Carissimi; Today’s Mass: Passion Wednesday

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Wednesday in the Fifth Week of Lent: Missa “Liberátor meus”

The Collecta for this day is at the church built by Pope Marcus, where the station was held on Monday after the third Sunday in Lent. Station was at St. Marcellus. The title of Marcellus stands on the Via Lata, on the site once occupied by the house of a matron named Lucina. Recent excavations have corroborated the data furnished by the, Acta of St. Marcellus, so that we may hold for a certainty that the church was erected during the pontificate of the martyr who was afterwards buried there.

The Lenten fast is now drawing to its close, wherefore we pray in the Collect that the abstinence which we have practiced, being sanctified by the mortification of all our evil passions, may serve to enlighten the hearts of the faithful. God himself has placed this desire in our hearts, so we trust that he will graciously accept it and will grant it abundant fruit.

This passage from Leviticus, wherein our duties to our neighbour are so clearly and so fully defined, is read to us today, in order that we may see how we fulfill these important duties, and correct whatever short-comings we may discover in ourselves. It is God who here speaks; it is God who commands. Observe that phrase: I am the Lord: he repeats it several times, to show us that if we injure our neighbor, He, God Himself, will become the avenger. How strange must this doctrine have seemed to the catechumens, who had been brought up in the selfish and heartless principles of paganism! Here they are told that all men are brethren, and that God is the common Father of all, commanding all to love one another with sincere charity, and without distinction of nation or class. Let us Christians resolve to fulfill this precept to the letter: these are days for good resolutions. Let us remember that the commandments we have been reading were given to the Israelite people, many ages before the preaching of the law of love. If, then, God exacted from the Jew a cordial love of his fellow-men, when the divine law was written on mere tablets of stone; what will He not require from the Christian, who can now read that law in the Heart of the Man-God, who has come down from Heaven and made Himself our Brother, in order that we might find it easier and sweeter to fulfill the precept of charity? Human nature united in His Person to the divine, is henceforth sacred; it has become an object of the heavenly Father’s love. It is out of fraternal love for this our nature that Jesus suffered death, teaching us, by His own example, to have such love for our brethren, that, if necessary, we ought to lay down our lives for them (1)-{St. John iii. 16} It is the beloved disciple that teaches us this, and he had it from his divine Master. (page 143-144)

    [For the Gospel] After the feast of tabernacles came that of the Dedication, and Jesus remained in Jerusalem. The hatred of His enemies bore Him is greater than ever. They come round about Him, that they may make Him say He is the Christ, and then accuse Him of claiming a mission which does not belong to Him. Jesus designs not to reply to their question, but tells them that they have seen His works, and that these give ample testimony of His being Christ, the Son of God. It is by faith, and by faith alone that man can know his God. God manifests Himself by His divine works: man sees them, and is bound to believe the truth to which they bear testimony. By thus believing, he has both the certitude of what he believes, and the merit of believing. The proud Jew rebels against this: he would fain dictate to God how He should act, and sees not that such a pretension is impious and absurd.

    But, if Jesus openly declare the truth, He will scandalize these evil-minded men! Be it so; the truth must be preached. Our Lord has others to consult besides them; there are the well-intentioned, who will believe what He teaches. He, therefore, utters these sublime words, whereby He declares, not only that He is Christ, but that He is God: “I and the Father are one.” He knew that this would enrage His enemies; but He had to make Himself known to the world, and to arm the Church against the false doctrines of heretics, who would rise up in future ages. One of these to be Arius, who will teach that Jesus is not God, but only the most perfect of creatures: the Church will answer, that Jesus is one with the Father, consubstantial with the Father: and then, after causing much trouble and sin, Arianism will die out and be forgotten. The Jews mentioned in today’s Gospel are the forerunners of Arius; they understand what our Lord says He is God, and they seek to stone Him. Jesus gives them a fresh grace; He shows them why they should receive what He here teaches; He reminds them, by the Scriptures they know off by heart, that the name god has sometimes been applied, in a limited sense, to men who had certain high offices put upon them by Heaven; and then, He bids them think of all the miracles they have seen Him work, which so plainly testify to His being assisted by His Father, and once more declares Himself to be God, saying: The Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” But men hardened in obstinacy, as these are, cannot be convinced: and the sin they have committed against the Holy Ghost is working its effects. How different is it with the sheep of this divine Shepherd! They hear His voice; they follow Him; He gives them eternal life, no man shall pluck them out of His hand. Happysheep indeed! They believe, because they love; and as it is through the heart that truth gains ascendancy over them, so is it by pride of intellect that darkness gains admission into the soul of the unbeliever, and lasts as long as pride lasts. Alas! Poor unbeliever! He loves his darkness; he calls it light; he blasphemes when he thinks he reasons, just as these Jews crucified the Son of God, that, as they said, they might give glory to God.

Until Maunday Thursday, in masses of the season, the Psalm Judica me Psalm 42 is omitted as well as the Gloria Patri after the Introit and the Lavabo.

The Daily Mass: Wednesday in Passiontide

INTROIT Daniel 3: 31

My deliverer from the angry nations: Thou wilt lift me up above them that rise up against me: from the unjust man Thou wilt deliver me, O Lord,(Ps. 17: 2, 3) I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength: the Lord is my firmament, and my refuge, and my deliverer. My deliverer from the angry nations: Thou wilt lift me up above them that rise up against me: from the un­just man Thou wilt deliver me, O Lord. REPEAT: My deliverer… [Until Holy Thursday the Gloria Patri is omitted]


May our fasts be acceptable to Thee, O Lord; may they atone for our sins and render us worthy of Thy grace; and may they lead us to eternal remedies. Through our Lord…

Second Collect Against the persecutors of Holy Mother Church

We beseech Thee, O Lord, mercifully to receive the prayers of Thy Church : that, all adversity and error being destroyed, she may serve Thee in security and freedom. Through our Lord…

LESSON  Leviticus 19: 1, 2; 11-19, 25

Lesson from the Book of Leviticus. In those days, the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to all the multitude of the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them, I am the Lord your God, You shall not steal. You shall not lie: neither shall any man deceive his neighbour. Thou shalt not swear falsely by My name, nor pro­fane the name of Thy God: I am the Lord. Thou shalt not calumniate thy neighbour, nor oppress him by violence. The wages of him that has been hired by thee shall not abide with thee until the morning Thou shalt not speak evil of the deaf, nor put a stumbling ­block before the blind; but thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, because I am the Lord. Thou shalt not do that which is unjust, nor judge unjustly. Respect not the person of the poor, nor honour the counte­nance of the mighty; but judge thy neighbour according to jus­tice. Thou shalt not be a detractor, nor a whisperer among the people: Thou shalt not stand against the blood of thy neighbour. I am the Lord. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart; but reprove him openly, lest thou incur sin through him. Seek not re­venge, nor be mindful of the injury of thy citizens. Thou shalt love thy friend as thyself. I am the Lord. Keep ye My laws: for I am the Lord your God.

GRADUAL  Psalm 29: 2, 3, 4

I will extol Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast upheld me and hast not made my enemies to rejoice over me. V. O Lord, my God, I have cried to Thee, and Thou hast healed me: Thou hast brought forth, O Lord, my soul from hell; Thou hast saved me from them that go down into the pit.

TRACT Psalm 102: 10

O Lord, repay us not according to the sins we have com­mitted, nor according to our iniquities. V. (Ps. 78: 8-9) O Lord, remember not our former iniquities: let Thy mercies speedily prevent us, for we are become exceeding poor. V. (Here all kneel down) Help Us, O Lord our Saviour: and for the glory of Thy name, O Lord, deliver us: and forgive us our sins for Thy name’s sake.

GOSPEL St. John 10: 22-38

At that time, it was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. The Jews therefore came round about Him, and said to Him, How long dost Thou hold our souls in suspense? If Thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, “I speak to you, and you believe not: the works that I do in the name of My Father they give testimony of Me; but you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them life ever­lasting, and they shall not perish forever, and no man shall pluck them out of My hand. That which My Father hath given Me is greater than all, and no one can snatch them out of the hand of My Father. I and the Father are one.” The Jews then took up stones to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have showed you from My Father; for which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him. For a good work we stone Thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God. Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, I said, You are gods? If He called them gods to whom the word of God was spoken, and the Scripture can not be broken, do you say of Him, Whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not: but if I do, though you will not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”


Deliver me from my enemies, O my God, and defend me from them that rise up against me, O Lord.


Make it Thy will, O merciful God, that in earnest tribute we may bring the offerings of reparation and praise.  Through our Lord…

Second Secret Against the persecutors of Holy Mother Church

Protect us, O Lord, who assist at Thy mysteries; that, fixed upon things divine we may serve Thee in both body and mind. Through our Lord…

PREFACE of the Holy Cross

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 didst establish the salvation of mankind on the tree of the Cross: that whence death came thence also life might arise again, and that he, Who overcame by the tree, by the tree also might be overcome: 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 be admitted while we say with lowly praise:

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Psalm 118: 49, 50

I will wash my hands among the innocent, and will compass Thy altar, O Lord: that I may hear the voice of Thy praise, and tell of all Thy wondrous works.


Having received the bless­ing of the heavenly gift, we, Thy suppliants, implore Thee, O God, that the same may be the cause both of the sacrament and of our salvation.  Through our Lord…

Second Postcommunion against the persecutors of Holy Mother Church

We beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that Thou wouldst not suffer to be exposed to human dangers those to whom Thou givest to rejoice in this divine banquet. Through our Lord…


Give ear unto our supplications, O almighty God, and benignly grant the effect of Thy accustomed mercy to those whom Thou hast allowed to be confident in the hope of Thy good will.  Through our Lord…

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