Saturday in the Fifth Week of Lent: Missa “Miserere mei”
The Station on this eve of Palm Sunday is of a comparatively late origin: the Pope spent a part of the day distributing alms to the poor, and rested in preparation to the tiresome functions of the following days. When later on a Mass was appointed for that day the parts to be sung by the choir were borrowed from the Mass of yesterday.
A Stational Church was chosen St John’s before the Latin Gate. Near the place where the Appian Way branches off, forming to the left the Latin Way, it was built on the spot where St John was, by order of Domitian, plunged into a cauldron of boiling oil. St John who with Mary shared the privilege of standing near the Cross, also joined his sacrifice to that of Christ when he gladly accepted martyrdom in the boiling oil.
The Mass sums up all the great mysteries which are about to fill Holy Week.
The Gospel shows us Jesus “the King of Israel” acclaimed by the Jews and some days later “raised from the earth” and crucified. In the few gentiles who expressed to Phillip their desire to see Christ let us forsee the many recruits that the Church is to make among the heathen nations.
Jesus is going to die like the grain of wheat, that He may produce much fruit. For the moment “His soul is troubled”, as it will be in the Garden of Gethsemane. But “it is for that He has come”, “to glorify His Father”. And as a voice from heaven tells us, this glorigication will be complete, for “the prince of this world shall be cast out” and the Saviour raised upon a cross and reaching to heaven “will draw all things to Him”.
The Saviour reveals to us His whole heart, which wishes, at the price of such cruel sufferings, to ruin our enemy and secure our salvation.
Finally, Jesus speaks of those who refuse to follow Him and who walk in darkness not knowing where they go, and by the mouth of Jeremias He anathematises “those who plot against the just. Their children will be delivered up to famine and their husbands put to death, for an unforseen enemy will fall upon them and exterminate them” (Epistle). This prophecy was fulfilled. During the siege of Jerusalem the Jews who had not died of famine perished by the sword.
To avoid the effects of divine Justice, let us die to sin and we shall produce much fruit unto eternal life.
Until Maundy 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.
INTROIT Psalm 30: 10, 16, 18
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am afflicted: my eye is troubled with wrath, my soul, and my belly: My lots are in thy hands. Deliver me out of the hands of my enemies; and from them that persecute me. Let me not be confounded, O Lord, for I have called upon thee. V. (Psalm 30: 2) In thee, O Lord, have I hoped, let me never be confounded: deliver me in thy justice. Let the wicked be ashamed, and be brought down to hell. REPEAT: Have mercy on me…… [Until Holy Thursday the Gloria Patri is omitted]
May the people prosper who are devoted to Thee by the affection of pious devotion, we beseech Thee O Lord; that instructed by the holy rites, they may be made more pleasing to Thy majesty, and more may they abound in excellent gifts. 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 Jeremias 18: 18-23
And they said: Come, and let us invent devices against Jeremias: for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet: come, and let us strike him with the tongue, and let us give no heed to all his words. Give heed to me, O Lord, and hear the voice of my adversaries. Shall evil be rendered for good, because they have digged a pit for my soul? Remember that I have stood in thy sight, to speak good for them, and to turn away thy indignation from them. Therefore deliver up their children to famine, and bring them into the hands of the sword: let their wives be bereaved of children and widows: and let their husbands be slain by death: let their young men be stabbed with the sword in battle. Let a cry be heard out of their houses: for thou shalt bring the robber upon them suddenly: because they have digged a pit to take me, and have hid snares for my feet. But thou, O Lord, knowest all their counsel against me unto death: not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from thy sight: let them be overthrown before thy eyes, in the time of thy wrath do thou destroy them.
GRADUAL Psalm 34: 20,22
For they spoke indeed peaceably to me; and speaking in the anger of the earth they devised guile. For they spoke indeed peaceably to me; and speaking in the anger of the earth they devised guile.
GOSPEL St. John 12: 10-36
At that time the chief priests thought to kill Lazarus also: Because many of the Jews, by reason of him, went away and believed in Jesus. And on the next day, a great multitude that was come to the festival day, when they had heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees and went forth to meet Him and cried Hosanna. Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel. And Jesus found a young ass and sat upon it, as it is written: Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’ colt. These things His disciples did not know at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him and that they had done these things to Him. The multitude therefore gave testimony, which was with Him, when He called Lazarus out of the grave and raised him from the dead. For which reason also the people came to meet Him, because they heard that he had done this miracle. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves: Do you see that we prevail nothing? Behold, the whole world is gone after Him. Now there were certain Gentiles among them, who came up to adore on the festival day. These therefore came to Philip, who was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired Him, saying: Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew. Again Andrew and Philip told Jesus. But Jesus answered them, saying: The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, itself remaineth alone. But if it die it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it and he that hateth his life in this world keepeth it unto life eternal. If any man minister to Me, let him follow Me: and where I am, there also shall My minister be. If any man minister to Me, him will My Father honor. Now is My soul troubled. And what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour. But for this cause I came unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name.” A voice therefore came from Heaven: “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” The multitude therefore that stood and heard said that it thundered. Others said: An angel spoke to Him. Jesus answered and said: “This voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of the world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself.” Now this he said, signifying what death He should die. The multitude answered Him: We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever. And how sayest Thou: The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man? Jesus therefore said to them: “Yet a little while, the light is among you. Walk whilst you have the light, and the darkness overtake you not. And he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither be goeth. Whilst you have the light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light.” These things Jesus spoke: and He went away and hid Himself from them.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 118: 12, 121, 122, 42
Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy justifications : and give me not up to the proud that slander me : so shall I answer them that reproach me in any thing.
Mercifully free us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all guilt and dangers, whom Thou hast made partakers of so great a mystery. 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 26: 12
Deliver me not over to the will of them that trouble me; for unjust witnesses have risen up against me; and iniquity hath lied to itself.
Being filled with the abundance of Thy divine gift, we beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that we may ever live by its reception. 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…
PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
May Thy right hand defend Thy suppliant people, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and duly instruct them, who being purified in Thy sight, may by present consolation attain to the good things to come. Through our Lord…