The history of Samuel is being read in the breviary; Samuel who was consecrated to God from his earliest childhood to dwell near the Ark of the Lord and to become priest in the sanctuary of the Most High.
In the liturgy for this season we see how this young child, offered to God by his mother, served the Lord in the Temple with a pure heart and nurtured himself on God’s truth.
“In those days,” the breviary tells us, “the word of the Lord was precious… there was no manifest vision”; for Heli was at the same time proud and weak; and his two sons Ophni and Phinees were faithless to God and slack in His service. Yet at that very moment the Lord revealed Himself to the child Samuel, for as our Lord tells us, He reveals Himself to “little ones”, and hides Himself from the proud.
“It is to the humble,” says St. Gregory, “that the secrets of the divine plan have been revealed, and that is why Samuel was called as a child2″. God foretold to Samuel the punishment which would fall on Heli and his house, and as a matter of fact soon after, the Ark was taken by the Philistines, Heli’s two sons were killed and Heli himself died. Moreover almighty God had withheld his revelations from the high priest, because he and his sons made too little of heavenly joys, symbolized by “the great supper” spoken of in today’s Gospel, and were more attached to the delights of the body than of the soul.
Applying to them a passage from St. Gregory in today’s homily we may say that they “had reached a state in which they had lost all appetite for interior joys, for the very reason that they had held aloof from them and had long lost the habit of relishing them. Since they were not willing to enjoy interiorly the sweetness offered them, they loved the hunger that came upon them from without.”
Heli’s sons had in fact been taking the meats offered to God and eating them themselves and Heli, their father had let them go their own way. It was in divine consolations alone that Samuel, who had always lived with Heli in the Temple, found his delight. The food of which he partook was that supplied by God Himself, when He told him His secrets in contemplation and prayer. “The child slept, which means,” says St. Gregory, “that his soul was at rest without care for earthly things.” The saint explains in his commentary on today’s Gospel that “the joys of the body which kindle in us beforehand an ardent desire for their possession, soon bring disgust upon him who tastes them, by the very fact of his satiating himself with them, while on the contrary, spiritual joys arouse contempt before they are possessed, but stir up desire for them when once they have been obtained; so that he who has tasted them is the hungrier, the more he is fed”.
And this explains how souls who find all their delight in the pleasures of this world refuse to share in the banquet of the Christian Faith, wherein the church nourishes all with the teaching of the Gospel. “Taste and see,” continues St. Gregory, “that the Lord is sweet”. By these words the Psalmist expressly tells us: You do not know His sweetness if you do not taste it, but touch the food of life with the palate of your heart, that experiencing His graciousness you may be able to love Him.
“Man lost these delights when he sinned in paradise, out of which he came when he had closed his lips to the food of eternal sweetness. It follows from this that having been born in the pains of this exile, we reach such a state of disgust with our life here below, that we no longer know what we ought to desire” (Matins).
But by the grace of the Holy Ghost, “we have passed from death unto life”, (Epistle), so that, like humble little Samuel, we, the weak, the poor and the lame of the Gospel should seek our joys near our Lord’s tabernacle and in intimate communion with Him. We must avoid pride and earthly things that we may be instructed in the fear and love of Gods Holy Name (Collect), and thus constantly directed by Him “our life on earth may more and more be likened to that of heaven,” that “it may be vouchsafed to us who have received the sacred gifts, that the more often we assist at the celebration of these divine mysteries, the more surely they may avail to the salvation of our souls” (Postcommunion).
INTROIT Psalm 17: 19-20
The Lord became my protector, and He brought me forth into a large place: he saved me, because He was well pleased with me. (Ps. 17. 2,3). I will love Thee, O Lord my strength: the Lord is my firmament, and my refuge, and my deliverer. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Make us, O Lord, to have both a perpetual fear and a love of Thy holy Name: for Thou dost never deprive of Thy guidance those whom Thou dost establish steadfastly in Thy love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
Collect of the Souls
From all perils of soul and body defend us, O Lord, we beseech thee, and by the intercession of blessed and gloriosus ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and of blessed N. and all the Saints, graciously grant us safety and peace that all adversities and errors being overcome, thy Church may serve thee in security and freedom…
For the Pope
O God, the sheperd and ruler of all the faithful, gratiously look upon thy servant Francis, who thou hast willed to be chied pastor of thy Church; grant him we beseech thee, by word and example to profit those over whom he rules, that together with the flock entrusted to him, he may attain to life everlasting. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
LESSON 1 John 3: 13-18
Dearly beloved, Wonder not if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not, abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself. In this we have known the charity of God, because He hath laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. He that hath the substance of this world, and shall see his brethren in need, and shall shut up his bowels from him, how doth the charity of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word nor in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
GRADUAL/ ALLELUIA Ps. 119: 1, 2
In my trouble I cried to the Lord, and He heard me. V. O Lord, deliver my soul from wicked lips and a deceitful tongue. Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ps. 17: 2) O Lord, my God, in Thee have I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me. Alleluia.
GOSPEL St. Luke 14: 16-24
At that time Jesus spoke to the Pharisees this parable: “A certain man made a great supper, and invited many. And he sent his servant, at the hour of the supper, to say them that were invited, that they should come, for now all things were ready. And they began all at once to make excuse. The first said to him: I have bought a farm, and must needs go out, and see it: I pray thee hold me excused. And another said: I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to try them; I pray thee hold me excused And another said: I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. And the servant returning, told these things to his lord. Then the master of the house being angry, said to his servant: Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the feeble, and the blind, and the lame. And the servant said: Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said to the servant: Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. But I say unto you, that none of these men that were invited shall taste of my supper.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 6:5
Turn to me, O Lord, and deliver my soul, O save me for Thy mercy’s sake.
May the offering, to be dedicated to thy Name, O Lord, purify us, and day by day, carry us on the observances of a heavenly life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.
Of the souls
Hear us, O God, our salvation that through the power of this Sacrament thou mayest defend us from all enemies of soul and body and bestow upon us grace here and glory hereafter…
For the Pope
Look down favorably, O Lord, we beseech thee, upon the gifts we have offered: and let thy constant protection direct thy servant Francis, whom tho hast chosebn to be the chief pastor of the Church. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
PREFACE of the Common
It is truly meet and just, and profitable unto salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to thee, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, through Christ, our Lord. Though whom the angels praise thy majesty, the dominions adore it, the powers are in awe. Which the heavens and the hosts of heaven together with the blessed seraphim joyfully do magnify. And do thou command that it be permitted to us join with them in confessing thee, while we say with lowly praise:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Psalm 12:6
I will sing to the Lord, who giveth me good things: and I will sing to the Name of the Lord Most high.
We who have received the sacred Gifts, beseech Thee, O Lord, that by the frequenting of the Mystery, the fruit of our salvation may increase. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God , Forever and ever.
Of the souls
May the offering of this divine Sacrament cleanse and protect us, O Lord we beseech thee, and by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of blessed N. and all the Saints, may it purify us from all sin, and free us from all adversity…
For the Pope
Let the reception of this divine Sacrament protect us, O Lord, we beseech theee: and may thy servant Francis, whom thou has chosen as the chief pastor of thy Church, along with the flock committed to him derive always from it protection and help. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.