The Collecta today is at the Church of St. Angelius “in piscibus.” The gathering of the faithful today was near the fish market; the church was in existence before the Eighth Century. The seven martyred sons of St. Symphorosa repose here. The Station is at St. Nicholas in Carcere. Over sixty churches were dedicated to St. Nicholas: this one stands near the ancient site of a public prison, and is built on the ruins of a pagan temple of Piety.
This Saturday is called “Sitientes” from the opening words of the Introit. Since the time of Pope Gelasius it has been a day for conferring Holy Orders, and was therefore once a day of great fast, extending through the night. The Gospel teaches us that if the house of God on earth is not to be turned into a house of traffickers – still less can we purchase our entrance into Heaven. We are to drink with joy from the fountains of grace which flow from the blessed Eucharist.
The prophet Isaias sees hastening from all sides the Christian people who are waiting with holy impatience for the Easter Feast, when at last their souls may quench their thirst in the springs of grace through the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance. To those who are in darkness Jesus gives light, for He is “the light of the world, and he who followeth Him walketh not in darkness, but in the light of life.” Let us also ask Christ to fill our minds and our hearts with the light of His grace.
INTROIT Isaias 66: 1
All you that thirst, come to the waters, said the Lord: and you that have no money, come and drink with joy. Psalm 77. 1 Attend, O My people, to My law; incline your ears to the words of My mouth. V. Glory be to the Father. All you that thirst.
May the affection of our devotion be made fruitful by Thy grace, we beseech Thee, O Lord: for then will our fasts be profitable to us, if they are well-pleasing to Thy loving kindness. Through our Lord…
LESSON Isaias 49: 8-15
Lesson from Isaias the Prophet. Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time I have heard thee, and in the day of salvation I have helped thee: and I have preserved thee, and given thee to be a covenant of the people that thou mightest raise up the earth, and possess the inheritances that were destroyed; that thou mightest say to them that are bound. Come forth; and to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in every plain. They shall not hunger, nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor the sun strike them; for He that is merciful to them shall be their shepherd, and at the fountains of waters He shall give them drink. And I will make all My mountains a way, and My paths shall be exalted. Behold these shall come from afar, and behold these from the north and from the sea, and these from the south country. Give praise, O ye heavens, and rejoice, O earth; ye mountains give praise with jubilation: because the Lord hath comforted His people, and will have mercy on His poor ones. And Sion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and the Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her infant, so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? and if she should forget, yet will not I forget thee: saith the Lord almighty.
GRADUAL Psalm 9: 14, 12
To Thee, O Lord, is the poor man left: Thou wilt be a help to the orphan. V. Why, O Lord, hast Thou retired afar off; why dost Thou slight us in our wants in time of trouble? whilst the wicked man is proud, the poor is set on fire.
GOSPEL St. John 8: 12-20
At that time, Jesus spoke to the multitudes of the Jews, saying, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me, walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” The pharisees therefore said to Him, Thou givest testimony of Thyself; Thy testimony is not true. Jesus answered and said to them. “Although I give testimony of Myself, My testimony is true, for I know whence I come, and whither I go; but you know not whence I come, or whither I go. You judge according to the flesh: I judge not any man. And if I do judge, My judgment is true; because I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent Me. And in your law it is written, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that giveth testimony of Myself; and the Father that sent Me giveth testimony of Me.” They said therefore to Him, Where is Thy Father? Jesus answered, “Neither Me do you know, nor My Father: if you did know Me, perhaps you would know My Father also.” These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, teaching in the temple: and no man laid hands on Him; because His hour was not yet come.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 17: 3
The Lord is become my firmament, and my refuge, and my deliverer: and in Him will I put my trust.
Receive our offerings, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and be appeased, and in kindness turn our wills towards Thee, even though they resist Thee. Through our Lord…
PREFACE for Lent
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: Who by this bodily fast, dost curb our vices, dost lift up our minds and bestow on us strength and rewards; through Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with these we entreat Thee that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted while we say with lowly praise:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Psalm 22: 1, 2
The Lord ruleth me, and I shall want nothing: He hath set me in a place of pasture: He hath brought me up on the water of refreshment.
May Thy holy things, we pray Thee, O Lord, purify us and, by their operation, make us pleasing to Thee. Through our Lord…
PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
O God, who choosest to show mercy rather than anger to those who put their hope in Thee, grant that we may deplore as we should the evil we have done, and so become worthy to find comfort in Thee: Through our Lord…