(Usus Antiquior) Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double I Classis) – Friday, 25 March 2022 : Gradual and Tract

Liturgical Colour : White

Gradual

Psalm 44 : 3, 5

Diffusa est gratia in labiis tuis : propterea benedixit te Deus in aeternum.

Response : Propter veritatem et mansuetudinem et justitiam : et deducet te mirabiliter dextera tua.

English translation

Grace is poured abroad in your lips, therefore God had blessed you forever.

Response : Because of truth, meekness and justice, and your right hand shall conduct you wonderfully.

Tract

Psalm 44 : 11, 12, 13, 10, 15, 16

Audi, filia, et vide, et inclina aurem tuam : quia concupivit Rex speciem tuam.

Response : Vultum tuum deprecabuntur omnes divites plebis : filiae regum in honore tuo.

Response : Adducentur Regi Virgines post eam : proximae ejus afferentur Tibi.

Response : Adducentur in laetitia et exsultatione : adducentur in templum Regis.

English translation

Harken, o daughter and see, and incline your ear, for the King had greatly increased your beauty.

Response : All the rich among the people shall entreat your countenance, the daughter of kings, your honour.

Response : After her shall virgins be brought to the King, her neighbours shall be brought to You.

Response : They shall be brought with gladness and rejoicing. They shall be brought into the Temple of the King.

(Usus Antiquior) Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double I Classis) – Friday, 25 March 2022 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : White

Lectio Isaiae Prophetae – Lesson from Isaiah the Prophet

Isaiah 7 : 10-15

In diebus illis : Locutus est Dominus ad Achaz, dicens : Pete tibi signum a Domino, Deo tuo, in profundum inferni, sive in excelsum supra. Et dixit Achaz : Non petam et non tentabo Dominum. Et dixit : Audite ergo, domus David : Numquid parum vobis est, molestos esse hominibus, quia molesti estis et Deo meo? Propter hoc dabit Dominus ipse vobis signum. Ecce, Virgo concipiet et patriet filium, et vocabitur Nomen Ejus Emmanuel. Butyrum et mel comedet, ut sciat reprobare malum et eligere bonum.

English translation

In those days, the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, “Ask for a sign of the Lord your God, either unto the depth of hell, or to the height above.” And Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord.” And He said, “Hear therefore you, o house of David, is it a small thing for you to be grievous to men, that you are also grievous to My God also? Therefore, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and His Name shall be called Emmanuel. He shall eat butter and honey, that He may know to refuse the evil, and to choose the good.”

(Usus Antiquior) Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double I Classis) – Friday, 25 March 2022 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : White

Introit

Psalm 44 : 13, 15, 16 and 2

Vultum tuum deprecabuntur omnes divites plebis : adducentur Regi Virgines post eam : proximae ejus adducentur tibi in laetitia in exsultatione.

Alleluja, Alleluja

Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum : dico ego opera mea Regi.

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

English translation

All the rich among the people shall entreat your countenance, after her shall virgins be brought to the King. Her neighbours shall be brought to you in gladness and rejoicing.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

My heart had uttered a good word. I speak my works to the King.

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 de Beatae Mariae Virginis utero Verbum Tuum, Angelo nuntiate, carnem suscipere voluisti : praesta supplicibus Tuis, ut, qui vere eam Genetricem Dei credimus, ejus apud te intercessionibus adjuvemur. 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, Who had willed that at the message of an Angel, Your word should become flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, grant that we, Your suppliants, who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with You. 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, 24 March 2022 : 3rd Week of Lent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all reminded of the love of God and all that He had done for the sake of His beloved people, for all of us whom the Lord has always cared for since the beginning of time. The Lord will not abandon us His people, although we have often disappointed and angered Him with our various disobedience and lack of trust and faith in Him. We have often preferred to follow the false idols and guides in life, instead of entrusting ourselves wholeheartedly in God.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of the prophet Jeremiah in which the Lord spoke to His people through Jeremiah, telling His prophet to remind and even rebuke the people for their disobedience and lack of faith. He reminded them all through Jeremiah how He had shown them the path to His righteousness and justice, and how He has presented them with His Law and commandments, all that He had done to guide them and help them find their way to Him, and yet, they still stubbornly refused to follow and disobeyed Him.

And not only that, but they have also persecuted the Lord’s prophets and messengers, refusing to listen to them and making their lives and works very difficult, much as what Jeremiah himself would also endure during his time working and ministering to the people of God in Judah. They would accuse Jeremiah of wrongdoing and even treason, for speaking the truth and the words of God, when the people preferred to listen instead to the false prophets who brought forth their false words and lies to tempt and misguide the people of God into the path of sin.

That was exactly what the Lord experienced as we heard in our Gospel passage today. In that occasion, we heard how the Lord Jesus was criticised and even wrongly accused of colluding and working with the prince of demons, Beelzebul, by the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, who opposed and had done a lot in resisting the Lord and His works among the people of God. Not only that they made it difficult for Him to perform His works, but they even made such false accusations and slander to discredit Him in the eyes of the people and to prevent Him from doing the good works of God.

That was where the Lord immediately rebuked those faithless and unreasonable people who had often pestered and made His works difficult, by pointing out how unreasonable and foolish their false accusations had been, by arguing that the Lord had colluded with the prince of demons in order to drive out evil spirits. He pointed out how the devil and all of his allies, namely all the evil spirits, demons and all the forces of evil and wickedness are all ought not to be divided against each other, or they would have destroyed each other and would not have been able to harm us.

Instead, on the contrary, the Lord wanted to point out that the devil and his allies were in fact strongly united in their common desire to see about our downfall and annihilation. They would do all they could and unite their efforts to bring us down and to drag us into the path of condemnation and destruction. It was in fact we mankind who are divided among ourselves by our allowance and complicity in allowing these wicked spirits and forces from dividing us and misleading us through their lies and efforts, much as what the people had done to the prophets and Jeremiah, and what the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law had done to the Lord.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, during this season of Lent, all of us are called through these readings of the Sacred Scriptures we have heard today to discern carefully our path in life and ask ourselves well, if we have done the same as those who had little faith in the Lord. Have we treated the Lord and His servants, all those whom He had called and chosen to be the ones to lay the path of righteousness before us, with contempt and opposition, or have we instead humbly and willingly listened to them speaking the words of truth in our hearts and minds?

Let us all consider our path carefully in this life going forward, brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us all not allow the devil and all of his forces of evil and wickedness from misleading us and tempting us away from God and His righteousness, from His salvation and grace. Let us all make the conscious effort to resist all of their lies and evil, and strive to do our best in following God and in living our lives to the best of our abilities in doing His will and obeying His Law and commandments, and being exemplary in all things we say and do in life. May God be with us all always and may He bless our works and efforts, that we may inspire many others to do the same as well. Amen.

Thursday, 24 March 2022 : 3rd Week of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Luke 11 : 14-23

At that time, one day Jesus was driving out a demon, which was mute. When the demon had been driven out, the mute person could speak, and the people were amazed. Yet some of them said, “He drives out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the chief of the demons.” Others wanted to put Him to the test, by asking Him for a heavenly sign.

But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them, “Every nation divided by civil war is on the road to ruin, and will fall. If Satan also is divided, his empire is coming to an end. How can you say that I drive out demons by calling upon Beelzebul? If I drive them out by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons drive out demons? They will be your judges, then.”

“But if I drive out demons by the finger of God; would not this mean that the kingdom of God, has come upon you? As long as a man, strong and well armed, guards his house, his goods are safe. But when a stronger man attacks and overcomes him, the challenger takes away all the weapons he relied on, and disposes of his spoils.”

“Whoever is not with Me is against Me, and whoever does not gather with Me, scatters.”

Thursday, 24 March 2022 : 3rd Week of Lent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 94 : 1-2, 6-7, 8-9

Come, let us sing to the Lord, let us make a joyful sound to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him giving thanks, with music and songs of praise.

Come and worship; let us bow down, kneel before the Lord, our Maker. He is our God, and we His people; the flock He leads and pastures. Would that today you heard His voice!

Do not be stubborn, as at Meribah, in the desert, on that day at Massah, when your ancestors challenged Me, and they put Me to the test.

Thursday, 24 March 2022 : 3rd Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Jeremiah 7 : 23-28

YHVH says, “One thing I did command them : Listen to My voice and I will be your God and you will be My people. Walk in the way I command you and all will be well with you. But they did not listen and paid no attention; they followed the bad habits of their stubborn heart and turned away from Me.”

“From the time I brought their forebearers out of Egypt until this day I have continually sent them My servants, the prophets, but this stiff-necked people did not listen. They paid no attention and were worse than their forebearers. You may say all these things to them but they will not listen; you will call them but they will not answer.”

“This is a nation that did not obey YHVH and refused to be disciplined; truth has perished and is no longer heard from their lips.”

Wednesday, 23 March 2022 : 3rd Week of Lent, Memorial of St. Turibius de Mogrovejo, Bishop (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all reminded of the obligation and duty we have in fulfilling God’s Law and commandments, as Christians who profess to believe in Him and who proclaim ourselves as His beloved children and people, as those whom He had called to be His own, walking down the path that He has shown each and every one of us. This is what He wants to remind us today, and to help us to be faithful always to Him.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of Deuteronomy of the words that Moses, the leader of the Israelites had spoken before all the whole assembly of the Israelites, at the time when he was already old and advanced in age, and it was then towards the end of the long sojourn of the Israelites in the desert, a period that lasted a total of forty years. We have to understand how it happened in the first place, that due to the disobedience of the people and their refusal to obey the Law and their stubbornness in not putting their faith in God led to them having to endure that forty years of journey.

Moses thus reminded those who have endured the sufferings and the long journey, those who have not perished because of their disobedience and sins, that based on what they themselves had endured and experienced, they should know better than to disobey the Lord again. They should not wander off again to the wrong paths and to the wicked ways of their predecessors, who have chosen to follow the idols and foreign gods and ways instead of listening to God and His servant, Moses. Those who have done so had already received their just punishments, while those who have kept their faith in God would be rewarded for their patience.

Yes, those who have persevered in faith would be led into the promised land, the land that God Himself had promised to them and their ancestors, the land overflowing with milk and honey, with great bounty and produce, which their predecessors foolishly refused to enter out of fear and lacking in faith in God. Despite God’s guidance and assurance, those people had preferred to walk their own path and as a result, they ended up with nothing but destruction and annihilation. This was what Moses reminded the people of as he exhorted them to remain true to God and His Law.

In our Gospel passage today, we then heard of the Lord Jesus speaking to His disciples as He spoke to them with regards to the matter of the Law and what He came to do in this world. And likely as a response to the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law who must have criticised Him again and again with regards to the Law, accusing Him without end of trying to destroy and replace the Law of God, the Lord Jesus simply said that He came to fulfil the Law and everything that God had revealed to His people through the Law would be fulfilled through Him. He did not come to destroy or replace the Law but instead to reveal it in its truth and entirety.

For until that time, God’s Law had been re-read, reinterpreted and reorganised many times across the different generations, and as in the past there was no organised writing of the Law into a proper codex or statutes of the Law, but instead depending a lot on oral tradition and word of mouth, the Law of God as revealed and passed down through Moses, which earlier on we just discussed how he exhorted the Israelites to keep faithfully through them and their descendants, all these had been corrupted and misinterpreted by the descendants of the people of God.

And worse still, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law had made their interpretation of the Law rather excessive and oppressive. Many of them also used the Law as means to advance their own position, power and interests, while outwardly appearing zealous and obedient to God. Yet, in their hearts and minds, they were divided with serving their own self-interests. Hence, the Lord was reminding not only the people but also those same Pharisees and the teachers of the Law that He came into this world to restore the Law to its true form and to call everyone to return to the truth of God, and not the misguided ways as promoted by the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, through all these readings from the Scriptures all of us are therefore also reminded that we have to keep the Law of God as well. The Lord has come into our midst and revealed the truth about Himself and perfected the understanding of the Law He has given us, and which He has entrusted to us through His Church. And this is why we need to obey the Lord through His Church, through all the rules, ordinances and all the things that He has laid down and passed to us, through His Apostles and their successors, our bishops and all the priests assisting them.

Today all of us are called to look upon the good examples of our predecessors, especially one St. Turibius de Mogrovejo, a faithful and committed servant of God who has dedicated his life to the mission of evangelisation and in caring for the needs of his flock, the reform of the Church administration and the purification of its members, especially that of the clergy from the worldly corruptions and wickedness. He was appointed as the Archbishop of Lima in Peru in the New World despite his initial refusal to do so. Very soon he dedicated his life to minister to all the people entrusted in his care.

St. Turibius worked very hard and it was told that during all his years of mission, he baptised and confirmed no less than a million and a half if not more people and touched the hearts and minds of many. He was also instrumental in the great reforms of his diocese, in its administration and clergy as mentioned. His efforts encountered opposition from those priests and others who themselves were sources of these corruptions, but all those did not stop or discourage St. Turibius from continuing to do his best for the greater glory of God and for the good and benefits of His people.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we should be inspired by the faithful and good examples of St. Turibius de Mogrovejo to show the same faith and commitment in our lives as well. We should dedicate more of our time, effort and works to the Lord and do whatever we can to be righteous, good and faithful in all things, following and obeying God’s Law and commandments at all possible opportunities. Let us be ever more dedicated to the Lord and commit ourselves to His cause with ever greater zeal and faith from now on. May this Lent be a great season and time of renewal for us, for us to renew our faith and be ever stronger in our love for our Lord. Amen.