There suddenly arose from the midst of the Roman empire, demoralized as it was and corrupt beyond imagination, a race of men of angelic purity; and these very men had, but a short time before their Baptism, wallowed in all the abominations of paganism. Whence had they derived this sublime virtue? From the Christian teaching, and from the supernatural remedies it provides for man’s spiritual miseries. Then it was that unbelievers sought for the true faith, though they knew it was at the risk of martyrdom; they ran to the Church, asking her to become their mother, and saying to her: We know that thou art of God, and the word of the Lord in thy mouth is true. (p. 372).
[For the Gospel:] Let us meditate upon this admirable history; and as we meditate upon this admirable history, let us hope; for it not only shows us what Jesus does for the souls of others, but what He has done for ours. Let us, also, renew our prayers for the penitents, who now throughout the world, are preparing for the great reconciliation. It is not a mother that is here represented as praying for the resurrection of her child; it is two sisters asking this grace for a brother. The example must not be lost on us: we must pray for one another… (p. 377)
There is no voice but that of Jesus which can call him (a sinner) to conversion, and touch his heart, and bring him to confess his sins; but Jesus has put into the hands of priests the power to loose, enlighten, and give movement. This miracle (of raising Lazarus from the dead), which was wrought by our Savior at this very season of the year, filled up the measure of His enemies’ rage, and set them thinking how they could soonest put Him to death. (p. 378).
INTROIT Psalm 18:15
Let the thought of my heart find favour before You, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Ps 18:2 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims His handiwork. V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Let the thought of my heart find favour before You, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
O God, Who by your wondrous sacraments renew the world, grant that Your church may benefit from Your eternal decrees and not be deprived of temporal 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.
LESSON 3 Kings 17:17-24
In those days, the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick, and the sickness was very grievous, so that there was no breath left in him. And she said to Elias, What have I to do with you, O man of God? Have you come to me that my iniquities should be remembered, and that you should kill my son? And Elias said to her, Give me your son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him into the upper chamber where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed, and he cried to the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, have You afflicted also the widow, with whom I am after a sort maintained, so as to kill her son? And he stretched, and measured himself upon the child three times, and cried to the Lord and said, O Lord my God, let the soul of this child, I beseech You, return into his body. And the Lord heard the voice of Elias; and the soul of the child returned into him, and he revived. And Elias took the child, and brought him down from the upper chamber to the house below, and delivered him to his mother, and said to her, Behold, your son lives. And the woman said to Elias, Now by this I knew that you are a man of God, and the word of the Lord in your mouth is true.
GRADUAL Ps 117:8-9
It is better to take refuge in the Lord rather than to trust in man. V. It is better to take refuge in the Lord rather than to trust in princes.
Tractus Ps 102:10
O Lord, deal with us not according to our sins, nor requite us according to our crimes. Ps 78:8-9 O Lord, remember not against us the iniquities of the past; may Your compassion quickly come to us, for we are brought very low. kneel V. Help us, O God, our Savior, because of the glory of Your Name, O Lord; deliver us and pardon our sins for Your Name’s sake.
GOSPEL St. John 11:1-45
At that time, a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Now it was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet dry with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. The sisters therefore sent to Him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick. But when Jesus heard this, He said to them, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that through it the Son of God may be glorified. Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister Mary, and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was sick, He remained two more days in the same place. Then afterwards He said to His disciples, Let us go again into Judea. The disciples said to Him, Rabbi, just now the Jews were seeking to stone You; and do You go there again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If a man walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if he walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him. These things He spoke, and after this He said to them, Lazarus, our friend, sleeps. But I go that I may wake him from sleep. His disciples therefore said, Lord, if he sleeps, he will be safe. Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought He was speaking of the repose of sleep. So then Jesus said to them plainly, Lazarus is dead; and I rejoice on your account that I was not there, that you may believe. But let us go to him. Thomas, who is called the Twin, said therefore to his fellow-disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with Him. Jesus therefore came and found him already four days in the tomb. Now Bethany was close to Jerusalem, some fifteen stadia distant. And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to comfort them on account of their brother. When, therefore, Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him. But Mary remained at home. Martha therefore said to Jesus, Lord, if You had been here my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You shall ask of God, God will give it to You. Jesus said to her, Your brother shall rise. Martha said to Him, I know that he will rise at the resurrection, on the last day. Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me, even if he die, shall live; and whoever lives and believes in Me, shall never die. Do you believe this? She said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, Who have come into the world. And when she had said this, she went away and quietly called Mary her sister, saying, The Master is here and calls you. As soon as she heard this, she rose quickly and came to Him, for Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met Him. When, therefore, the Jews who were with her in the house and were comforting her, saw Mary rise up quickly and go out, they followed her, saying, She is going to the tomb to weep there. When, therefore, Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell at His feet, and said to him, Lord, if You had been her, my brother would not have died. When, therefore, Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her weeping, He groaned in spirit and was troubled, and said, Where have you laid him? They said to Him, Lord, come and see. And Jesus wept. The Jews therefore said, See how He loved him. But some of them said, Could not He Who opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that this man should not die? Jesus therefore, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave and a stone was laid against it. Jesus said, Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, Lord, by this time he is already decayed, for he is dead four days. Jesus said to her, Have I not told you that if you believe you shall behold the glory of God? They therefore removed the stone. And Jesus, raising His eyes, said, Father, I give You thanks that You have heard Me. Yet I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people who stand round, I spoke, that they may believe that You have sent Me. When He had said this, He cried out with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth! And at once he who had been dead came forth, bound feet and hands with bandages, and his face was tied up with a cloth. Jesus said to them, Unbind him, and let him go. Many therefore of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen what He did, believed in Him.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 17:28, 32.
Lowly people You save, O Lord, but haughty eyes You bring low; for who is God except You, O Lord?
May the gifts we offer, O Lord, cleanse us, we beseech You, that You may be always merciful to us. 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 Lent
It it 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: Holy, Holy, Holy,
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Jn 11:33, 35, 43-44, 39.
The Lord, seeing the sisters of Lazarus weeping at the tomb, wept before the Jews, and cried out: Lazarus, come forth”: and he who had been dead four days came forth, bound hands and feet.
May the reception of this sacrament, we beseech You, O Lord, always free us from sin and protect us from all that works against us. 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.
Prayer over the people
Let us pray.
Bow your heads to God.
Grant us, we beseech You, almighty God, that, conscious of our weakness, we may place our trust in Your strength, and rejoice forever in Your fatherly love. 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.