Carissimi; Today’s Mass: Feast of Saint Joseph

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Feast of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Foster-father of Jesus Christ: Missa Justus ut palma florebit”

The Church always honors St. Joseph with Mary and Jesus, especially during the Christmas solemnities. This day’s Gospel is indeed that of December 24th. A Coptic calendar tells us that St. Joseph was liturgically honored in a special way on July 20th, from the eight century. At the end of the fifteenth century his feast was kept on March 19th and in 1621 Gregory XV extended it to the whole Church. In 1870 Pius IX proclaimed St. Joseph protector of the universal Church.

This Saint “of the royal race of David” was a just man (Gospel). As by his marriage with the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph has certain rights over the blessed fruit of the virginal womb of his spouse a moral affinity exists between him and Jesus. He exercised over the Child-God a certain paternal authority, which the Preface of St. joseph delicately alludes to as that of a foster-father. Without having begotten Jesus, St. Joseph by the bonds which unite him to Mary, is legally and morally the Father of the Son of the Blessed Virgin.

It follows that we must honor by a special homage this dignity of supernatural excellence of St. Joseph. “In the family of Nazareth”, says Cornelius a Lapide, “were the three greatest and most excellent persons in the world. Wherefore to Christ is due the divine worship, to the Virgin a higher worship than to Saint’s and to St Joseph the full worship due to Saints” God revealed to him the mystery of the Incarnation (ibid) and “chose him among all (Epistle) to commit to his care the Incarnate Word and the Virginity of Mary.”

The hymn of Lauds says that : “Christ and the Virgin were with him at his last hour and watched by him their faces gleaming with sweet serenity.” St. Joseph went to heaven for ever to enjoy the beatific vision of the Word whose humanity he had so long and so closely contemplated on earth. This Saint is therefore justly considered the patron and model of interior and contemplative souls. And in the heavenly home St. Joseph has a powerful influence over the heart of the Son of his most blessed Spouse (Collect).

Let us imitate at this holy season the purity, humility, the spirit of prayer and meditation of Joseph at Nazareth. Every parish priest celebrates Mass for the people of his parish.

INTROIT: Psalm 91: 13, 14

The just shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Lebanon. They that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of the house of our God. 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. Repeat In the midst of the Church…

COLLECT

We beseech Thee, O Lord, that we may be helped by the merits of the Spouse of Thy most holy Mother, so that we cannot obtain of ourselves, may be given to us through his intercession. Who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.

Commemoratio Feria Quarta infra Hebdomadam II in Quadragesima
Look mercifully upon Your people, we beseech You, O Lord, and grant that they whom You command to abstain from food, may also refrain from harmful vices. 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.

EPISTLE: Ecclesiasticus 45: 1-6

Lesson from the Book of Wisdom. Beloved of God and men, whose memory is in benediction. He made him like the saints in glory, and magnified him in the fear of his enemies, and with his words he made prodigies to cease. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him commandments in the sight of his people, and showed him His glory. He sanctified him in his faith and meekness, and chose him out of all flesh. For He heard him and his voice, and brought him into a cloud. And He gave him commandments before His face, and a law of life and instruction.

GRADUAL: Psalm 20: 4, 5

For thou hast prevented him with blessings of sweetness: thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones. V. He asked life of thee: and thou hast given him length of days for ever and ever.

TRACT Psalm 111:1-3

A blessed man is he who fears the Lord, bearing all love to his commandments. V. Children of his shall win renown in their own country: ever the sons of the just shall find a blessing. V. Esteem dwells with such a man and great prosperity: fame shall record his gracious deeds eternally.

GOSPEL: Matthew 1: 18-21

Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things, behold the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for That Which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call His name Jesus. For He shall save His people from their sins.

OFFERTORY: Psalm 88: 25

My faithfulness and My kindness shall be with him, and through My name shall his horn be exalted.

SECRET

We render Thee, O Lord, the debt of our service, humbly entreating that Thou wouldst preserve Thy gifts within us through the intercession of blessed Joseph, the Spouse of the Mother of Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord; on whose holy festival we offer to Thee the sacrifice of praise. Through the same Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.

Commemoratio Feria Quarta infra Hebdomadam II in Quadragesima
Look with favor upon the sacrificial gifts we offer You, O Lord, and through this holy exchange loosen the bonds of our sins. 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 Saint Joseph

It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty and everlasting God; and magnify Thee with due praise, bless and proclaim Thee blessed Joseph; who, as a just man, was given by Thee to be the spouse of the Virgin Mother of God, and as a faithful and prudent servant, was set over Thy family, that with fatherly care he might guard Thine only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, conceived by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost. Through whom the angels praise Thy majesty, the dominions worship it, the powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the heavenly hosts with the blessed seraphim join together in celebrating their joy. With these we pray Thee join our voices also, while saying with lowly praise: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY

COMMUNION: Matthew 1: 20

But while he thought on these things, behold the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost.

POSTCOMMUNION

Come to our assistance, we beseech Thee, O merciful God; and through the intercession of blessed Joseph Thy confessor, graciously preserve Thy gifts about us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.

Commemoratio Feria Quarta infra Hebdomadam II in Quadragesima
Having received Your sacrament, O Lord, may we make progress, we beseech You, toward our everlasting salvation. 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.

PROPER LAST GOSPEL Matt. 20:17-28

At that time, as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them, Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the Scribes; and they will condemn His to death, and will deliver Him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified; and on the third day He will rise again. Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Him with her sons; and worshipping, she made a request of Him. He said to her, What do you want? She said to Him, Command that these my two sons may sit, one at Your right hand and one at Your left hand, in Your kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, You do not know what you are asking for. Can you drink of the cup of which I am about to drink? They said to Him, We can. He said to them, Of My cup you shall indeed drink; but as for sitting at My right hand and at My left, that is not Mine to give you, but it belongs to those for whom it has been prepared by My Father. And when the ten heard this, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to Him, and said, You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. Not so is it among you. On the contrary, whoever wishes to become great among shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; even as the Son the Man has not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.

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