Reflection on the Liturgy of the Day – from L’Année Liturgique, by Dom Prosper Guéranger
Come, then, O Messias, and restore to the world its primitive peace; but remember, we beseech Thee, that it is in the heart of man that harmony has been broken more than elsewhere in Thy creation: cure this heart, enter into possession of this Jerusalem, which Thou lovest, though so unworthy: she has been too long captive in Babylon; lead her out of this strange land. Build up her temple again, and make the glory of this second temple to be greater than that of the first, by having Thee to dwell in it, not in figure, but in the reality of Thy adorable Person. The angel said to Mary: “The Lord God shall give unto Thy Son the throne of David His father; and He shall reign in the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” What can we do, O Jesus, but say with Thy beloved disciple, at the close of His prophecy: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
People of Sion, behold the Lord will come to save the Gentiles: and the Lord will make the glory of His voice heard to the joy of your hearts. Psalm. Give ear, O Thou that rulest Israel: Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep. Glory be to the Father…
Stir up, O Lord, our hearts to prepare the ways of Thy only-begotten Son: that by His coming we may be enabled to serve Thee with pure minds.
Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle, to the Romans, chap. XV.
Brethren: what things soever were written, were written for our learning: that through patience and the comfort of the scriptures, we might have hope. Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of one mind one towards another, according to Jesus Christ: That with one mind, and with one mouth, you may glorify God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive one another, as Christ also has received you unto the honour of God. For I say that Christ Jesus was minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers. But that the Gentiles are to glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: Therefore will I confess to Thee, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and will sing to Thy name. And again he said: Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with His people. And again: Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and magnify Him, all ye people. And again Isaias said: There shall be a root of Jesse; and He that shall rise up to rule the Gentiles, in Him the Gentiles shall hope. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing; that you may abound in hope, and in the power of the Holy Ghost.
Reflexion on the Epistle
Here, Christians, is your instruction; be patient, be firm in hope, and you shall delight in the God of peace who is coming to you. But take heed, you must have cordial charity one for the other; it is the mark of the children of God. The prophet tells us that the Messias will make even wolf and lamb dwell together; and now we have the Apostle showing us how this same Christ brings Jews and Gentiles into the one same family. Glory to this sovereign King, the powerful offspring of the root of Jesse, who now bids us hope in Him! Listen to the Church, she again tells us that He is about to show Himself in Jerusalem.
He shall come in His comeliness and beauty from Sion: God will come visibly. Gather to Him His saints, who have set His covenant by sacrifice. Alleluia, alleluia. I rejoiced at what was told me: we are to go up to the house of the Lord. Alleluia.
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew, chap. XI
At that time: When John had heard in prison the works of Christ: sending two of his disciples he said to Him: Art Thou He that art to come, or look we for another? And Jesus making answer said to them: Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in Me. And when they went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: What went you out into the desert to see? a reed shaken with the wind? But what went you out to see? a man clothed in soft garments? Behold they that are clothed in soft garments, are in the houses of kings. But what went you out to see? a prophet? yea I tell you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: Behold I send My angel before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee.
Reflexion on the Gospel
You are He that was to come, O Jesus! We look for no other. We were blind, You have enlightened us; we were lame, You have made us walk; the leprosy of sin disfigured us, You have cleansed us; we were deaf to Your words, You have given us hearing; we were dead in sin, You have given us life again; we were poor and had none to care for us, You have come to us with every aid and consolation. These have been, and will again be, the blessings of Your visit to our souls, O Jesus! –a visit, silent but wonderful in its work; which flesh and blood cannot understand, but which faithful hearts feel is granted them. Come, my Savior, come to me! Your condescension, and familiarity with such poverty as mine, shall not scandalize me; Your workings in the souls of men are proof enough that You are God. He alone, that created souls, can heal them.