : providentes bona non tantum coram Deo, sed etiam coram omnibus hominibus.

Si fieri potest, quod ex vobis est, cum omnibus hominibus pacem habentes : Non vosmetipsos defendentes, carissimi, sed date locum irae. Scriptum est enim : Mihi vindicta : Ego retribuam, dicit Dominus.

Sed si esurierit inimicus Tuus, ciba illum : si sitit, potum da illi : hoc enim faciens, carbones ignis congeres super caput Ejus. Noli vinci a malo, sed vince in bono malum.

English translation

Brethren, do not be wise in your own conceits. To no man rendering evil for evil, providing good things not only in the sight of God, but also in the sight of men.

If it be possible, as much as it is in you, having peace with all men. Revenge not yourselves, my dearly beloved, but give place unto wrath, for it is written, ‘Revenge is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.

But if your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him something to drink, for in doing this, you shall heap coals of fire upon his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday after Epiphany (II Classis) – Sunday, 23 January 2022 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Green

Introit

Psalm 96 : 7-8 and 1

Adorate Deum, omnes Angeli Ejus : audivit, et laetata est Sion : et exsultaverunt filiae Judae.

Dominus regnavit, exsultet terra : laetentur insulae multae.

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

English translation

Adore God, all you His Angels. Zion heard, and was glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoiced.

The Lord had reigned, let the earth rejoice, let many islands be glad.

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

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, infirmitatem nostram propitius respice : atque, ad protegendum nos, dexteram Tuae majestatis extende. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Almighty, Eternal God, look with mercy upon our infirmities, and stretch forth the right hand of Your majesty to protect us. 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, 22 January 2022 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Vincent, Deacon and Martyr, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs) or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we heard the words of the Lord in the Scriptures, we are reminded of the need for all of us to love the Lord and entrust ourselves to Him, and often times we will find that giving ourselves to the service of God would require making a sacrifice on our side, and believe in His loving kindness despite the trials, challenges and obstacles we may face in our respective journey through life.

In our first reading today, as we listened to the words of the Lord, we heard the tragic story of the defeat of King Saul and the forces of Israel at the battle of Mount Gilboa against the Philistines. The Philistines were a powerful neighbouring people of the Israelites who at that time were on the rise and were making attacks and raids deep into the lands of the Israelites causing untold sufferings and harm to the people of God.

The forces of the Israelites was defeated, King Saul and his sons, including Jonathan, David’s close friend, were killed. The sins committed by Saul and his disobedience against God eventually contributed to this loss, as his lack of faith in God meant that they lost the guidance and providence from God. The news of that bitter defeat was relayed to David, who as the one chosen by God and anointed as the new King of Israel, had been waiting anxiously for the news of what happened.

Certainly, David was devastated at the news of the loss of not just the king and the forces of Israel, but also his close friend, Jonathan, Saul’s son. He sang a song of lamentation for them, even for Saul, who had previously tried to harm him and plotted against his life because of his place as the chosen one to replace the former as King. David entrusted his fate to the Lord, and if we recall yesterday’s reading, of David sparing Saul and his men, and did not kill them despite having the perfect chance to do so, showed us just how much David trusted in the Lord, unlike Saul who disobeyed Him.

Then, in our Gospel passage today, we heard the curious passage from the Gospel, in which we heard about the Lord and His disciples performing their work, and they were so busy in doing their work that they had no time to rest at all and even eat, and they all became hungry. We heard how the relatives of the Lord took charge of Him and told the people, that He was out of His mind. That was because He spent so much time at work and His ministry, that He did not spend much time with His family.

The Lord and His disciples, whom He had called from diverse origins, all committed themselves to the calling and ministry that God had entrusted to them. In the Lord’s own words, we heard in another occasion in the Gospels how He had no place to lay His head, and He and His disciples often had to spend time in the wilderness, travelling from places to places in ministering to the people of God, and at times also evading the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law who often shadowed and followed them.

This is a reminder for us that following the Lord isn’t always an easy and comfortable journey, and more often than not, we may be required to make plenty of sacrifices along the way. Those sacrifices were not without merit though, as everyone who had given themselves to the Lord and committed themselves to Him shall receive from Him the affirmation and assurance of eternal life and glory. They shall never be disappointed and they shall attain the grace of heavenly glory reserved for those who have kept their faith in God.

Today we celebrate the feast of a great saint whose faith and dedication to the Lord can inspire us to follow Him more wholeheartedly, namely that of St. Vincent the Deacon, a holy martyr of the faith. St. Vincent, also known as St. Vincent of Zaragoza, was a deacon in the Roman town of Caesar Augusta, the precursor of modern Zaragoza. He was serving the Bishop of Zaragoza and the flock of the faithful there during the difficult years of intense persecutions of the faithful under the Roman Emperor Diocletian.

St. Vincent and the bishop among many other Christians were arrested as part of that great persecution, and he refused to burn the Sacred Scriptures as ordered by the Roman governor, and chose to stay faithful despite the certainty of death in doing so. He also rebuked the actions of the governor and affirmed that no amount of coercions or threats could change their minds, as they would rather choose to suffer and die rather than to disobey and abandon God. That was how St. Vincent was martyred, according to tradition, by burning on a hot gridiron.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today let us all follow the inspiring examples set by St. Vincent the Deacon and many other of our holy and dedicated predecessors, and let us no longer be lukewarm in our faith but instead doing all that we can to follow the Lord wholeheartedly from now on, without fear and having full trust of the Lord, Who is always with us and journeying with us, even in the darkest moments of our lives. May God be with us all and may He bless all of our good endeavours, now and always. Amen.