(Usus Antiquior) Septuagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 13 February 2022 : Gradual and Tract

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Gradual

Psalm 9 : 10-11, 19-20

Adjutor in opportunitatibus, in tribulatione : sperent in Te, qui noverunt Te : quoniam non derelinquis quaerentes Te, Domine.

Response : Quoniam non in finem oblivio erit pauperis : patientia pauperum non peribit in aeternum : exsurge, Domine, non praevaleat homo.

English translation

The helper in due time, in tribulation. Let them trust in You, who know You for You have not forsaken those who seek You, o Lord.

Response : For the poor man shall not be forgotten to the end, the patience of the poor shall not perish forever. Arise, o Lord, let not man be strengthened.

Tract

Psalm 129 : 1-4

De profundis clamavi ad Te, Domine : Domine, exaudi vocem meam.

Response : Fiant aures Tuae intendentes in orationem servi Tui.

Response : Si iniquitates observaveris, Domine : Domine, quis sustinebit?

Response : Quia apud Te propitiatio est, et propter legem Tuam sustinui Te, Domine.

English translation
From the depths I have cried to You, o Lord. Lord, hear my voice.

Response : Let Your ears be attentive to the prayer of Your servant.

Response : If You shall observe iniquities, o Lord, Lord, who shall endure it?

Response : For with You is propitiation, and by reason of Your Law I have waited for You, o Lord.

(Usus Antiquior) Septuagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 13 February 2022 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Violet

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

1 Corinthians 9 : 24-27 and 1 Corinthians 10 : 1-5

Fratres : Nescitis, quod ii, qui in stadio currunt, omnes quidem currunt, sed unus accipit bravium? Sic currite, ut comprehendatis. Omnis autem, qui in agone contendit, ab omnibus se abstinet : et illi quidem, ut corruptibilem coronam accipiant; nos autem incorruptam.

Ego igitur sic curro, non quasi in incertum : sic pugno, non quasi aerem verberans : sed castigo corpus meum, et in servitutem redigo : ne forte, cum aliis praedicaverim, ipse reprobus efficiar.

Nolo enim vos ignorare, fratres, quoniam patres nostri omnes sub nube fuerunt, et omnes mare transierunt, et omnes in Moyse baptizati sunt in nube et in mari : et omnes eamdem escam spiritalem manducaverunt, et omnes eumdem potum spiritalem biberunt (bibebant autem de spiritali, consequente eos, petra : petra autem erat Christus) : sed non in pluribus eorum beneplacitum est Deo.

English translation

Brethren, do you not know that those who run in the race, all run indeed, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain. And every one who strives for the mastery, refrains himself from all things, and they indeed that they may receive a corruptible crown, but for us, an incorruptible one.

I therefore so run, not as at an uncertainty. I so fight, not as one beating the air, but I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection, lest perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway.

For I would not have you as ignorants, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all in Moses were baptised, in the cloud and in the sea, and all did eat the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink (and they drank of the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ). But with the most of them God was not well pleased.

(Usus Antiquior) Septuagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 13 February 2022 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Introit

Psalm 17 : 5, 6, 7 and 2-3

Circumdederunt me gemitus mortis, dolores inferni circumdederunt me : et in tribulatione mea invocavi Dominum, et exaudivit de templo sancto suo vocem meam.

Diligam Te, Domine, fortitudo mea : Dominus firmamentum meum, et refugium meum, et liberator meus.

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

English translation
The groans of death surround me, the sorrows of hell encompassed me : and in my affliction I called upon the Lord, and He heard my voice, from His holy Temple.

I will love You, o Lord, my strength. The Lord is my firmament, and my refuge and my deliverer.

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

Preces populi Tui, quaesumus, Domine, clementer exaudi : ut, qui juste pro peccatis nostris affligimur, pro Tui Nominis gloria misericorditer liberemur. 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, we beseech You, o Lord, graciously hear the prayers of Your people, that we, who are justly afflicted for our sins, may be mercifully delivered for the glory of Your Name. 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, 12 February 2022 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

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

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Lord in the Scriptures we are all called to remember yet again the patient love of God which He had shown us despite everything that we had done to hurt Him, in betraying Him and in refusing to obey His Law and commandments. The Lord has shown us that great love and compassion even when we have openly rebelled against Him and abandoned Him as the past history of God’s people had shown us and as we heard in our Scripture passages today.

In our first reading today, taken from the Book of Kings, relating the story of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, we heard of how Israel and Judah, the two halves of the once united Kingdom of Israel, were separated further after Jeroboam, the first king of the northern kingdom resolved to keep the kingdoms and their people further apart by establishing his own centres of worship in Bethel and Dan, rivalling the House of God in Jerusalem as he feared that the people would soon reject him and return to the House of David. Worse still, he made the likeness of golden calves as idols for his people to worship instead of God, a direct reference to the golden calf that the Israelites had made for themselves at Mount Sinai.

King Jeroboam had been given the ten tribes of Israel by God as a division of the united Kingdom of Israel because of the sins of Solomon that had misled the people down the path of sin. However, that was not intended to split the people apart and the introduction of further pagan worship. King Solomon caused the people to sin because he introduced pagan worship and idols for the sake of his many wives, and as I mentioned earlier this week, likely to gain diplomatic recognition and further his ambitions among his neighbours.

Yet, King Jeroboam made it even worse than Solomon because he who had been entrusted as the safekeeper of the ten tribes of the Israelites actually did what Solomon had done and worse. Again, just like in Solomon’s case, we have seen how the temptations of the world could lead to our downfall into sin. Even the strongest and the most faithful could fall into sin when they allow themselves be tempted and when they let themselves be persuaded and coerced into doing things that bring themselves pleasures at the cost of their faith and obedience to God.

Yet, despite all that, the Lord still continued to reach out to His people most patiently, and He still cared for them and wanted them to be reconciled with Him, sending messengers and His servants to them to remind them of the love which God always has for each and every one of us. The Lord has always been patient and He reached out to us sinners, to help us to get out from our predicament and to assist us in finding our way towards His salvation and freedom from the tyranny of sin and the bondage to evil. He sent us His own Son to be our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, to bring us the perfect love of God manifested before us.

As we heard in our Gospel passage today, the Lord was concerned about all those people who came and followed Him, all the multitudes of people who came and gathered in their thousands to listen to the Lord and His teachings, seeking His healing and trying to find Him and a way out of their sufferings. They all followed the Lord with great faith, and they were all hungry without food because the Lord often preached and worked in the wilderness away from towns and villages, and yet the people still flocked to Him and sought Him.

The Lord did not just take good care of them spiritually but physically as well. He also wanted them all to be filled and satisfied, and when His disciples brought a mere seven loaves of bread, completely insufficient to feed the entire four thousand men and many thousands more of women and children, the Lord miraculously multiplied those loaves of bread until there were enough for everyone to eat and then with still seven full baskets of leftovers. The Lord fed His people and cared for them, even though they were sinners and had often rebelled against Him and abandoned Him.

And not only that, but we also know how the Lord even gave it all for us, by giving His own Most Precious Body and Blood, He, the Bread of Life, offering Himself freely to us so that all of us who partake of Him and share in the Eucharist, the gift of the bread and wine turned into Our Lord’s own Most Precious and Holy Body and Blood, that we shall have eternal life through Him. Through Him we have received the assurance of eternal life and true joy surpassing all other things, and through Christ we have found this new hope in life.

Are we all willing to embrace God’s love and kindness, His compassion and mercy for us? Are we still stubborn in our refusal to reject sin and all of our past wicked ways? Let us all discern these things carefully and remind ourselves just how fortunate we are to have been truly beloved by God all these while. May God be with us always and may He strengthen us in our resolve to follow Him, and may He give us the courage to embrace His forgiveness and mercy, that we may draw ever closer to Him, trusting in His love and kindness, in all that He had done for us, and devoting ourselves, our time and effort for His greater glory, always. Amen.

Saturday, 12 February 2022 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

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

Mark 8 : 1-10

At that time, soon afterward, Jesus was in the midst of another large crowd, that obviously had nothing to eat. So He called His disciples and said to them, “I feel sorry for these people, because they have been with Me for three days and now have nothing to eat. If I send them to their homes hungry, they will faint on the way; some of them have come a long way.”

His disciples replied, “Where, in a deserted place like this, could we get enough bread to feed these people?” He asked them, “How many loaves have you?” And they answered, “Seven.” Then He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Taking the seven loaves and giving thanks, He broke them, and handed them to His disciples to distribute.

And they distributed them among the people. They also had some small fish. So Jesus said a blessing, and asked that these be shared as well. The people ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Now those who had eaten were about four thousand in number.

Jesus sent them away, and immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and went to the region of Dalmanutha.

Saturday, 12 February 2022 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

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

Psalm 105 : 6-7a, 19-20, 21-22

We have sinned like our ancestors; we have done wrong and acted wickedly. When they were in Egypt, our ancestors had no regard for Your wondrous deeds.

They made a calf at Horeb and worshipped the molten image. They exchanged the glory of God for the image of a bull that eats grass.

They forgot their Saviour God, Who had done great things in Egypt, wonderful works in the land of Ham, and awesome deeds by the Sea of Reeds.

Saturday, 12 February 2022 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

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

1 Kings 12 : 26-32 and 1 Kings 13 : 33-34

Jeroboam thought, “The kingdom could return to the house of David. Should this people go up to offer sacrifices in YHVH’s House in Jerusalem, their heart would turn again to their master, Rehoboam king of Judah. They would kill me and go back to him.”

And so the king sought advice and made two golden calves. Then he said to the people, “You have been going up to Jerusalem long enough. Here are your gods, o Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” He put one of these in Bethel, the other in Dan. This caused Israel to sin; the people went to Bethel and Dan to worship the calves.

Jeroboam also built temples on high places, appointing priests who were not from the Levites. Jeroboam also appointed a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month in imitation of the feast in Judah, and he himself offered sacrifices on the altar. This he did in Bethel; and sacrificed to the calves that he had made. There he placed priests for the high places he had made.

After this, however, Jeroboam did not abstain from doing evil. Instead he made priests for the high places from among the people. He consecrated anyone who wanted to be a priest for the high places. And this became the sin of the family of Jeroboam for which it was to be cut off and destroyed from the face of the earth.

Friday, 11 February 2022 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today the Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the miraculous apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God in Lourdes, a small secluded area in the southern part of France. Mary in her apparition as Our Lady of Lourdes appeared to the young girl named Bernadette in a grotto where today the great Basilica of Our Lady of Lourdes now stands, and that young girl eventually became known as St. Bernadette Soubirous.

At that time, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the young girl Bernadette as a lady dressed in white with beads of rosary on her, girdled in blue and with flowers by her. That supernatural vision startled the young St. Bernadette at first, and scared her, but Our Lady reassured her and asked her to pray the rosary together. She made her appearance a few more times even as St. Bernadette’s parents and others were skeptical of what had happened. Some of them even thought that she had hallucinated, seen an evil spirit or simply was lying to cover up some misdeeds.

But St. Bernadette kept on visiting the grotto where she met the apparition of Our Lady despite the opposition from her parents and others, and Our Lady revealed to St. Bernadette a hidden spring of water which would soon became truly famous as the source of many miraculous healings, of which some of them were certified as truly miraculous in nature. Initially this was received with much skepticism both from the Church and from the secular authorities, which resulted in attempts to prevent further spread of the devotion.

It was then that Our Lady appeared to St. Bernadette, revealing to her who she truly was, the Blessed Mother of God, the Immaculate Conception. This revelation brought a shock to a local priest who immediately believed in what St. Bernadette told him about the Marian apparition. That is because the illiterate St. Bernadette living in the secluded village that is where Lourdes was located could not have known about the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception which at that time was just recently declared by the Pope in Rome, and at that time, it would have taken a long time for the message to be propagated throughout the Christendom.

It was therefore the beginning of the growth in the popularity and the attraction of the Shrine at Lourdes, which grew to became an international phenomenon drawing millions annually as many people who are sick sought to seek healing and recovery through the miraculous occasions and reassurances from the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Lourdes. The Church also designated today, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes as the World Day of the Sick as a reminder that there are many people who are suffering from physical and even mental maladies and sickness all around the world.

Today, as we celebrate this Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes let us all therefore remind ourselves to put our trust in the Lord, He Who has sent to us His blessed Mother, Our Lady of Lourdes to be our intercessor and to help guide us to His loving embrace. The miraculous healings were not due to superstitions and the quality of the waters of the grotto of Lourdes, but rather, it was the faith that the sick had in the Lord which brought them to healing and the miraculous things that happened there, just as at the time of the Lord, He healed the sick and how if we remember a woman with haemorrhage problem was healed by her faith in Him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are also reminded that we are all people who are sick and are in need of God’s help. I know many of us may wonder what we are sick from since we are in such good health. We may indeed be perfectly healthy in the body but we are all suffering from the sickness due to our sins. Yes, all of us are sinners and sin is the sickness that is actually eating us from within, corrupting us and affecting us adversely by its corrupting nature. Through sin we have been made sick in our spirit and soul, and the only healing we can get is through God and His loving mercy.

Therefore today all of us are reminded of how sinful we are and regardless how big or small, or how significant those sins may be, all of us are in need of healing from God, as unlike any other physical ailments and maladies, God alone can heal us from our sins. It is through Him alone that we can be freed from the clutches and tyranny of sin and evil. The Lord offered us His healing and forgiveness freely, and He gave us all His mother to care for us and to help guide us in our journey towards Him, so that by the intercession and guidance of Our Lady of Lourdes we may come to be fully healed body and soul.

Let us therefore ask Our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Lourdes to intercede for us sinners, who are sickened by sin, and who are suffering the consequences of our infidelity and weakness. Let us ask her to pray for us and guide us in our path to seek the healing from the hands of her Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour. May God also look kindly upon us and show us His mercy, love and compassion, now and always. Amen.