Sunday X Post Pentecost; Commemoration of St Martha, Virgin & St. Felix and Companion Holy Martyrs: Missa “Dum clamárem”
The Church gives us today a true notion of Christian humility. The liturgy reminds us that the humble soul is blessed to recognize its nothingness only on this condition Our sanctification is an impossible work if we undertake it alone, since our acts are only supernatural if they proceed from the Holy Ghost.
Left to ourselves, we are powerless and given to sin, it is to God that we owe its avoidance or its pardon, and that we are even able to pronounce the name of Jesus affirming His divinity (Epistle).
Wherefore, in the Gospel of the Pharisee and the Publican, the Master stigmatizes the pride which makes us put our trust in ourselves and always shows itself in our contempt for others. This pride is the enemy of God, for it attributes to itself the gifts which the Holy Ghost confers on each according to His pleasure (Epistle), and it therefore hinders His divine power from manifesting itself in us (Collect), since it makes us imagine that we need no help. The humble soul, on the contrary, is pleased to recognize its nothingness, knowing that it is only on this condition that the virtue of Christ will dwell in it.
Therefore, vying in zeal with the children of the world, the sons of light imitate the foresight of the steward who, by means of his father’s riches, prepared friends unto himself. Turning to profitable use what God has given to us, let us do good, and especially by almsgiving let us secure the testimony which the poor will bear their benefactors at the moment when all will have to give an account of their stewardship to the divine Judge.
About St Martha et al see below…
INTROIT Psalm 54: 17-18, 20, 23
When I cried to the Lord He heard my voice, from them that draw near to me: and He humbled them, who is before all ages, and remains for ever: cast thy care upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. (Ps. 54: 2) Hear, O God, my prayer, and despise not my supplication be attentive to me and hear me. v. Glory be…
O God who dost manifest Thine power almighty most chiefly in sparing and showing mercy: multiply upon us Thy mercy: that as we hasten towards Thy promises, Thou mayest make us partakers of the heavenly treasures. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
Commemoration of St Martha, Virgin
Graciously hear us, O God, our Saviour, that, as we rejoice in the festival of blessed Martha, Thy virgin, so we may be taught by the spirit of pious devotion.
Commemoration of St. Felix and Companion Holy Martyrs
Let us pray. Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that as Thy Christian people joyfully unite ín celebrating the temporal solemnity of Thy holy martyrs Felix, Simplicius, Faustinus, and Beatrice, so they may enjoy it in eternity, and may effectually attain to what they celebrate in desire. 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. R.Amen.
EPISTLE I Corinthians 12. 2-11
Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. Brethren, You know that, when you were heathens, you went to dumb idols, according as you were led, Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man, speaking by the Spirit of God, saith Anathema to Jesus and no man can say, The Lord Jesus, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of graces, but the same Spirit and there are diversities of ministries, but the same Lord and there are diversities of operations, but the same God, who worketh in all. And the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man unto profit. To one indeed, by the Spirit, is given the word of wisdom, and to another, the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; to another the grace of healing in one Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another, prophecy; to another the discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another, interpretation of speeches. But all these things one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing to every one according as He will.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 8: 2
Keep me, O Lord, as the apple of Thine eye: protect me under the shadow of Thy wings. V. Let my judgment come forth from Thy countenance: let Thine eyes behold the thing that is equitable. Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ps. 64: 2) A hymn, O God, becometh Thee in Sion: and a vow shall be paid to Thee in Jerusalem. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Luke 18: 9-14
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others. “Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one was a pharisee, and the other a publican, The pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself. O God, I give Thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers as also is this publican. I fast twice in the week I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican standing afar off would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven, but struck his breast saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner. I say to you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: because every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 24: 1-3
To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed: neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on Thee shall, be confounded.
Let the appointed Sacrifices be offered to Thee, O Lord: which Thou halt granted so to be offered to the honor of Thy Name, that they may themselves become healing remedies unto us. 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.
Commemoration of St Martha
May the offering of Thy consecrated people be accepted by Thee, O Lord, in honor of Thy saints, by whose merits it knoweth that it hath received aid in time of trouble.
Commemoration Secret of St. Felix and Companion Holy Martyrs
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that as Thy Christian people joyfully unite ín celebrating the temporal solemnity of Thy holy martyrs Felix, Simplicius, Faustinus, and Beatrice, so they may enjoy it in eternity, and may effectually attain to what they celebrate in desire. 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. R.Amen.
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 50: 51, 21
Thou wilt accept the sacrifice of justice, oblations and holocausts, upon Thine altar, O Lord.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, our God, that in Thy goodness Thou wilt not deprive of Thine aid those whom Thou dost not cease to renew with Thy divine Sacraments. 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.
Commemoration of St Martha
Thou hast filled Thy household, O Lord, with sacred gifts; ever comfort us, we beseech Thee, through her intercession whose festival we celebrate.
Commemoration Postcommunion of St. Felix and Companion Holy Martyrs
Let us pray. Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that the solemnity of Thy holy martyrs, Felix, Simplicius, Faustinus, and Beatrice, celebrated with the sacred mysteries, may acquire for us the grant of Thy forgiveness of our sins. 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. R.Amen.
Saint Martha, whose feast we celebrate today, is mentioned by name only in Luke 10:38-42; and John 11, 12, sqq. The Aramaic form occurs in a Nabatæan inscription found at Puteoli, and now in the Naples Museum; it is dated A.D. 5 (Corpus Inscr. Semit., 158); also in a Palmyrene inscription, where the Greek translation has the form Marthein, A.D. 179.
The likeness between the pictures of Martha presented by St. Luke and St. John is very remarkable. The familiar intercourse between our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the humble family which St. Luke depicts is dwelt on by St. John when he tells us that “Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus” (11:5). Again the picture of Martha’s anxiety (John 11:20-21, 39) accords with the picture of her who was “busy about much serving” (Luke 10:40); so also in John 12:2: “They made Him a supper there: and Martha served.” But St. John has given us a glimpse of the other and deeper side of her character when he depicts her growing faith in Christ’s Divinity (11:20-27), a faith which was the occasion of the words: “I am the resurrection and the life.” The Evangelist has beautifully indicated the change that came over Martha after that interview: “When she had said these things, she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying: The Master is come, and calleth for thee.”
Difficulties have been raised about the last supper at Bethania. St. John seems to put it six days before the Pasch, and, so some conclude, in the house of Martha; while the Synoptic account puts it two days before the Pasch, and in the house of Simon the Leper. We need not try to avoid this difficulty by asserting that there were two suppers; for St. John does not say that the supper took place six days before, but only that Christ arrived in Bethania six days before the Pasch; nor does he say that it was in the house of Martha. We are surely justified in arguing that, since St. Matthew and St. Mark place the scene in the house of Simon, St. John must be understood to say the same; it remains to be proved that Martha could not “serve” in Simon’s house.
While there is little information on St. Martha, it is believed she accompanied her sister St. Mary Magdalen and her brother St. Lazarus into Gaul, where she closed her holy life. Her sacred relics are venerated at Tarascon, in Provence. The ways by which God leads men’s souls are very varied; one way may be more perfect than another, but each soul must sanctify itself in its own fashion. Grace does not do violence to nature, but perfects it; thus, although St. John tells us that Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, each of the sisters always retains her own individual character in the Gospel narrative.
Mary feels more deeply, and, therefore, though she is habitually more recollected, yet she is also a woman of an eager and pleasing disposition, more courageous in her actions. While her sister mary is the contemplative, Martha is the active one much as religious orders are today. The virtues of Martha, the elder sister of Lazarus, on the other hand, are more commonplace and less exceptional. She is a good housekeeper, diligent, affectionate, and forbearing in undertaking the additional labor which Mary’s different nature puts upon her. In discharging her daily duties she looks at life chiefly from the practical side.
The Savior loves her much, because, though Mary is eager to receive spiritual food from Him, Martha, on the contrary, shows a mother’s tender care both for Him and for His disciples, who were always received as members of the family in her home at Bethany.
There is also a commemoration of Saints Felix II, Simplicius, Faustinus, and St. Beatrice, Martyrs. The martyr St. Felix II governed the Church during the exile of Pope St. Liberius, in the middle of the Fourth Century. The polemics with the Arians continued and these led to the election of the Felix as an antipope, but in total humility he repented afterwards and, for his martyrdom, was canonized.
Simplicius and Faustinus were drowned in the Tiber, probably in 303, when the great persecution under Diocletian was at its height. Beatrice, their sister, with the aid of the priest Priscus, recovered their bodies in order to give them burial; for which offence she was strangled in prison. In the Fourth Century a basilica was built at the side of the sepulchre of the two brothers and their sister.
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