Liturgy for Sundays and Main Feasts
Reflections on the Liturgy of the Day – from L’Année Liturgique, by Dom Prosper Guéranger
A new ray of light shines today in the heaven of holy Church, and its light brings warmth. The divine Master given to us by our Redeemer, that is, the Paraclete Spirit, who has come down into this world, continues His teachings to us, in the sacred Liturgy. The earliest of these His divine teachings was the mystery of the Trinity; and we have worshipped the Blessed Three: we have been taught who God is, we know Him in His own nature, we have been admitted, by faith, into the sanctuary of the infinite Essence. Then, this Spirit, the mighty wind of Pentecost, opened to our souls new aspects of the truth, which it is His mission to make the world remember; and His revelation left us prostrate before the sacred Host, the Memorial which God Himself has left us of all his wonderful works. Today, it is the sacred Heart of the Word made flesh that this Holy Spirit puts before us, that we may know and love and adore it.
There is a mysterious connexion between these three Feasts, of Trinity, Corpus Christi, and the Sacred Heart. The aim of the Holy Ghost, in all three, is this, – to initiate us more and more into that knowledge of God by faith, which is to fit us for the face-to-face Vision in heaven. We have already seen how God being made known to us, by the first, in Himself, manifests Himself to us, by the second, in His outward works, – for the holy Eucharist is the memorial, here below, in which He has brought together, and with all possible perfection, all those His wondrous works. But, by what law can we pass, so rapidly, so almost abruptly, from one Feast, which is all directly regarding God, to another, which celebrates His works, done by Him to and for us? Then again: how came the divine thought, how came, that is, eternal Wisdom, from the infinite repose of the eternally blessed Trinity, to the external activity of a love for us poor creatures, which has produced what we call the Mysteries of our Redemption? The Heart of the Man-God is the solution of these difficulties; it answers all such questions, and explains to us the whole divine plan.
He will have mercy according to the multitude of His mercies; for He has not willingly afflicted, nor cast off the children of men: the Lord is good to them that hope in Him, to the soul that seeks Him, alleluia, alleluia. Psalm. The mercies of the Lord I will sing for ever: to generation and generation.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we, who glory in the most sacred Heart of Thy beloved Son, and celebrate the singular benefits of His love towards us, may rejoice both in their accomplishment, and in the fruit they produce.
Lesson from the Prophet Isaias, Ch. XII.
I will give thanks to thee, O Lord, for Thou wast angry with me; Thy wrath is turned away, and Thou hast comforted me. Behold, God is my Saviour; I will deal confidently, and will not fear: because the Lord is my strength, and my praise, and He is become my salvation. Ye shall draw waters, with joy, out of the Saviour’s fountains, and ye shall say, in that day: Praise ye the Lord, and call upon His Name: remember that His Name is high. Sing ye unto the Lord, for He hath done great things: show this forth, in all the earth. Rejoice, and praise, O thou habitation of Sion: for great is He, that is in the midst of thee, the Holy One of Israel.
O all ye that pass by the way, attend and see if there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow. Having loved His own, who were in the world, He loved them unto the end. Alleluia, alleluia. Learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart: and ye shall find rest to your souls. Alleluia.
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to John, Ch.XIX.
At that time: the Jews, (because it was the Parasceve), that the bodies might not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath-day (for that was a great Sabbath-day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. The soldiers, therefore, came: and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that were crucified with Him. But, after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs; but one of the soldiers, with a spear, opened His side, and, immediately, there out blood and water. And he that saw it, hath given testimony: and his testimony is true.