S. Timothy, Bishop and Martyr; Commemoration of the Third Sunday Post Epiphany: Missa “Statuit ei Dominus”
Saint Timothy was a convert of Saint Paul, born at Lystra in Asia Minor. His mother was a daughter of Israel, but his father was a pagan, and though Timothy had read the Scriptures from his childhood, he had never been circumcised. On the arrival of Saint Paul at Lystra the youthful Timothy, with his mother and grandmother, eagerly embraced the faith. Seven years later, when the Apostle again visited the country, the boy had grown into manhood. His good heart, his austerities and zeal had won the esteem of all around him, and holy men were prophesying great things of the fervent youth. Saint Paul at once saw his fitness for the work of an evangelist, and Timothy was ordained a priest. From that time on he was the constant and much-beloved fellow-worker of the Apostle.
In company with Saint Paul he visited the cities of Asia Minor and Greece, once hastening on ahead as a trusted messenger, at another time lingering behind to confirm in the faith a recently founded church. Eventually he was made the first Bishop of Ephesus; and there he received the two epistles of his master which bear his name, the first written from Macedonia and the second from Rome, where Saint Paul from his prison expresses his longing desire to see his “dearly beloved son,” once more, if possible, before his death. It is not certain whether Saint Timothy arrived in Rome in time, but devotion to Saint Timothy has always been strong in Rome, which seems to argue for his presence at the martyrdom of his spiritual father.
Saint Timothy was of a tender and affectionate disposition, and certainly found his role in the idolatrous city of Ephesus difficult to sustain. Saint Paul, when he writes to Timothy, then a tested servant of God and a bishop advancing in years, addresses him as he would his own child, and seems most anxious about his forcefulness in his demanding role. His disciple’s health was fragile, and Saint Paul counsels him to “take a little wine for his digestion.” Saint Timothy is the “Angel of the Church of Ephesus” of the Apocalypse, its bishop whom Our Lord, too, exhorted to remember his original faith and piety.
Not many years after the death of Saint Paul, Timothy, who had surely profited from these counsels, won a martyr’s crown at Ephesus, when on a feast day of the goddess Diana, whose temple stood in that city, he entered into the ungovernable crowd to calm it, exhorting these souls, deprived of the light of truth, to renounce vain worship and embrace Christianity. Wild with idolatrous passion, a pagan struck down the bishop of the Christians, thus freeing him to join his beloved spiritual father in the realm of the Blessed.
INTROIT Ecclesiasticus 45: 30
The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince: that the dignity of priesthood should be to him for ever. (Ps. 131: 1) O Lord, remember David: and all his meekness. 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, The Lord made to him a covenant of peace…
Mercifully hear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the prayers of Thy people; that we who rejoice in the martrydom of blessed Timothy, Thy martyr and bishop, may be helped by his merits. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R. Amen
Commemoratio Dominica III Post Epiphaniam
Almighty and everlasting God, look with favour upon our weakness, and stretch forth the right hand of Your majesty to help and defend 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.
EPISTLE 1 Timothy 6: 11-16
Dearly Beloved, Follow after justice, godliness, faith, charity, patience, mildness. Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called, and hast confessed a good confession before many witnesses. I charge thee before God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate, a good confession: that unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: which, in His times, He shall show who is the Blessed and only Might, the King of kings, and Lord of lords: Who alone hath immortality, and inhabiteth light inaccessible: whom to man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honor and empire everlasting. Amen.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 88:21-23
The man I have found is my servant David, on him my consecrating oil has been poured my hand shall strengthen him, my arm shall give him courage. V. No enemy shall have his way with him, no emissary of wickedness shall have power to injure him. Alleluia, allelluia. v. Ps 109:4 Thou art a priest forever in the line of Melchisedech. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Luke 14:26-33.
At that time, Jesus said to the crowds, If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. And he who does not carry his cross and follow Me, cannot be My disciple. For which of you, wishing to build a tower, does not sit down first and calculate the outlays that are necessary, whether he has the means to complete it? Lest, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish, all who behold begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish!’ Or what king setting out to engage in battle with another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to meet him who with twenty thousand is coming against him? Or else, whilst the other is yet at a distance, he sends a delegation and asks the terms of peace. So, therefore, every one of you who does not renounce all that he possesses, cannot be My disciple.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Jeremias 1: 9-10
Behold I have given My words in thy mouth: low, I have set thee over the nations, and over kingdoms, to root up, and to pull down, and to build, and to plant.
Graciously receive the offerings made to Thee, O Lord, we beseech Thee; and through the merits of blessed Timothy, Thy martyr and bishop, grant that they may become a help to our salvation. 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.
Commemoratio Dominica III Post Epiphaniam
May this offering, O Lord, we beseech You, wipe away our transgressions, and make holy the minds and bodies of Your servants for celebrating this sacrifice. 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 the Holy 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 Matthew 25: 20, 21
O Lord, Thou gavest me five talents, and behold I have gained five more. Well done, thou good and faithful servant; because thou hast been faithful over a few things I will place thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of the Lord.
Thou hast fed Thy household, O Lord, with these sacred gifts: do Thou ever comfort us, we beseech Thee, by the intercession of her whose festival we celebrate. 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.
Commemoratio Dominica III Post Epiphaniam
O Lord, as You grant us to use this great sacrament, deign, we beseech You, to make us truly worthy of its fruits. 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.
PROPER LAST GOSPEL Matt 8:1-13
At that time, when Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed Him. And behold, a leper came up and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if You will, You can make me clean. And stretching forth His hand Jesus touched him, saying, I will; be made clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a witness to them. Now when He had entered Capharnaum, there came to Him a centurion who entreated Him, saying, Lord, my servant is lying sick in the house, paralyzed, and is grievously afflicted. Jesus said to him, I will come and cure him. But in answer the centurion said, Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, and have soldiers subject to me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it. And when Jesus heard this, He marvelled, and said to those who were following Him, Amen I say to you, I have not found such great faith in Israel. And I tell you that many will come from the east and from the west and will feast with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, but the children of the kingdom will be put forth into the darkness outside; there will be the weeping, and the gnashing of teeth. Then Jesus said to the centurion, Go your way; as you have believed, so be it done to you. And the servant was healed in that hour.
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