Carissimi: Today’s Mass; Ember Friday in Lent

ember friday in lent the-healing-of-the-paralytic-manEmber Friday in Lent: Missa “De necessitátibús meis eripe me, Dómine”

The church built by Pope Mark (337-40) is reckoned among the first erected in Rome. It is possible that the dedication to the Evangelist of Alexandria is of later date. Under the altar of the Basilica of the Holy Apostles dedicated by John III (560-73) are, preserved the relics of St. Philip and St. James. In the Middle Ages, many bodies of saints were brought hither from the Apronian Cemetery on the Via Latina, amongst them that of the martyr Eugenia, in whose honor the station of the Fourth Sunday in Advent was celebrated in this church.

The Liturgy insists on the necessity of a reformation of life; when baptism was administered to adults, it was expected that the sacrament should effect in the catechumen a complete change of heart. The Pool of Bethsaida, of which the Gospel (John 5, 1-15) speaks, symbolizes the baptismal font of the Catechumens, and is, to all the faithful, a figure of the adorable Heart of Jesus, through Whose wounded side they pass into an ocean of love and compassion.

The venerated Abbot Dom Prosper Gueranger shares his reflections which we excerpt below from The Liturgical Year (pages 175 and 176 of Volume 5) for Ember Friday in the First Week of Lent:

As Man, He has received power to forgive sins; and, before leaving this earth, He gives that same power to other men, and says to them: ‘Whose sins ye shall forgive, they are forgiven them.'(1)-{St. John xx. 23} Our penitents, then, are to be reconciled with God by virtue of this supernatural power; and the infirm man, who takes up his bed and walks, is a figure of the sinner, whose sins have been forgiven him by the Church, by the divine power of the keys. …Man is the minister of this race; but it is the Son of God, become the Son of Man, that works by the human minister.

INTROIT Psalm 24:17-18

Bring me out of distress, O Lord; put an end to my affliction and my suffering, and take away all my sins. Ps 24:1-2 To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. In You, O my God, I trust; let me not be put to shame. 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 Bring me out of distress, O Lord…


Let us pray.
Be merciful to Your people, O Lord, and as You give them the grace to serve You, make them new by Your loving 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 Ezech 18:20-28

Lesson from the Prophecy of Ezechiel: Thus says the Lord God: Only the one who sins shall die. The son shall not be charged with the guilt of his father, nor shall the father be charged with the guilt of his son. The virtuous man’s virtue shall be his own, as the wicked man’s wickedness shall be his. But if the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, if he keeps all My statutes and does what is right and just, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him; he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced. Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked? says the Lord God. Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way that he may live? And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil, the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does, can he do this and still live? None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered, because he has broken faith and committed sin; because of this, he shall die. You say, ‘The Lord’s way is not fair!’ Hear now, house of Israel: Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair? When a virtuous man turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die. But if a wicked man, turning from the wickedness he has committed, does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; since he has turned away from all the sins which he committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die, says the Lord almighty.
R. Thanks be to God.

Gradual Ps 85:2, 6.
Save Your servant, O my God, who trusts in You.
V. Hearken, O Lord, to my prayer.

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 V. 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 5:1-15

At that time, there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem, by the Sheepgate, a pool called in Hebrew Bethsaida, having five porticoes. In these were lying a great multitude of the sick, blind, lame, and those with shriveled limbs, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel of the Lord used to come down at certain times into the pool, and the water was troubled. And the first to go down into the pool after the troubling of the water was cured of whatever infirmity he had. Now a certain man was there who had been thirty-eight years under his infirmity. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been in this state a long time, He said to him, Do you want to get well? The sick man answered Him, Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred; for while I am coming, another steps down before me. Jesus said to him, Rise, take up your pallet and walk. And at once the man was cured. And he took up his pallet and began to walk. Now that day was a Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who had been healed, It is the Sabbath; you are not allowed to take up your pallet. He answered them, He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your pallet and walk.’ They asked him then, Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your pallet and walk’? But the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had quietly gone away, since there was a crowd in the place. Afterwards Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, Behold, you are cured. Sin no more, lest something worse befall you. The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus Who had healed him.
R. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.


Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; and your youth shall be renewed like the eagle’s.


Accept, we beseech You, O Lord, the offerings which we, Your servants, bring You, and graciously hallow the gifts which are Your. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.


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:


All my enemies shall be put to shame in utter terror; they shall fall back in sudden shame.


By the working of this sacrament, O Lord, may our sins be erased, and our just desires fulfilled. 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.
Graciously hear us, merciful God, and reveal to our minds the light of Your grace. 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.