“Give an account of thy stewardship.” (Gospel)
Semi-double Green vestments
The Epistle reminds us of our divine filiation, and the Gospel in a parable tells us of the duties thereby entailed.
We are the children of God, since we may say in all truth: Our Father (Epistle). God has given us life, “wherefore we must live according to His will” (Collect).
Just as this rich landowner who, before giving his son his share of the heritage, wishes to test his administrative capability, by entrusting to him things of little value, God, before making us His heirs in heaven, has wished to test our fidelity by giving us the management on earth of both temporal and spiritual goods. But, like the steward mentioned by Jesus, we have been unfaithful, dissipating by sin the riches and talents which God entrusted to us. Therefore, vying in zeal with the children of the world, the sons of light imitate the foresight of the steward who, by means of his father’s riches, prepared friends unto himself. Turning to profitable use what God has given to us, let us do good, and especially by almsgiving let us secure the testimony which the poor will bear their benefactors at the moment when all will have to give an account of their stewardship to the divine Judge.
Every Parish Priest celebrates Mass for the welfare spiritual and temporal of his Parishioners.
Greater Double White vestments
According to a pious tradition, a number of men who walked in the footsteps of the holy Prophets Elias and Eliseus, and whom John the Baptist had prepared for the advent of Jesus, embraced the Christian faith, and erected the first church to the Blessed Virgin on Mount Carmel, at the very spot where Elias had seen a cloud arise, a figure of the fecundity of the Mother of God. They were called: Brethren of Blessed Mary of Mount Carmel (Collect). These religious came to Europe in the thirteenth century and in 1245 Innocent IV gave his approbration to their rule under the generalship of Simon Stock, an English saint.
On July 6, 1251, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock who was then the Superior General of the Carmelite Order, placed in his hands the habit of the Carmelites, and said, “Take, beloved son, this scapular of thy order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and for all Carmelites a sign of grace. Whoever dies in this garment will not suffer everlasting fire. It is a sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant.” Innocent IV blessed this habit and attached to it many privileges, not only for the members of the Order, but also for those who entered the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. By wearing the small scapular, they participate in all their merits and may hope to obtain through the Virgin a prompt delivery from Purgatory (John XXII in the Sabbatine bull, March 3, 1322). The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was extended to all Christendom by Benedict XIII, in 1726.
Semi-double Green vestments
Divine life shows itself in acts. St. Augustine, explaining the Introit, says that “hands and tongue must agree together, the one glorifying God and the other acting accordingly”. The Gospel declares that it is not those who say: “Lord, Lord” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but those who do the will of the Father. A tree is judged by its fruit. If good species give “grapes and figs”, there are also “thorns and thistles” on which none are gathered. Therefore, “they shall be cut down and thrown into the fire” (Gospel). What fruit, adds the Apostle, have you gathered from sin, except shame and eternal death? whilst “by serving God, you produce fruits of holiness and win eternal life” (Epistle).
Semi-double Green vestments
“The Lord is the strength of His people.” This wonderful Introit chant of joy and complete trust is an expression by Christians, once again, of their confidence and freedom from danger. The Gradual, Alleluia, and Offertory repeat the sentiments of the entry chant.
The Epistle and Gospel remind us of our baptized state. Dead to sin through Baptism, we have to live a new life in which sin should have no further place. Christ’s life must rule ours and carry it up towards God without any further compromise with the past and its slavery, from which He has freed us. But such sanctity would be unattainable and our progress towards God impossible to maintain if His grace did not come to our help and give us the necessary strength. Among all the supernatural assistance showered on us – and its praises are sung in the Mass of the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost – the Eucharist stands supreme. The multiplication of loaves, which pointed forward to it depicts it as the daily bread of our Christian life, the substantial nourishment which is to sustain our strength to follow Christ “without falling by the wayside”.
“Taking the loaves and giving thanks He broke and gave to His disciples to set before the people; and he blessed the fishes also and commanded them to be set before them.”
Double of the First Class with an Octave Red vestments
St. Peter was crucified, and St. Paul was beheaded in Rome during the persecution of Nero, in 67.
Today the whole Church rejoices, for “God has consecrated this day by the martyrdom of the Apostles Peter and Paul” (Collect). In both the grand basilicas erected at Rome over the tombs “of these two Princes who by the cross and the sword have obtained their seat in the eternal senate,” this double martyrdom was celebrated. Later, on account of the distance which separates the two churches the festival was divided, St. Peter being more specially honored on June 29 and St. Paul on June 30.
St. Peter, bishop of Rome, is the vicar, that is to say the visible representative of Christ. As is shown in the Preface, Alleluia, Gospel, Offertory, and Communion, the Jews had rejected Jesus. They also rejected His successor (Epistle), Displacing the religious center of the world, St. Peter the left Jerusalem for Rome which became the eternal city and the seat of the Popes.
St. Peter, the first Pope, speaks in the name of Christ who has communicated to him His infallibility.
St. Peter on receiving the keys is placed the head of the “kingdom of heaven” upon earth, that is to say the Church, and he reigns in the name of Christ who has invested him with His power and supreme authority (Gospel).
The names of St. Peter and St. Paul head the names of the apostles in the Canon of the Mass (first list, p. 537).
With “the Church which did not cease praying to God for St. Peter” (Epistle), let us pray for his successor “the servant of God, our Holy Father the Pope” (Canon of the Mass).
This Sunday, July 2, is the External Solemnity of the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul.
In the Epistle, the Apostle describes the tribulations which overwhelm us, and shows us Heaven, their glorious result.
But to reach heaven we must place our confidence in the Lord who alone is our refuge, our salvation and our defender (Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Communion), and in order that our enemies may not prevail against us (Offertory) let us ask of God “that the world may walk in peace” (Collect).
The visible protection of Providence which extends to the least events is shown to us in the Gospel. The Church is represented by the bark of Peter. It is his that Jesus chose to preach from, it is Simon He commands to put off from the shore, and it is he who, at his Master’s bidding, casts his nets which are filled to breaking point. It is Peter again who, struck with astonishment and fright, adores his Master. He will be henceforth with his companions as fisher of men.
Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi
Double of the First Class – White Vestments
Why do we adore and worship the Heart of Our Lord?
Prostestantism in the sixteenth century and Jansenism in the seventeenth had attempted to distort one of the essential truths of Christianity, namely the love of God for all men.
It became necessary that the Spirit of love, which directs the Church, should by some new means counteract the spreading heresy, in order that the Spouse of Christ, far from seeing her love for Jesus diminish should feel it always increasing.
This was made manifest in Catholic worship, which is the sure rule of our faith, by the institution of the Feast of the Sacred Heart.
Already in the Middle-Ages, many Fathers and Doctors, v. g. St. Bonaventure, and the two Benedictine virgins, St. Gertrude and St. Mechtilde, had a clear vision of the devotion to the Sacred Heart.
But in order to make this worship public and recognized, Providence first raised up St. John Eudes, who in 1670 composed an Office and a Mass of the Sacred Heart for the so-called Congregation of the Eudists. Providence then chose one of the spiritual daughters of St. Francis de Sales, St. Margaret Mary Alocoque, to whom Jesus showed His Heart at Paray-le-Monial, on June 16, 1675, Sunday after Corpus Christi, and asked her to institute a feast of the Sacred Heart on the Friday following the Octave of Corpus Christi, and asked her to institute a feast of the Sacred Heart on the Friday following the Octave of Corpus Christi. Lastly, God employed Blessed Claude de la Colombiere and the Society of Jesus for the propagation of this devotion.
In 1765, Clement XIII gave his approbation to the feast and the Office of the Sacred Heart, and in 1856 Pius IX extended it to the universal Church. In 1929 Pius XI composed a new Mass and Office for this feast and gave it a privileged Octave of the third Order.
The solemnity of the Sacred Heart recapitulates all the phases of the life of Jesus recalled in the liturgy from Advent to the Feast of Corpus Christi.
Its object is materially Jesus’ Heart of flesh, and formally the unbounded charity symbolized by this Heart, and manifested by all the mysteries of the Savior’s life, but especially by His incarnation, His death on Calvary, and the institution of the Holy Eucharist. It celebrates all the favors we have received from divine charity during the year (Collect), all His mercies (Tract), and all the marvelous things that Jesus has done for us (Introit, Alleluia).
As these manifestations of Christ’s love show the more the ingratitude of men, who only answer by coldness and indifference (Offertory), this solemnity has also a character of reparation (Collect).
It is out of love for us that Christ made Himself the victim of His sacrifice, He is thereby our Redeemer, our King of Love by right of conquest.
This Sunday is the External Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
“My flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth Me, the same also shall live by me. This is that bread that down from Heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead. He that eateth of this Bread shall live forever.“
Ten times in John’s gospel, Christ insists that we eat His Flesh and drink His Blood. And He let people walk away when they took Him literally. They said, “That’s too much for us. We’re not having any of that.” And they left, and He let them leave. We have many places in the Gospels where if there is a misunderstanding, Christ corrects that misunderstanding. There was no ambiguity when Christ said that we must eat His flesh and drink His Blood. He knew what He was saying, and He meant what He said, and He allowed those who did not believe Him to walk away.
To resist the attacks of continually renewed heresies against the Holy Eucharist and to revive in the Church a fervor which had somewhat grown cold, the Holy Ghost inspired, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, the solemnity of Corpus Christi
In 1208 blessed Juliana of Mount Cornillon, near Liege, saw in a vision the full moon with an indentation indicating that a feast was missing in the liturgical cycle. The Eucharist instituted on Maundy Thursday, could not be celebrated with all the desired pomp, the Church’s thoughts being absorbed by the passion of the Savior. It was necessary and immediately after Paschaltide a feast with an octave should be established. And as the Last Supper had taken place on a Thursday, the Bishop of Liege instituted in 1246 this solemnity in his diocese on the first free Thursday after the octave of Pentecost. In 1264, Pope Urban IV extended this feast to the whole world.
The Eucharist instituted on the eve of Jesus’ death, remains the memorial of His passion (Collect). The altar is the continuation of Calvary, “the Mass announces the death of the Lord” (Epistle). Jesus is there as a victim, for the words of the double consecration tell us that it is the bread which is first changed into the Body of Christ, and then the wine into His blood: under these appearances, Jesus Himself offers to His Father, at the same time as His priests, the Blood which He shed and His Body which was nailed to the Cross.
One takes part in the sacrifice by eating of the victim: Eucharist was instituted in the form of food (Alleluia) so that we may receive in Communion the victim of Calvary. The Sacred Host has become wheat which nourishes our souls” (Introit).
The Mass is the center of the whole Eucharistic worship of the Church, and Holy Communion is the means instituted by Jesus to enable us to participate more fully in this divine sacrifice.
The fundamental dogma to which everything in Christianity is related is that of the Holy Trinity, of whom are all things (Epistle) and to whom are to return all those who are baptized in its name (Gospel). Therefore, after reminding us in turn of God the Father, Author of the creation, of God the Son, Author of the redemption, of God the Holy Ghost, Author of our sanctification, the Church chiefly recapitulates on the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity the great mystery which calls on us to recognize and adore in God the unity of nature in the Trinity of Persons (Collect).
The dogma of the Trinity is everywhere affirmed in the liturgy. It is in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, that the Mass and the Divine Office begin and end, and that the Sacraments are conferred. All psalms end with the Gloria Patri, all hymns with the Doxology, and the prayers with a conclusion in honor of the three Divine Persons. Twice in the Mass we are reminded that it is to the Holy Trinity that the Holy Sacrifice is offered.
The Feast of the Holy Trinity owes its origin to the fact that the ordinations of Ember-Saturday, taking place in the evening, were continued until the Sunday morning, which had at that date no proper Mass.
Sunday is consecrated throughout the year to the Most Holy Trinity, because God the Father started the work of creation on the “first day”, the Son made man rose from the dead on a Sunday morning, and the Holy Ghost descended on the apostles on Pentecost Sunday. There existed a votive Mass, composed in the seventh century in honor of this mystery. When the ordinations were anticipated on the Saturday morning, this votive Mass was celebrated, in some places, on the Sunday, whereas in other places a special Mass was composed for the “first Sunday” or the “second week” after Pentecost. The votive Mass gradually became considered as a special feast of the Holy Trinity; it was extended in 1334 by Pope John XXI and made a feast of the first class by Pius X.
The Feast of Pentecost is the commemoration of the first manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the disciples of Jesus Christ, and consequently that of the foundation of the Church. It was for this reason that the basilica dedicated to St. Peter, the Head of the Church, was chosen for the Station held today.
Jesus, as the Gospel tells us, has foretold to His disciples the coming of the Paraclete, and the Epistle shows how this promise was fulfilled.
Instructed by the light of the Holy Ghost (Collect) and filled with the outpouring of His sevenfold gifts (Sequence), the Apostles were renewed, and in their turn they are going to renew the whole face of the earth (Introit, Alleluia). High Mass at the third hour (Terce) is the time at which we also receive “the Holy Ghost, whom Jesus, ascended into heaven, sends forth today on the children of adoption” (Preface): each one of the Mysteries of the Cycle produces fruits of grace in our souls on the day on which the celebrates it.
“The gift of Wisdom is an illumination of the Holy Ghost, thanks to which our intellect is able to look at revealed truths in their more sublime light to the greater joy of our souls.”
"Listen carefully, my son, to the master's instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart. This is advice from a father who loves you: welcome it, and faithfully put it into practice"
~ St. Benedict of Nursia ~