For the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, quite possibly the most powerful of affirmations is given by our Lord and Savior that it isn’t that difficult to tell who are the false prophets and heretics for by their fruits we shall know them. There is nothing ambiguous about Christ’s words that a bad tree will be chopped down and rooted out, then cast into the fire. What other kind of fire would the Son of Man be talking about in His parable but eternal hellfire? It dovetails with St. Paul’s words in the epistle that the wages of sin is death, as in mortal sin equals death to eternal life; and that eternal life is available only through the grace of God, our salvation merited by Christ’s offering Himself on the Cross, shedding every last drop of His Most Precious Blood for us. A most fitting commentary to the Epistle and Gospel for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost in these tumultuous times.
SS. Nabor and Felix suffered martyrdom at Milan under Maximian Herculeus, about the year 304AD. St. Ambrose honored their memory and from Milan devotion to them spread throughout the Universal Church.
INTROIT Psalm 46: 2
All ye nations, clap your hands: shout unto God with the voice of joy. (Ps. 46: 3) For the Lord is most high, He is terrible He is a great King over all the earth. v. Glory be…etc
O God, whose providence faileth not in its designs, we humbly entreat Thee, to put away from us all hurtful things, and to give us all things which be profitable for us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
Commemoratio SS. Nabor and Felix
O God, who year by year does fill our hearts with gladness on the festival of Thy holy martyrs Nabor and Felix, graciously grant that, whie rejoicing in their merits, we may be fired by their example. Through our Lord.
Collect for the Intercession of the Saints
Defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all dangers of mind and body: and through the intercession of the blessed and glorious Mary, ever Virgin, mother of God, of St Joseph, of Thy holy apostles, Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy loving-kindness grant us safety and peace; that, all adversities and errors being overcome, Thy Church may serve Thee in security and freedom. Through our Lord.
Collect for God’s Holy Church
Graciously hear, O Lord, the prayers of Thy Church that, having overcome all adversity and every error, she may serve Thee in security and freedom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
EPISTLE Romans 6: 19-23
Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Romans, Brethren, I speak a human thing, because of the infirmity of your flesh for as you have yielded your members to serve uncleanness and iniquity for iniquity, so now yield your members to serve justice unto sanctification. For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from justice. What fruit therefore had you then in those things, of which you are now ashamed? For the end of them is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end life everlasting. For the wages of sin is death. But the grace of God, is life everlasting in Christ Jesus our Lord.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 33: 12, 6
Come, children, hearken to me I will teach you the fear of the Lord. V. Come ye to Him and be enlightened and your faces shall not be confounded. Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ps. 46. 2) O clap your hands, all ye nations: shout unto God with the voice of joy. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 7: 15-21
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit,neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth; good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not every one that saith of Me: Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven but he that doeth the will of My Father Who is in Heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Daniel 3: 40
As in holocausts of rams and bullocks, and as in thousands of fat lambs so let our sacrifice be made in Thy sight this day, that it may please Thee: for there is no confusion to them that trust in Thee, O Lord.
O God, who hast justified the variety of sacrifices of the Law by the perfection of this one Sacrifice: accept the Sacrifice of Thy servants who are dedicated to Thee, and sanctify it with a blessing like to that which Thou didst bestow upon the gifts of Abel, that what each one of us has offered to the honor of Thy Majesty, may profit us all unto salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.
Commemoratio SS. Nabor and Felix
Lord, we pray Thee accept our peace-offerings, and at the intercession of Thy holy martyrs Nabor and Felix guard us from every peril. Through our Lord .
Secret for the Intercession of the Saints
Graciously hear us, O God our Saviour, and, by virtue of this Sacrament, defend us from all enemies of soul and body, bestowing upon us Thy grace here and Thy glory hereafter. Through our Lord.
Secret for God’s Holy Church
Protect us, O Lord, who assist at Thy mysteries, that, cleaving to things divine, we may serve Thee both in body and in mind. 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.
PREFACE of the Blessed Trinity
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, together with Thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, art one God, one Lord: not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one Substance. For what we believe by Thy revelation of Thy glory, the same do we believe of Thy Son, the same of the Holy Ghost, without difference or separation. So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in persons, unity in essence, and equality in majesty may be adored. Which the angels and archangels, the cherubim also and seraphim do praise: who cease not daily to cry out, with one voice saying:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Psalm 30: 3
Bow down Thine ear, make haste to deliver me.
May Thy healing work, O Lord, both mercifully free us from our perversities, and lead us to those things which are right. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever.
Commemoratio SS. Nabor and Felix
Lord, may this communion cleanse us from guilt, and, at the intercession of Thy holy martyrs Nabor and Felix, bring upon us a share of healing from on high. Through our Lord.
Postcommunion for the Intercession of the Saints
May the gift of this Divine Sacrament which we have offered, cleanse us and defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord; and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God, of St. Joseph, of Thy holy apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, free us from all iniquity and deliver us from all adversity. Through the same Lord.
Postcommunion for God’s Holy Church
O Lord our God, we pray Thee that Thou suffer not to succumb to human hazards those whom Thou hast been pleased to make sharers of divine mysteries. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, For ever and ever.