St. Peter, in the Acts of the Apostles (Epistle), says that the prophet had Judas in view when he declares “That his episcopate would pass into other hands.” It is the Lord Himself who showed the one He had chosen to be associated with the eleven apostles (Epistle).
It is to St. Matthias that He confided the secrets made known to Him in the bosom of His Father (Gospel). Wherefore this holy apostle shares the glory “of the princes whom God has established over souls”: (Offertory) and “He shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel” (Communion). Since their infidelity, indeed, “Their house has become deserted” (Epistle) and the kingdom of Heaven is transferred to the Gentiles who do penance. His name figures in the Canon of the Mass. Let us ask “God, Who has included blessed Matthias in the college of the apostles, to grant us through his intercession” (Collect) that we may “atone for our sins” (Secret), so as to obtain “peace and pardon” (Postcommunion).
Every parish priest celebrates Mass for the people of his parish today.
Sexagesima /sɛksəˈdʒɛsɨmə/, or, in full, Sexagesima Sunday, is the name for the second Sunday before Ash Wednesday in the Gregorian Rite liturgical calendar.
The name “Sexagesima” is derived from the Latin sexagesimus, meaning “sixtieth,” and appears to be a back-formation of Quinquagesima, the term formerly used to denote the last Sunday before Lent (the latter name alluding to the fact that there are fifty days between that Sunday and Easter, if one counts both days themselves in the total). Through the same process, the Sunday before Sexagesima Sunday was formerly known as Septuagesima Sunday, and marked the start of the Pre-Lenten Season which eventually became the time for carnival celebrations throughout Europe, this custom being later exported to places settled and/or colonized by Europeans. While Quinquagesima (50th day) is mathematically correct (allowing for the inclusive counting), Sexagesima and Septuagesima are only approximations (the exact number of days is 57 and 64 respectively). The earliest Sexagesima can occur is January 25 and the latest is February 28 (or February 29 in a leap year).
A major theme of the liturgy is the Word of God. We give thanks that we have heard the Word (Introit), which Saint Paul faithfully preached despite so many obstacles (Epistle). The Gospel is all about hearing the Word of God in a way that produces good fruit, and not in a way that wastes or kills the seed offered to us by God through His holy Word. In the Offertory, we ask God to hear our words of petition, but only after we have first heard His holy Word. The liturgy for Sexagesima Sunday is a call for man to prepare for Lenten repentance by becoming attuned to God’s Word.
INTROIT Psalm 138: 7
To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable : their principality is exceedingly strengthened. (Psalm 138: 1-2). Lord, Thou hast proved me, and known me; Thou hast known my sitting down and y rising up. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Repeat To me Thy friends…
O God, who didst associate blessed Matthias to the company of Thine apostles, grant, we beseech Thee, that by his intercession, we may ever experience Thy tender mercy towards 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.
O God, who seest that we put not our trust in anything that we do; mercifully grant that by the protection of the Doctor of the Gentiles we may be defended against all adversity. Through the same 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 Acts of the Apostles 1. 15-26
Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles. In those days, Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren said (now the number of persons together was about hundred and twenty) : Men and brethren, the Scripture must needs be fulfilled which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was the leader of them that apprehended Jesus; who was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. And he indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of iniquity; and, being hanged, burst asunder in the midst; and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the same field was called in their tongue Haceldama, that is to say, the field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms: Let their h habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein: and his bishopric let another take. Wherefore of these men, who have companied with us, all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day wherein He was taken up from us, one of there must be made a witness with us of His resurrection. And they appointed two; Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And praying they said: Thou Lord, who knows the hearts of all men, show whether of these two Thou hast chosen, to take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place. And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
GRADUAL Psalm 138: 17,18
Thy friends, O God, are exceedingly honorable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened. V. I will number them, and they shall be multiplied above the sand.
TRACT Psalm 20: 3, 4
Thou hast given him his soul’s desire, and hast not witholden from him the will of his lips. V. For Thou hast prevented him with blessings of sweetness. V. Thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones.
GOSPEL Matthew 11: 25-30
At that time, Jesus answered, and said: “I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. yea, Father: for so it hath seemed good in Thy sight. all things are delivered to Me by My Father; and no one knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither doth anyone know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you that labor, and are burdened; and I will refresh you. Take up My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, because I am meek, and humble of heart, and you shall find rest to your souls: for My yoke is sweet and My burden light.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 44: 17, 18
Thou shalt make them princes over all the earth : they shall remember Thy name, O Lord, in every progeny and generation.
May the prayer of Thy holy apostle Matthias, accompany the sacrifice which we offer to Thy name O Lord, and that through it we may be both purified and defended. 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.
May the sacrifice offered to Thee, O Lord, ever quicken and protect us. 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 Apostles
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou woulds not desert Thy flock. O everlasting Shepherd; but through Thy blessed Apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of The glory, evermore saying:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matthew 19: 28
You who have followed Me shall sit on seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that by these holy mysteries which we have received, through the intercession of Thy blessed apostle Matthias, we may obtain both pardon and peace. 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.
We humbly beseech Thee, almighty God to grant that they whom Thou refreshest with Thy sacraments may serve Thee worthily by a life well pleasing unto Thee. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
PROPER LAST GOSPEL St. Luke 8: 4-15
At that time, when a very great multitude was gathered together and hastened out of the cities unto Jesus, He spoke by a similitude: ‘The sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And other some fell upon a rock: and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And other some fell among thorns, and the thorns growing up with it choked it. And other some fell upon good ground: and being sprung up yielded fruit a hundredfold.’ Saying these things, He cried out:’He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.’ And His disciples asked Him what this parable might be. To whom He said: ‘To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God, but to the rest in parables : that seeing they may not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. And they by the wayside are they that hear: then the devil cometh and taketh the word out of their heart, lest believing they should be saved. Now they upon the rock are they who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no roots: for they believe for a while, and in time of temptation they fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they who have heard and, going their way, are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and yield no fruit. But that on the good ground are they who in a good and perfect heart, hearing the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit in patience.’