Carissimi: Today’s Mass; Thursday Passiontide I

Thursday in the Fifth Week of Lent: Missa “Omnia, quae fecisti”

The Collecta for this day is at Sta. Maria “in Via Lata.” Under the high altar of Sta. Maria is preserved with all veneration the body of St. Agapitus, the famous martyr of Praeneste (Palestrina), together with some relics of St. Cyriacus, the martyr of the Via Ostiensis.

Today the Station is at the church of St. Apollinaris in Archipresbyteratu. On the feast of St. Apollinaris (July 23) the Lesson from the Epistle is read dealing with the Prince of Pastors, and with humility and faith, because the archbishops of Ravenna began to arrogate to themselves papal honors. The Church of St. Apollinaris was built by Pope Hadrian I in 780 in honor of the holy martyr who was a disciple of St. Peter and whom the First Pope appointed Bishop of Ravenna. He came to Rome with Peter, was martyred in Ravenna in A.D. 79; many churches and chapels were built in Rome in his honor during the period of the greatness of Ravenna.

Thus did Juda, when captive in Babylon, pour forth her prayers to God by the mouth of Azarias. Sion was desolate beyond measure; her people were in exile; her solemnities were hushed. Her children were to continue in a strange land for seventy years; after which God would be mindful of them, And lead them, by the hand of Cyrus, back to Jerusalem, when the building of the second temple would be begun, that temple which was to receive the Messiah within its Walls. What crime had Juda committed, that she should be thus severely punished? The daughter of Sion had fallen into idolatry; she had broken the sacred engagements which made her the bride of her God. Her crime, however, was expiated by these seventy years of captivity; and when she returned to the land of her fathers, she never relapsed into the worship of false gods.

When the Son of God came to dwell in her [Juda (Israel)], He found her innocent of idolatry. But scarcely had forty years elapsed after the Ascension of this divine Redeemer, than Juda was again an exile, not, indeed, led captive into Babylon, but dispersed in every nation under the sun, after having first seen the massacre of thousands of her children. This time it is not merely for seventy years, but for eighteen centuries, that she is without prince, or leader, or prophet, or holocaust, or sacrifice, or temple. Her new crime must be greater than idolatry; for, after all these long ages of suffering and humiliation, the justice of the Father is not appeased! It is, because the Blood that was shed by the Jewish people on Calvary was not the blood of man-it was the Blood of a God. The very sight of the chastisement inflicted on the murderers proclaims to the world that they were deicides. Their crime was an unparalleled one; its punishment is to be so too; it is to last till the end of time, when God, for the sake of Abraham His beloved, and Isaac His servant, and Jacob His holy one, will visit Juda with an extraordinary grace, and her conversion will console the Church, whose affliction is then to be great by reason of the apostasy of many of her children. This spectacle of a whole people, bearing on itself, the curse of God for having crucified the Son of God, should make a Christian tremble for himself. It teaches him that divine justice is terrible, and that the Father demands an account of the Blood of His Son, even to the last drop, from those that shed it. Let us lose no time, but go at once, and, in this precious Blood, cleanse ourselves from the share we have had in the sin of the Jews; and, throwing off the chains of iniquity, let us imitate those among them whom we see, from time to time, separating themselves from their people and returning to the Messiah: let us, also, be converts, and turn to that Jesus, whose hands are stretched out on the cross, ever ready to receive the humble penitent. (pages 151-153)

[For the Gospel] Magdalene had led a wicked life: as the Gospel tells us elsewhere,(1)-{St. Mark xvi. 9} seven devils had taken up their abode within her. But, no sooner has she seen and heard Jesus, than immediately she is filled with a horror for sin; divine love is enkindled within her heart; she has but one desire: to make amends for her past life. Her sins have been public; her conversion must be so too. She has lived in vanity and luxury; she is resolved to give all up. Her perfumes are all to be for her God, her Jesus; that hair of hers, of which she has been so proud, shall serve to wipe His sacred feet; her eyes shall henceforth spend themselves in shedding tears of contrite love. The grace of the Holy Ghost urges her to go to Jesus. He is in the house of a pharisee, who is giving an entertainment. To go to Him now would be exposing herself to observation. She cares not. Taking with her an ointment of great worth, she makes her way in to the feast, throws herself at Jesus’ feet, washes them with her tears, wipes them with the hair of her head, kisses them, anoints them with the ointment. Jesus Himself tells us with what interior sentiments she accompanies these outwards acts of respect: but even had He not spoken, her tears, her generosity, her position at His feet, tell us enough; she is heart-broken, she is grateful, she is humble: who but a pharisee could have mistaken her?

The pharisee, then is shocked! His heart has within it much of that Jewish pride which is soon to crucify the Messias. He looks disdainfully at Magdalene:; he is disappointed with his Guest, and murmurs out his conclusion: This man, if He were a Prophet would surely know who and what manner of woman this is! Poor pharisee! If he had the spirit of God within him, he would recognize Jesus to be the promised Savior, by this wonderful condescension shown to a penitent. With all his reputation as a pharisee, how contemptible he is compared with this woman! Jesus would give him a useful lesson, and draws the parallel between the two – Magdalene and the pharisee. He passes His Own divine judgment on them, and the preference is given to Magdalene. What is it that has thus transformed her, and made her deserve, not only the pardon, but the praise, of Jesus? Her love: She hath loved her Redeemer, she hath loved Him much; and, therefore, she was forgiven much. A few hours ago this Magdalene loved but the world and its pleasures; now, she cares for nothing, sees nothing, loves nothing, but Jesus; she is a convert. Henceforward, she keeps close to her divine Master; she is ambitious to supply His wants; but, above all, she longs to see and hear Him. When the hour of trial shall come, and His very apostles dare not be with Him, she will follow Him to Calvary, stand at the foot of the cross, and see Him die Who has made her live. What an argument for hope is here, even for the worst of sinners! He to whom most is forgiven, is often the most fervent in love. You, then, whose souls are burdened with sins, think of your sins and confess them; but, most of all, think how you may most love. Let your love be in proportion to your pardon, and doubt it not: Your sins shall be forgiven. 

Until Maundy Thursday, in masses of the season, the Psalm Judica me Psalm 42 is omitted as well as the Gloria Patri after the Introit and the Lavabo.

INTROIT Daniel 3: 31

Wherefore, all that Thou hast done to us, O Lord, Thou hast done in true judgment: because we have sinned against Thee, and have not obeyed Thy commandments: but give glory to Thy name, and deal with us according to the multitude of Thy mercy. (Ps. 118: 1) Blessed are the undefiled in the way: who walk in the law of the Lord. REPEAT: Wherefore, all that Thou…[Until Holy Thursday the Gloria Patri is omitted]

COLLECT

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God : that the dignity of human nature wounded by excess, may be reformed by the practice of salutary self-denial. Through our Lord…

Second Collect Against the persecutors of Holy Mother Church
We beseech Thee, O Lord, mercifully to receive the prayers of Thy Church : that, all adversity and error being destroyed, she may serve Thee in security and freedom. Through our Lord…

LESSON  Daniel 3: 25, 34-45

Lesson from the Prophet Daniel. Then Azarias standing up, prayed in this manner, and opening his mouth in the midst of the fire, he said: Deliver us not up for ever, we beseech Thee, for Thy name’s sake, and abolish not Thy covenant. And take not away Thy mercy from us, for the sake of Abraham, Thy beloved, and Isaac, Thy servant, and Israel, Thy holy one: To whom Thou hast spoken, promising that Thou wouldst multiply their seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is on the sea shore. For we, O Lord, are diminished more than any nation, and are brought low in all the earth this day for our sins. Neither is there at this time prince, or leader, or prophet, or holocaust, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, or place of first fruits before thee, That we may find thy mercy: nevertheless, in a contrite heart and humble spirit let us be accepted. 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. And now we follow thee with all our heart, and we fear Thee, and seek Thy face. Put us not to confusion, but deal with us according to Thy meekness, and according to the multitude of Thy mercies. And deliver us, according to Thy wonderful works, and give glory to Thy name, O Lord: And let all them be confounded that shew evils to Thy servants, let them be confounded in all Thy might, and let their strength be broken: And let them know that Thou art the Lord, the only God, and glorious over all the world.

GRADUAL  Psalm 95: 8-9

Bring to the Lord glory unto his name. Bring up sacrifices, and come into his courts: Adore ye the Lord in his holy court. Let all the earth be moved at his presence.

GOSPEL  St. Luke 7: 36-50

At that time one of the Pharisees desired Jesus to eat with him. And He went into the house of the Pharisee and sat down to meat. And behold a woman that was in the city, a sinner, when she knew that He sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment. And standing behind at His feet, she began to wash His feet with tears and wiped them with the hairs of her head and kissed His feet and anointed them with the ointment. And the Pharisee, who had invited Him, seeing it, spoke within Himself, saying: This man, if He were a prophet, would know surely who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth Him, that she is a sinner. And Jesus answering, said to him: “Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee.” But he said: “Master, say it.” “A certain creditor had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence and the other fifty. And whereas they had not wherewith to pay, he forgave them both. Which therefore of the two loveth him most?” Simon answering, said: “I suppose that he to whom he forgave most.” And He said to him: “Thou hast judged rightly.” And turning to the woman, He said unto Simon: “Dost thou see this woman? I entered into thy house: thou gavest Me no water for My feet. But she with tears hath washed My feet; and with her hairs hath wiped them. Thou gavest Me no kiss. But she, since she came in, hath not ceased to kiss My feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint. But she with ointment hath anointed My feet. Wherefore, I say to thee: Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much. But to whom less is forgiven, he loveth less.” And He said to her: “Thy sins are forgiven thee.” And they that sat at meat with Him began to say within themselves: Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And He said to the woman: “Thy faith hath made thee safe. Go in peace.”

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 136: 1

Upon the rivers of Babylon, there we sat and wept: when we remembered Sion.

SECRET

O Lord our God, who in these elements, which Thou has created for the support of our weakness, hast commanded gifts to be appointed and dedicated to Thy name : grant, we beseech Thee, that they may be made the support of our present life, and may become a sacrament for all eternity.Through our Lord…

Second Secret Against the persecutors of Holy Mother Church
Protect us, O Lord, who assist at Thy mysteries; that, fixed upon things divine we may serve Thee in both body and mind. Through our Lord…

PREFACE of the Holy Cross

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 didst establish the salvation of mankind on the tree of the Cross: that whence death came thence also life might arise again, and that he, Who overcame by the tree, by the tree also might be overcome: 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 be admitted while we say with lowly praise:

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Psalm 118: 49, 50

Be thou mindful of thy word to thy servant, in which thou hast given me hope. This hath comforted me in my humiliation: because thy word hath enlivened me.

POSTCOMMUNION

May we receive with a pure heart, O Lord, that which we have taken with our mouth, and may this temporal gift become for us an eternal remedy.  Through our Lord…

Second Postcommunion against the persecutors of Holy Mother Church
We beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that Thou wouldst not suffer to be exposed to human dangers those to whom Thou givest to rejoice in this divine banquet. Through our Lord…

PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE

Be merciful to Thy people, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that rejecting those things which displease Thee, thee may rather rejoice in keeping Thy commandments. Through our Lord…

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