THE SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY

 

MASS

INTROIT

Adorate Deum omnes Angeli ejus: audivit et laetata est Sion: et exsultaverunt filiae Judae.
Ps. Domninus regnavit; exsultet terra, laetentur insulae multae. V. Gloria Patri. Adorate.
Adore God, all ye his Angels: Sion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Juda rejoiced.
Ps. The Lord hath reigned let the earth rejoice, let many islands be glad. V. Glory, &c. Adore.

COLLECT

Praesta quaesumus omnipotens Deus: ut semper rationabilia meditantes, quae tibi sunt placita, et dictis exsequamur et factis. Per Dominum. Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that being always intent upon what is reasonable and just, we may, both in word and deed, perform what is acceptable to thee. Through, the.

For the other Collects, see above: Fifth Sunday after Epiphany.

EPISTLE

Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli Apostoli ad Thessalonicenses.

I. Cap. i.
Fratres, gratias agimus Deo semper pro omnibus vobis, memoriam vestri facientes in orationibus nostris sine intermissione, memores operis fidei vestrae, et laboris, et charitatis, et sustinentiae spei Domini nostri Jesu Christi, ante Deum et Patrem nostrum: scientes, fratres dilecti a Deo, electionem vestram: quia Evangelium nostrum non fuit ad vos in sermone tantum, sed et in virtute, et in Spiritu Sancto, et in plenitudine multa, sicut scitis quales fuerimus in vobis propter vos. Et vos imitatores nostri facti estis et Domini, excipientes verbum in tribulatione multa, cum gaudio Spiritus Sancti: ita ut facti sitis forma omnibus credentibus in Macedonia, et in Achaia. A vobis enim diffamatus est sermo Domini, non solum in Macedonia, et in Achaia, sed et in omni loco fides vestra, quae est ad Deum, profecta est, ita ut non sit nobis necesse quidquam loqui. Ipsi enim de nobis annuntiant qualem introitum habuerimus ad vos: et quomodo conversi estis ad Deum a simulacris, servire Deo vivo, et vero, et exspectare Filium ejus de coelis (quem suscitavit ex mortuis) Jesum, qui eripuit nos ab ira ventura.

Lesson of the Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians.

I. Ch. i.
Brethren, we give thanks to God always for you all making a remembrance of you in our prayers without ceasing being mindful of you in the work of your faith, and labour, and charity, and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before God and our Father; knowing, brethren beloved of God, your election. For our Gospel hath not been to you in word only, but in power also, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much fulness, as you know what manner of men we have been among you for your sakes. And you became followers of us, and of the Lord, receiving the word in much tribulation, with joy of the Holy Ghost; so that you were made a pattern to all that believe, in Macedonia and in Achaia. For from you was spread abroad the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but also in every place your faith, which is towards God, is gone forth, so that we need not speak any thing. For they themselves relate of us, what manner of entering in we had unto you; and how you turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven (whom he raised up from the dead) Jesus, who hath delivered us from the wrath to come.

The praise which the Apostle here gives to the Thessalonians for their fervour in the faith, they had embraced, conveys a reproach to the Christians of our own times. These neophytes of Thessalonica, who, a short time before, were worshippers of idols, had become so earnest in the practice of the Christian religion, that even the Apostle is filled with admiration. We are the descendants of countless Christian ancestors; we received our regeneration by Baptism at our first coming into the world; we were taught the doctrine of Jesus Christ from our earliest childhood; and yet, our faith is not as strong, or our lives as holy, as were those of the early Christians. Their main occupation was the serving the living and true God, and the waiting for the coming of their Saviour; our Hope is precisely the same as that which made their hearts so fervent; how comes it that our Faith is not like theirs in its generosity? We love this present life, as though we had not the firm conviction that it is to pass away.

As far as depends upon us, we are handing down to future generations a Christianity very different from that which our Saviour established, which the Apostles preached, and which the pagans of the first ages thought they were bound to purchase at any price or sacrifice.

GRADUAL

Timebunt gentes Nomen tuum, Domine, et omnes reges terrae gloriam tuam.
V. Quoniam aedificavit Dominus Sion, et videbitur in majestate sua.

Alleluia, alleluia.
V. Dominus regnavit: exsultet terra, laetentur insulae multae.
Alleluia.

The Gentiles shall fear thy Name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.
V. For the Lord hath built up Sion, and he shall be seen in his glory.

Alleluia. alleluia.
V. The Lord hath reigned: let the earth rejoice: let many islands be glad.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum.

Cap. xiii.
In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus turbis parabolam hanc: Simile est regnum coelorum grano sinapis, quod accipiens homo seminavit in agro suo, quod minimum quidem est omnibus seminibus: cum autem creverit, majus est omnibus oleribus, et fit arbor, ita ut volucres coeli veniant, et habitent in ramis ejus. Aliam parabolam locutus est eis. Simile est regnum coelorum fermento, quod acceptum mulier abscondit in farinae satis tribus, donec fermentatum est totum. Haec omnia locutus est Jesus in parabolis ad turbas: et sine parabolis non loquebatur eis: ut impleretur quod dictum erat per Prophetam dicentem: Aperiam in parabolis os meum, eructabo abscondita a constitutione mundi.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.

Ch. xiii.
At that time: Jesus spoke to the multitude this parable: The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard-seed, which, a man took and sowed in his field. Which indeed is the least of all seeds; but when it is grown up, it is greater than all herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and dwell in the branches thereof. Another parable he spoke to them: The kingdom of heaven is like to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened. All these things Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes, and without parables he did not speak to them; that the word might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet, saying: I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.

Our Lord here teaches us, under the symbolism of two parables, what we are to believe concerning his Church, which is his Kingdom, - a Kingdom that rises indeed here on the earth, but is to be perfected in Heaven. What is this grain of mustard-seed, which is hid under ground, is unseen by man's eye, then appears as the least of herbs, but, finally, becomes a tree? It is the Word of God, at first hidden in Judea, trampled on by man's malice even so as to be buried in a tomb, but, at length, rising triumphantly and reaching rapidly to every part of the world. Scarcely had a hundred years elapsed since Jesus was put to death, and his Church was vigorous even far beyond the limits of the Roman Empire. During the past nineteen centuries, every possible effort has been made to up-root the Tree of God; persecution, diplomacy, human wisdom, - all have tried, and all have but wasted their time. True, - they succeeded, from time to time, in severing a branch; but another grew in its place, for the sap of the Tree is vigorous beyond measure. The birds that come and dwell upon it, are, as the Holy Fathers interpret it, the souls of men aspiring to the eternal goods of the better world. If we are worthy of our name of "Christians," we shall love this Tree, and find our rest and safety no where but beneath its shade. - The Woman, of whom the second parable speaks, is the Church, our Mother. It was she that, from the commencement of Christianity, took the teaching of her Divine Master, and hid it in the very heart of men, making it the leaven of their salvation. The three measures of meal which she leavened into bread, are the three great families of mankind, the three that came from the children of Noah, who are the three fathers of the whole human race. Let us love this Mother of ours; and let us bless that heavenly leaven, which made us become children of God, by making us children of the Church.

OFFERTORY

Dextera Domini fecit virtutem, dextera Domini exaltavit me: non moriar, sed vivam, et narrabo opera Domini. The right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength, the right hand of the Lord hath exalted me: I shall not die, but live, and shall declare the works of the Lord.

SECRET

Haec nos oblatio, Deus, mundet, quaesumus, et renovet, gubernet, et protegat. Per Dominum. May this oblation, O God, we beseech thee, cleanse, renew, govern, and protect us. Through. &c.

The other secrets are given  above.

COMMUNION

Mirabantur omnes de his, quae procedebant de ore Dei. All wondered at the words that came from the mouth of God.

POSTCOMMUNION

Coelestibus, Domine, pasti deliciis, quaesumus, ut semper eadem, per quae veraciter vivimus, appetamus. Per Dominum. Being fed,  Lord, with heavenly dainties, we beseech thee, that we may always hunger after them, for by them we have true life. Through, &c.

The other Postcommunions are given above.


VESPERS

The Psalms and Antiphons, as above.

CAPITULUM.

(II. Cor. i.)

Benedictus Deus et Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, Pater misericordiarum et Deus totius consolationis, qui consolatur nos in omni tribulatione nostra. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation, who comforteth us in all our tribulations.

The Hymn and Versicle, as above.

ANTIPHON OF THE MAGNIFICAT.

Simile est regnum coelorum fermento, quod acceptum mulier abscondit in farinae satis tribus, donec fermentatum est totum. The kingdom of heaven is like to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened.
Oremus.
Praesta, quaesumus omnipotens Deus: ut semper rationabilia meditantes, quae tibi sunt placita, et dictis exsequamur et factis. Per Dominum.
Let us pray.
Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that being always intent upon what is reasonable and just, we may, both in word and deed, perform what is acceptable to thee. Through, &c.