St Augustine, Bishop of Hippo & Doctor of the Church; Com. of St Hermes & Sunday XII Post Pentecost: Missa “In medio Ecclesiae“
It was the combined efforts of two saints who had the greatest effects on the life of one of the great Doctors of the Church Saint Augustine of Hippo. Augustine’s mother Saint Monica played a major behind the scenes role in his conversion, while Saint Ambrose was on the front line with Augustine, who had become a great skeptic, teaching, influencing and converting him.
Augustine was born in Tagaste in what is today Algeria on November 13, 354. By the time he was 30 he was preaching rhetoric, interspersed with Manichean heresy, at the university of Milan. It was there he met St. Ambrose and sat in on his lectures where he was enthralled with Ambrose’s explanation of Sacred Scripture. In 356 Augustine heard a voice while he was embroiled in abandoned tears of helplessness searching for answers. The child-like voice chanted, “Take and read.” Without thinking Augustine opened the Bible to the words of Saint Paul in Romans 13:13-14 which said, “Let us walk becomingly as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in debauchery and wantonness, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and as for the flesh, take no thought for its lusts.” He was so moved that he asked Ambrose if he could be baptized and then immediately told his mother Monica that he wanted to be baptized. Both she and Ambrose were delighted beyond belief. Monica firmly insisted that in order to be in full union with the Church he had to abandon his Manichean beliefs and forsake living with his girl friend and their three children illegitimately conceived. Augustine agreed, was baptized and then buried his mother the same year. Shortly after Monica’s death he returned to Africa and was ordained a priest at the age of 36.
During this time he dedicated full time to righting and writing the wrongs he had wrought to so many through his Manichean ideas. At the young age of 41 Augustine was consecrated the Bishop of Hippo where he preached and served the people for the rest of his life, defending the Church against all types of heresies. Even though a bishop, he still lived in community with fellow priests and wrote constantly beginning with his major works Confessions which was basically a catechism for all catechumens along with his great work Christian Doctrine.
In 410, as the Goth Alaric was laying siege to Rome Augustine wrote his most famous opus – City of God. His great words, “Too late have I loved You, O Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! Our hearts were made for You, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in You” show how God became the end-all and be-all in his life which ended at the age of 76 on August 28, 430 as the Vandals were storming the gates of Hippo. To preserve his body from the Vandals, the Augustinians stole him away to Sardinia where he was laid to rest, and later transferred to Pavia. Though Augustine’s works were appreciated during his lifetime, it wasn’t until after his death that his words really took root and was celebrated as a Doctor of the Church from the eighth century on, becoming official in the eleventh century. Today St. Augustine is revered as one of the greatest and learned scholars of the Church. His conversion proves the power of God’s love and the power of the Word of God.
This is also the feast of St. Hermes, who was a prefect of Rome. He suffered under Emperor Hadrian, about 132 during the pontificate of Pope St. Telesphorus.
Sunday XXII Post Pentecost: Missa “Si iniquitátes”
Let us remember today that we must render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, i.e., observe the law of Justice, and render to God the things that are God’s, i.e., the soul made in the image of its Creator must render to Him the tribute of adoration and obedience.
On this Sunday, one of the last of the ecclesiastical year, the Church is full of thought “of the day of Christ” (Epistle) or of the approaching end of the world. “If the Lord considers our iniquities, who will stand before Him ?” (Introit). Wherefore the liturgy speaks to us of divine mercy (Introit, Secret). But, to obtain it we must be full of mercy ourselves. “It is good and pleasant indeed for brothers to be united” (Gradual). In the hour of danger, let us use the prayers of the Church which have an eminently social and fraternal character, and which will by heard by God, the author of all charity (Collect) as King Assuerus heard the prayers of Queen Esther (Offertory).
Remembering in these days that the love of God and of our neighbor gives to the mind a greater understanding of divine things, “let then our charity increase more and more in light and in intelligence” that we may resist the more terrible assaults of the enemy.
The Gospel recalls to us a scene which took place on one of the last days of Jesus’ life when He confounded, by a reply full of wisdom from above, His enemies who more than ever were compassing His ruin. The Jews, subject to the Romans, had to pay tribute to Caesar, an obligation all the more odious to them that it went counter to the spirit of universal domination promised to Israel as they imagined. What would the Master reply to the question of the Pharisees? He would excite the Jewish people against Him if He told them to pay tribute or the Roman authorities and the Herodians, if He told them not to do so. The enemies of Jesus already thought they had sufficient cause to have Him arrested.
The Savior ingeniously avoids the trap. “Whose image and superscription is this?” “Caesar’s,” they reply. The law required that to pay the tribute they should first change the national coin into coin bearing the effigy of the Roman Emperor. Jesus convicts them of having themselves answered the question by this very change. If you have procured coins with the effigy of Caesar, you must have had the intention of paying the tribute. “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” And the Master completes His lesson by saying “and render to God, the things that are God’s” for the human soul, made to the image of its Creator, owes Him the tribute of its adoration and obedience.
INTROIT Ecclesiasticus 15: 5
In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth: and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory.. (Ps. 91: 2) It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy Name, O Most High. v. Glory be…etc
Give ear to our prayers, O almighty God, and, by the intercession of blessed Augustine, Thy confessor and bishop, graciously grant the effect of Thine accustomed mercy to those in whom Thou dost encourage a strong trust in the kindness which is their hope. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
Commemoratio Dominica XII Post Pentecosten V. Augusti
Almighty and merciful God, by Whose grace Your faithful people serve You worthily and righteously, grant, we beseech You, that we may hasten without stumbling to those things You have promised us.
Commemoration of St. Hermes
God, Who didst strengthen blessed Hermes, Thy martyr, with the virtue of constancy in his suffering, grant us, in imitation of him, to despise the prosperity of the world for love of Thee, and not to fear worldly adversity. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
EPISTLE 2 Timothy 4: 1-8
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to Timothy. Dearly beloved, I charge thee before God and Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the living and the dead, by His coming, and His Kingdom. Preach the word: be instant in season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience, and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but according to their own desires they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labor in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober. For I am even now ready to be sacrificed; and the time of my dissolution is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the Faith. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just Judge, will render to me in that day; and not only to me, but to them also that love His coming.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 36: 30-31
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom and his tongue shall speak judgment. V. The law of his God is in his heart: and his steps shall not be supplanted. Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ps. 88: 21) I have found David my servant: with my holy oil I have anointed him. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 5: 13-19
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: “You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt lose its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden by men. You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain can not be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house; so let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in Heaven. Do not think that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For, amen I say unto you, till Heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall not pass of the law till all be fulfilled. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven: but he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 92: 15
The just shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall be multiplied like the cedar that is in Libanus.
May the loving prayers of Augustine, Thy bishop, not be wanting to us, O Lord, to commend our gifts and ever to obtain pardon for us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.
Commemoratio Dominica XII Post Pentecosten V. Augusti
O Lord, we beseech You, graciously look upon the offerings which we lay upon Your sacred altar; so that they may bring us plentiful forgiveness while they give honor to Your name.
Commemoration Secret for St. Hermes
We offer Thee, O Lord, the sacrifice of praise in commemoration of Thy saints; grant, we beseech Thee, that what hath conferred glory on them may profit us unto salvation. 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.
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: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Luke 12: 42
A faithful and wise steward, whom the Lord set over His family; to give them their measure of wheat in due season.
That Thy sacrifices may give us health, O Lord, may blessed Augustine, Thy bishop and illustrious doctor, we beseech Thee, act as our intercessor. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever.
Commemoratio Dominica XII Post Pentecosten V. Augusti
May the holy reception of this sacrament, we beseech You, O Lord, restore us to life, and bestow upon us forgiveness and protection.
Commemoration Postcommunion for St. Hermes
Filled with heavenly blessings, O Lord, we beseech Thy mercy that, by the intercession of blessed Hermes, Thy martyr, we may feel the salutary effects of that which we humbly perform. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever.
PROPER LAST GOSPEL Luke 10:23-37
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I say to you, many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and they have not seen it; and to hear what you hear, and they have not heard it. And behold, a certain lawyer got up to test Him, saying, Master, what must I do to gain eternal life? But He said to him, What is written in the Law? How do you read? He answered and said, You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, and with your whole soul, and with your whole strength, and with your whole mind; and your neighbor as yourself. And He said to him, You have answered rightly; do this and you shall live. But he, wishing to justify himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor? Jesus answered and said, A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell in with robbers, who after both stripping him and beating him went their way, leaving him half-dead. But, as it happened, a certain priest was going down the same way; and when he saw him, he passed by. And likewise a Levite also, when he was near the place and saw him, passed by. But a certain Samaritan as he journeyed came upon him, and seeing him, was moved with compassion. And he went up to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. And setting him on his own beast, he brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I, on my way back, will repay you.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, proved himself neighbor to him who fell among the robbers? And he said, He who took pity on him. And Jesus said to him, Go and do also in like manner.
R. Thanks be to God.