Today’s Station is at the Church of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem. St. Helena, mother of Constantine lived on Mount Coelius in a palace known as the house of Sessions. She transformed it, in order to keep therein important relics of the true Cross, into a sanctuary which became the Basilica of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem. Hence the Introit, Communion and Tract speak of Jerusalem, which St. Paul in the Epistle compares to Mount Sinai.
Just as the Sunday of Gaudete or “Rejoice” comes in the middle of Advent to excite us with holy joy courageously to continue our diligent preparation for the Feast of Christmas, so the Sunday of Laetare or “Be glad” offers us a rest in the middle of the Lenten observance.
“Rejoice, be thrilled with joy,” says the Introit, for, dead to sin with Jesus during Lent, we are soon to rise again with Him through confession and Paschal communion. Wherefore the Gospel tells us of the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes, symbols of the Eucharist. You might say also, that the multiplication of the loaves is really a type of Christian Passover.
INTROIT Isais 66: 10-11; Psalm 121: 1
Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and come together all you that love her; rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. V. I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord. V. Glory be…
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds justly deserve to be punished, by the comfort of Thy grace may mercifully be relieved. Through our Lord…
LESSON Galatians 4: 22-31
A reading from the Epistle of the blessed Apostle Paul to the Galatians. Brethren: it is written that Abraham had two sons; the one by a bond-woman, and the other by a free-woman. But he who was of the bond-woman was born according to the flesh; but he of the free-woman was by promise. Which things are said by an allegory. For these are the two testaments; the one from Mount Sina, engendering unto bondage, which is Agar: for Sina is a mountain in Arabia, which hath affinity to that Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children: but that Jerusalem which is above is free, which is our mother. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that hath a husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born according to the flesh persecuted him that was after the spirit, so also it is now. But what saith the Scriptures? : Cast out the bond-woman and her son; for the son of the bond-woman shall not be heir with the son of the free-woman. So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bond-woman, but of the free; by the freedom wherewith Christ hath made us free.
GRADUAL Psalm 121: 1, 7
I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord. Let peace be in Thy strength, and abundance in Thy towers.
TRACT Psalm 124: 1-2
They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Sion: he shall not be moved forever that dwelleth in Jerusalem. Mountains are round about it: so the Lord is round about his people, from henceforth now and for ever.
GOSPEL St. John 6: 1-15
At that time, Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee which is that of Tiberias; and a great multitude followed Him, because they saw the miracles which He did on them that were diseased. Jesus therefore went up into a mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. Now the pasch, the festival day of the Jews, was near at hand. When Jesus therefore had lifted up His eyes, and seen that a very great multitude cometh to Him, He said to Philip, “Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat?” And this He said to try him; for He Himself knew what He would do. Philip answered Him, Two hundred penny-worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little. One of His disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to Him, There is a boy here that hath five barley loaves and two fishes; but what are these among so many? Then Jesus said: “Make the men sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when He had given thanks, He distributed to them that were set down. In like manner also of the fishes, as much as they would. And when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost.” They gathered up therefore, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten. Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said, This is of a truth the prophet that is to come into the world. Jesus therefore, when He knew that they would come to take Him by force and make Him king, fled again into the mountain Himself alone.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 134: 3, 6
Praise ye the Lord, for He is good: sing ye to His name, for He is sweet: whatsoever He pleased He hath done in Heaven and in earth.
May this victim, we beseech Thee, O Lord, cleanse away our sins, sanctifying Thy servants in both soul and body for the celebration of this sacrifice. Through our Lord…
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Psalm 121: 3-4
Jerusalem, which is built as a city, which is compact together: for thither did the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, to praise Thy name, O Lord.
Merciful God, who ceasest not to lavish upon us the riches of Thy sacraments; grant that we may ever draw near to Thine Altar with deepest reverence and with faith unwavering. Through our Lord…