Liturgy for Sundays and Main Feasts
Reflection on the Liturgy of the Day – from L’Année Liturgique, by Dom Prosper Guéranger
The Lord said: I think thoughts of peace, and not of affliction; ye shall call upon Me, and I will hear you: and I will bring back your captives from all places. Psalm. Thou, O Lord, hast blessed Thy land: Thou hast brought back the captive children of Jacob. Glory be to the Father, etc.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that, ever meditating on such things as are reasonable, we may, both in word and deed, carry out the things which are pleasing unto Thee. Through Christ Our Lord, etc.
Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians, I Chapter 1.
Brethren: We give thanks to God always for you all: making a remembrance of you in our prayers without ceasing: being mindful of the work of your faith, and labour and charity, and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before God and our Father; knowing, brethren beloved of God, your election. For, our Gospel has not been to you in word only, but in power also, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much fullness, as you know what manner of men we have been among you for your sakes. And you became followers of us, and of the Lord, receiving the word in much tribulation, with joy of the Holy Ghost: so that, you were made a pattern to all that believe in Macedonia and in Achaia. For, from you was spread abroad the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but also in every place your faith, which is towards God, is gone forth, so that we need not to speak anything. For they themselves relate of us, what manner of entering in we had unto you: and how you turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven (whom He raised up from the dead) Jesus, who has delivered us from the wrath to come.
Thou hast saved us, O Lord, from them that afflict us: and hast put them to shame that hate us. In God shall we glory all the day long; and, in Thy name, we will give praise for ever. Alleluia, alleluia. Out of the depths I have cried unto Thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice. Alleluia.
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Matthew, Chapter XIII.
At that time: Jesus spoke to the multitude this parable: The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard-seed, which a man took and sowed in his field. Which is the least indeed of all seeds; but, when it is grown up, it is greater than all herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and dwell in the branches thereof. Another parable He spoke to them: The kingdom of heaven is like to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened. All these things Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes, and without parables He did not speak to them: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.
Reflexion on the Gospel
The kingdom of Heaven spoken of here by the Savior is His militant Church, the society of those who believe in Him. Nevertheless, that field which He has so carefully cultivated is strewn with weeds, heresies have crept in, and scandals are multiplying: must we therefore doubt the foresight of the One who knows everything and without whose permission nothing happens? Far be it from us to think so. The Master Himself teaches us that it must be so. Man has been given freedom from good and evil; it is for him to use it, and it is for God to make everything turn to His glory. Let heresy then rise up like a cursed plant, we know that the day will come when it will be plucked up; more than once we will see it dry on its own stem, waiting for the day when it must be plucked up and thrown into the fire. Where are today the heresies that plagued the Church in her early years? Where will be in a hundred years from now those who, for three centuries, have caused so many evils under the beautiful name of reformation? The same is true of the scandals that are rising within the Church itself. These weeds are a scourge; but we must be tested. The Father of the family does not want this parasitic weed to be plucked up, for fear of damaging the pure wheat. Why? Because mixing the good and the bad is a useful exercise for the former, teaching them not to rely on man, but to rise higher. Because this is the mercy of the Lord, that what is tares can sometimes, by divine grace, be transformed into wheat.
Let us have patience, then; but, because the enemy only sows the tares while the shepherds of the field are asleep, let us pray for the shepherds and ask their divine Head for that vigilance which is the first guarantee of the salvation of the flock, and which is signified, as their first quality, by the name which the Church has imposed on them.