Carissimi; Today’s Mass: Holy Monday

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Monday in Passiontide II: Missa “Judica, Domine

Station at the Church of St. Praxedes. This is the church where the precious Pillar of Flagellation was brought from the Holy Land by the Crusaders along with three thorns from the Crown of Thorns. Under Pope Paschalis I many relics of numerous martyrs were brought to this church.

In the Epistle Isaias, typifying Jesus, prophesises His obedience and the indignities of His Passion. He likewise foretells His triumph, for He has placed His trust in God, Who will raise Him to life again. Finally he shows how the Jews were to be confounded. Then the Gentiles through Baptism, the public penitents by being reconciled and the faithful by their Easter Confession and Holy Communion will pass from darkness to the light of which Jesus is the fount.

The choice of the Gospel is not without connection with that of the Stational church for St. Praexedes and St. Pudentiana put their house at the disposal of Pope St. Pius I, like Mary and Martha received Jesus into theirs.  [Until Holy Thursday the Gloria Patri is omitted]

This morning, also, Jesus goes with His disciples to Jerusalem. He is fasting, for the Gospel, tells us that He was hungry. {St. Matt. xxi. 18} He approaches a fig-tree, which is by the way-side; but finds nothing on it, save leaves only. Jesus, wishing to give us an instruction, curses the fig-tree, which immediately withers away. He would hereby teach us what they are to expect, who have nothing but good desires, and never produce in themselves the fruit of a real conversion. Nor is the allusion to Jerusalem less evident. This city is zealous for the exterior of divine worship; but her heart is hard and obstinate, and she is plotting, at this very hour, the death of the Son of God.

The greater portion of the day is spent in the temple, where Jesus holds long conversations with the chief priests and ancients of the people. His language to them is stronger than ever, and triumphs over all their captious questions. It is principally in the Gospel of St. Matthew {St. Matt. xxi. 18} that we shall find these answers of our Redeemer, which so energetically accuse the Jews of their sin of rejecting the Messias, and so plainly foretell the punishment their sin is to bring after it.

At length Jesus leaves the temple and takes the road that leads to Bethania. Having come as far as Mount Olivet, which commands a view of Jerusalem, He sits down and rests awhile. The disciples take this opportunity of asking Him how soon the chastisements He has been speaking of in the temple will come upon the city. His answer comprises two events: the destruction of Jerusalem, and the final destruction of the world. He thus teaches them that the first is the figure of the second. The time when each is to happen, is to be when the measure of iniquity is filled up. But, with regard to the chastisement that is to befall Jerusalem, He gives this more definite answer: ‘Amen I say to you: this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.’ {St. Matt. xxiv. 34} He leaves Mount Olivet, returns to Bethania, and consoles the anxious heart of His most holy Mother…

[Comments on the Epistle] …The holy angels look on with amazement at the treatment shown by the Jews to Jesus, and falling down, they adore the holy Face, which they see thus bruised and defiled: let us, also, prostrate and ask pardon, for our sins have outraged that same Face.

But let us hearken to the last words of our Epistle: He that hath walked in darkness, and hath no light, let him hope in the name of the Lord and lean upon his God. Who is this but the Gentile, abandoned to sin and idolatry? He knows not what is happening at this very hour in Jerusalem; he knows not that the earth possesses its Saviour, and that this Saviour is being trampled beneath the feet of His own chosen people; but, in a very short time, the light of the Gospel will shine upon this poor Gentile; he will believe; he will obey; he will love his Redeemer, even to laying down his life for Him. Then will be fulfilled the prophecy of the unworthy pontiff, who prophesied against his will that the death of Jesus would bring salvation to the Gentiles, by gathering into one family the children of God, that hitherto had been dispersed. {St. John. xi. 52}

…Judas Iscariot, dares to protest against this waste (of the perfume Magdalene anoints Jesus with), as he calls it. His base avarice deprives him of feeling and respect for his divine Master. His opinion is shared in by several of the other disciples, for they are still carnal-minded. For several reasons Jesus permits Magdalene’s generosity to thus blamed. And firstly, He wishes to announce His approaching death, which is mystically expressed by the pouring of this ointment upon His body. Then, too, He would glorify Magdalene; and He therefore tells those who are present, that her tender and ardent love shall be rewarded, and that her name shall be celebrated in every country, wheresoever the Gospel shall be preached. {St. Matt. xxvi. 13} And lastly, He would console those whose generous love prompts them to be liberal in their gifts to His altars; for what He here says of Magdalene is, in reality, a defence for them, when they are accused of spending too much over the beauty of God’s house.

Let us prize each of these divine teachings. Let us love to honour Jesus, both in His own person, and in His poor. Let us honour Magdalene, and imitate her devotion to the Passion and death of our Lord. In fine, let us prepare our perfumes for our divine Master: there must be the myrrh of the Magi, which signifies penance, and the precious spikenard of Magdalene, which is the emblem of generous and compassionating love.

INTROIT Psalm 34: 1-2

Judge Thou, O Lord, them that wrong me: overthrow them that fight against me. Take hold of arms and shield: and rise up to help me. (ibid. 3) Bring out the sword, and shut up the way against them that persecute me: say to my soul: I am thy salvation. REPEAT: Judge Thou, O Lord…


Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who ail through infirmity in our many difficulties, may be relieved through the merits of the passion of Thine only-begotten Son. Who with Thee livest and reignest in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever…

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  Isaias 50: 5-10

The Lord God hath opened my ear, and I do not resist: I have not gone back. I have given my body to the strikers, and my cheeks to them that plucked them: I have not turned away my face from them that rebuked me, and spit upon me. The Lord God is my helper, therefore am I not confounded: therefore have I set my face as a most hard rock, and I know that I shall not be confounded. He is near that justifieth me, who will contend with me? let us stand together, who is my adversary? let him come near to me. Behold the Lord God is my helper: who is he that shall condemn me? Lo, they shall all be destroyed as a garment, the moth shall eat them up. Who is there among you that feareth the Lord, that heareth the voice of his servant, that hath walked in darkness, and hath no light? let him hope in the name of the Lord, and lean upon his God.

GRADUAL  Psalm 34: 24,3

Arise, and be attentive to my judgment: to my cause, my God, and my Lord. V. Bring out the sword, and shut up the way against them that persecute me: say to my soul: I am thy salvation.

Tractus Psalm 102: 10

He hath not dealt with us according to our sins: nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. (Psalm 78: 8, 9) Remember not our former iniquities: let thy mercies speedily prevent us, for we are become exceeding poor. (Here kneel) Help us, O God, 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 12: 1-9

Jesus therefore, six days before the pasch, came to Bethania, where Lazarus had been dead, whom Jesus raised to life. And they made Him a supper there: and Martha served. But Lazarus was one of them that were at table with him. Mary therefore took a pound of ointment of right spikenard, of great price, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray Him, said: “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence and given to the poor?” Now he said this not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief and, having the purse, carried the things that were put therein. Jesus therefore said: “Let her alone, that she may keep it against the day of My burial. For the poor you have always with you: but Me you have not always.” A great multitude therefore of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.


Grant, O almighty God, that being purified by the powerful virtue of these sacrifices, we may comes with greater purity to their divine source Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God…


Grant us, O merciful God, that we may ever have the grace to serve Your altars worthily, and may we be saved by constantly partaking of the sacrifice. 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:


Let them blush: and be ashamed together, who rejoice at my evils. Let them be clothed with confusion and shame, who speak great things against me.


May Thy holy mysteries, O Lord, inspire us with divine fervor, that we may both delight in their celebration and in their fruit. 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…


Help us, O God of our salvation, and grant that we may celebrate with joy the memory of those mercies whereby Thou hast graciously restored us to a new life. Through our Lord…

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