Sunday XXI Post Pentecost; commemoration of St Hedwig, Duchess of Poland & Widow: Missa “In voluntáte Tua“
God is good towards us: let us be the same towards our brethren. If we pardon our brethren from the bottom of our hearts, Our Lord Jesus Christ will remit our debts (our sins).
The Apostle describes for the Christian the armour he must put on to enable him to withstand in those woeful times the powers of hell (Epistle). He gives him a girdle, a cuirass, a shield, a helmet and a sword, so that, strengthened in the Lord, Whose will nothing can resist (Introit), he may be protected against those who persecute him (Communion ).
Thus preserved from all adversity by the effect of the unceasing goodness of the Lord, the family of God, which is the Church, will be enabled to glorify His name by good works (Collect). Therefore the Gospel speaks to us of the charity towards our neighbour which is the abridgment of the whole morality of Christianity.
If God bas been good towards us, we must be the same towards our brethren, or how shall we escape the proceedings of the powerful creditor whose debtor the whole world is, and to whom all will have to render account. If we pardon our neighbour from the bottom of our hearts, the Master will remit our debts, otherwise He would deliver us to the executors of His justice until we have paid all we owe Him.
Let us ask God to deliver us in His goodness from the assaults of the devil and to help us to imitate the divine mercy by the practice of charity (Collect).
Saint Hedwig was the wife of Henry, Duke of Silesia and Poland, and the mother of six children. To one of her sisters, married to the King of Hungary, was born the future Saint Elizabeth of Hungary; another was the wife of Philip-Augustus of France, and the third, Abbess of a celebrated monastery at Lutzingen. Saint Hedwig led a humble, austere, and holy life amid all the pomp of her royal state. While still young, she and her spouse made a solemn vow of chastity, ratified by their bishop. Her house was a school of piety and good order; with Duke Henry she built the large monastery of Trebnitz, where she placed nuns of the Order of Citeaux.
Inspired by these holy examples, the Secretary of State of the Duke and Duchess left the court and dedicated all his wealth to the construction of a Cistercian monastery, which he then entered, to spend there the rest of his life.
Saint Hedwig attended to the needs of all the monasteries and the hermits of the region, visiting them herself and taking them clothing, food and all she judged necessary. She visited prisoners and saw that they did not suffer from the cold or from lack of light. She cared for the poor and served them herself in her residence. On Holy Thursday she washed the feet of several lepers, remembering the lessons of Our Saviour. She fasted often and walked barefoot in the snow when she prayed; she slept on the ground.
Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament was the keynote of her life. She considered it her very great privilege to supply the bread and wine for the Sacred Mysteries, and each morning would attend as many Masses as were celebrated. After the death of her husband in 1238, she retired to the Cistercian convent of Trebnitz, where she lived under obedience to her daughter Gertrude, abbess of that monastery, growing day by day in holiness, until God called her to Himself in the year 1243. She was canonized twenty-four years later, by Pope Clement IV. This Pontiff, during the ceremony of her canonization, asked God through her intercession to cure a girl who was blind, and the cure was immediately effected. Saint Hedwig is buried in the church of Trebnitz.
INTROIT Esther 13: 9, 10, 11
All things are in Thy will, O Lord and there is none that can resist Thy will: for Thou hast made all things, heaven and earth, and all things that are under the cope of heaven: Thou art Lord of all. (Ps. 118: 1) Blessed are the undefiled who walk in the way: who walk in the law of the Lord. V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
O Lord, we beseech Thee, to keep Thy household in continual godliness that,through Thy protection, it may be free from all adversities, and devotedly given to serve Thee in good works to the glory of Thy Name. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Commemoration of St Hedwig O God, Who taught blessed Hedwig to forsake worldly vanities that she might with her whole heart humbly follow Your cross, grant that, through her merits and example, we may learn to renounce the perishable delights of the world and, by embracing Your cross, overcome all things opposed to us.
Collect for the Intercession of the Saints Let us pray. Defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all dangers of mind and body: and through the intercession of the blessed and glorious Mary, ever Virgin, mother of God, of St Joseph, of Thy holy apostles, Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy loving-kindness grant us safety and peace; that, all adversities and errors being overcome, Thy Church may serve Thee in security and freedom.
Collect for God’s Holy Church Let us pray. Graciously hear, O Lord, the prayers of Thy Church that, having overcome all adversity and every error, she may serve Thee in security and freedom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R. Amen.
EPISTLE Ephesians 6: 10-17
Lesson from the letter of St Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians. Brethren, Be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of His power. Put you on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore take unto you the armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, in all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 89: 1-2
Thou hast been our refuge from generation to generation V. Before the mountains were made, or the earth and the world was formed from eternity and to eternity Thou art God. Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ps. 113: 1) When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a barbarous people. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 18: 23-35
At that time, Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable: “The kingdom of Heaven is likened to a king, who would take an account of his servants. And when he had begun to take the account, one was brought to him that owed him ten thousand talents: and as he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment be made. But that servant falling down, besought him saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And the lord of that servant, being moved with pity, let him go and forgave him the debt. But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow servants that owed him a hundred pence: and laying hold of him, he throttled him, saying: Pay what thou owest. And his fellow-servant falling down besought him, saying: have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not but went and cast him into prison till he paid the debt. Now his fellow servants, seeing what was done, were very much grieved and they came and told their lord all that was done. Then his lord called him and saith to him: Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me; shouldst not thou have had compassion also on thy fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee? And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers, until he paid all the debt. So also shall my Heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Job 1
There was a man in the land of Hus, whose name was Job, simple, and upright, and fearing God: whom Satan besought that he might tempt: and power was given him from the Lord over his possessions and his flesh; and he destroyed all his substance and his children; and wounded his flesh also with a grievous ulcer.
Mercifully receive, O Lord, these offerings, by which Thou art pleased to be appeased and in Thy powerful goodness to restore 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.
Commemoration of St Hedwig O Lord, may the offerings of Your devoted people be pleasing to You in honor of Your saints, through whose merits they know they have received help in time of trial.
Secret for the Intercession of the Saints Graciously hear us, O God our Saviour, and, by virtue of this Sacrament, defend us from all enemies of soul and body, bestowing upon us Thy grace here and Thy glory hereafter.
Secret for God’s Holy Church Protect us, O Lord, who assist at Thy mysteries, that, cleaving to things divine, we may serve Thee both in body and in mind. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R. Amen.
PREFACE of the Most 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, ever-lasting God: Who, together with Thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, are 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 118: 81, 84, 86
My soul is in Thy salvation, and in Thy word have I hoped: when wilt Thou execute judgment on them that persecute me? The wicked have persecuted me: help me, O Lord my God.
We who have received the Food of immortality, beseech Thee, O Lord: that what we have taken with our mouth, we may follow after with a pure mind. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
Commemoration of St Hedwig You have filled Your people, O Lord, with sacred gifts; ever comfort us, we beseech You, by the intercession of her whose festival we are celebrating.
Postcommunion for the Intercession of the Saints Let us pray. May the gift of this Divine Sacrament which we have offered, cleanse and defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord; and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God, of St. Joseph, of Thy holy apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, free us from all iniquity and deliver us from all adversity.
Postcommunion for God’s Holy Church Let us pray. O Lord our God, we pray Thee that Thou suffer not to succumb to human hazards those whom Thou hast been pleased to make sharers of divine mysteries. 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.