Liturgy for Sundays and Major Feastdays
Reflection on the Liturgy of the Day – from L’Année Liturgique, by Dom Prosper Guéranger
Be Thou unto me a God, a protector, and a house of refuge, to save me; for Thou art my strength, and my refuge; and for Thy name’s sake Thou wilt lead me, and nourish me. Psalm. In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped, let me never be confounded; deliver me in Thy justice, and rescue me.
Mercifully hear our prayers, O Lord, we beseech Thee; and delivering us from the bonds of sin, preserve us from all adversity.
Lesson of the Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, 1 Chap. XIII
Brethren, if I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy, and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me nothing. Charity is patient, is kind, charity envies not, deals not perversely; is not puffed up, is not ambitious, seeks not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinks no evil, rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Charity never falls away; whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then, face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know, even as I am known. And now there remain faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greater of these is charity.
Reflexion on the Epistle
How appropriate for this Sunday is the magnificent eulogy of charity, here given by our apostle! This virtue, which comprises the love both of God and of our neighbour, is the light of our souls. Without charity we are in darkness, and all our works are profitless. The very power of working miracles cannot give hope of salvation, unless he who does them have charity. Unless we are in charity, the most heroic acts of other virtues are but one snare more for our souls. Let us beseech our Lord to give us this light. But let us not forget that, however richly He may bless us with it here below, the fullness of its brightness is reserved for when we are in heaven; and that the sunniest day we can have in this world, is but darkness when compared with the splendour of our eternal charity. Faith will then give place, for we shall be face to face with all truth; hope will have no object, for we shall possess all good; charity alone will continue, and, for this reason, is greater than faith and hope, which must needs accompany her in this present life. This being the glorious destiny reserved for man when redeemed and enlightened by Jesus, is it to be wondered at that we should leave all things, in order to follow such a Master? What should surprise us, and what proves how degraded is our nature by sin, is to see Christians, who have been baptized in this faith and this hope, and have received the first fruits of this love, indulging, during these days, in every sort of worldliness, which is only the more dangerous because it is fashionable. It would seem as though they were making it their occupation to extinguish within their souls the last ray of heavenly light, like men that had made a covenant with darkness. If there be charity within our souls, it will make us feel these offences that are committed against our God, and inspire us to pray to Him to have mercy on these poor blind sinners, for they are our brethren.
Thou art God, who alone dost wonders: Thou hast made Thy power known among the nations. – Thou hast delivered Thy people, the children of Israel and Joseph, by the strength of Thine arm.
Sing joyfully to God, all the earth: serve ye the Lord with gladness. Come in before His presence with joy; know ye that the Lord he is God. He made us, and not we ourselves: and we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to saint Luke, Chap. XVIII
At that time, Jesus took unto Him the twelve, and said to them: Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and all things shall be accomplished which were written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man. For He shall be delivered to the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and scourged, and spit upon; and after they have scourged Him, they will put Him to death, and the third day He shall rise again. And they understood none of these things. And this word was hid from them, and they understood not the things that were said. Now it came to pass, when He drew nigh to Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the wayside, begging. And when he heard the multitude passing by, he asked what this meant. And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying: Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. And they that went before, rebuked him, that he should hold his peace. But he cried out much more: Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus standing, commanded him to be brought unto Him. And when he was come near, He asked him, saying: What will you that I do to you? But he said: Lord, that I may see. And Jesus said to him: Receive your sight: your faith has made you whole. And immediately he saw, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people when they saw it gave praise to God.
Reflexion on the Gospel
Jesus tells His apostles, that His bitter Passion is at hand; it is a mark of His confidence in them; but they understand not what He says. They are as yet too carnal-minded to appreciate our Saviour’s mission; still, they do not abandon Him; they love Him too much to think of separating from Him. Greater by far than this, is the blindness of those false Christians, who, during these three days, not only do not think of the God who shed His Blood and died for them, but are striving to efface from their souls every trace of the divine image! Let us adore that sweet mercy, which has drawn us, as it did Abraham, from the midst of a sinful people; and let us, like the blind man of our Gospel, cry out to our Lord, beseeching Him to grant us an increase of His holy light. This was his prayer: Lord!, that I may see!
Blessed art Thou, O Lord teach me Thy justifications: with my lips I have pronounced all the judgments of Thy mouth.
May this offering, we beseech Thee, O Lord, cleanse away our sins; and sanctify the bodies and souls of Thy servants, to prepare them for worthily celebrating this sacrifice.
They did eat and were filled exceedingly, and the Lord gave them their desire: they were not defrauded of that which they craved.
We beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we who have taken this heavenly food, may be defended by it from all adversity.