Roman Style Mass Chasuble
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Gothic Style Mass Chasuble
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The Epistle appointed to be read during the Holy Sacrifice of this Christmas Midnight Mass is taken from Saint Paul's Epistle to Bishop Titus, Chapter 2, Verses 11-15.
Beloved, The Grace of God our Savior hath appeared to all men; instructing us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly, and justly, and godly in this world, looking for the Blessed Hope and coming of the Glory of the Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and might cleanse to Himself a people acceptable, a pursuer of good works. These things speak, and exhort, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Gospel for Christmas Midnight Mass
Please stand for the Holy Gospel.
The Gospel appointed to be read during the Holy Sacrifice of this Christmas Midnight Mass is taken from the Holy Gospel of Saint Luke, Chapter 2, Verses 1-14.
At that time there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled. This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary his espoused Wife, who was with child. And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him up in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night watches over their flock. And behold an Angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear. And the Angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people: For, this day, is born to you a Saviour, Who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the Infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the Heavenly army, praising God, and saying: Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.
Thus far are the words of today's Holy Gospel.
In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.
This quiet peace made me think of the birth of the Prince of Peace over 1900 years before then and the multitude of Angels who were “praising God, and saying: Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.” (Luke 2:13-14).
This is the same peace mentioned in the 4th Prayer of the Canon of the Mass, better known as the “Hanc igitur”, where you read in part:
“We beseech Thee, O Lord, to graciously accept and to dispose our days in Thy peace, and to command us to be delivered from eternal damnation and to be numbered in the flock of Thine Elect.” (Missale Romanum, 1941 edition; English translation of the original Latin.).This is that peace which the world can not give, the peace which the Prince of Peace brought with Him from Heaven for each of us.
The first part of this peace is: Peace with God.
Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Paradise. As a result, everyone has inherited Original Sin, except for Our Blessed Mother. God the Holy Ghost, through the pen of Saint Paul, testifies to this, saying: “Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12).
Except for Christ and His Holy Mother who were sinless, and Saint John the Baptist of whom Christ said: “there hath not risen among them that are born of women a greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11), who is there who has not sinned? Before Christ was born, it was very difficult for sinners to have peace with God as you read in Job: “Who hath resisted Him [God] and hath had peace.” (Job 9:4).
In order to restore peace with God, satisfaction for sin had to be made by a Redeemer Who had three qualities.
1) The Redeemer had to be Infinite God since sin is a crime against Infinite God and only Infinite can placate the Infinite. No finite creature could ever do this.
2) The Redeemer had to be a man since Adam, the first human man, committed Original Sin. As Original Sin is the cause of suffering and death, it was necessary for the Redeemer to be able to suffer and to die so that by His obedience He could undo the disobedience of Adam.
3) The Redeemer had to be both God and man in the same one Divine Person so that all He would do and suffer as man would have Infinite value and merit. This union of Christ’s Divinity with His human nature is called the “Hypostatic Union”.
Christmas is when Jesus Christ, God the Son, Who became man to redeem mankind, was born: “For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.” (Isaias 9:6).
The second part of this peace is: Peace with mankind.
The prophets eloquently describe this peace. For example, the Psalmist says: “In His days shall justice spring up, and abundance of peace, till the moon be taken away.” (Psalm 71:7). Isaias says: “He shall... rebuke many people: and they shall turn their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into sickles.” (Isaias 2:4).
Isaias also says: “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb: and the leopard shall lie down with the kid: the calf and the lion, and the sheep shall abide together, and a little child shall lead them. The calf and the bear shall feed: their young ones shall rest together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” (Isaias 11:6-7).
This means that the religion of the Messias will make the savage nations of the earth - who in their cruelty resemble wolves, leopards, lions and bears - like lambs and other gentle animals, so that they will live together in peace and harmony.
At the birth of Christ, peace reigned everywhere. The pagan temple of Janus was closed in order to symbolize that war, with all its horrors, had ceased. The term used to express this peace throughout the Roman empire was “Pax Romanum”.
Although the world enjoyed peace at the time of the birth of Christ, peace has seldom prevailed since then because only by belief in Christ, by following His way of life - including the living of a life of Virtue and avoiding sin - can one possess His peace.
History relates how the pagans greatly admired the Christians, saying: “Behold how the Christians love one another, whereas we pagans hate one another.” (Tertullian, Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus [ b. Carthage, 155 A.D. - d. 225 A.D.], Apology 39, 7. N.B. A “free” translation of the original which can not be literally translated into English correctly due to its being “slang” terminology. At least this is how Americans would describe it.)
The third part of this peace is: Peace with ourselves.
The sad consequences of Original Sin are darkness of understanding, weakness of will, and a propensity to evil. The understanding of those who have not yet been Baptized is still in such incredible darkness that the Prophet Isaias says they “call evil good, and good evil” and “put darkness for light, and light for darkness.” (Isaias 5:20).
How many people today are into secular humanism, paganism, violent blood-thirsty terrorism, witchcraft, evolution, atheism, materialism, power, fame, etc. All of them are “ever learning, and never attaining to the knowledge of the Truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7).
Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, came to repair the injury which Original Sin caused mankind and to regulate all things according to Divine Law. Although Christ did not remove our evil inclinations, He did teach us Divine Doctrines which have enlightened our understanding and strengthened our will. Plus, Christ has given us the Spiritual means by which to control our evil passions and desires and to do what is good and pleasing to God.
These means include the Sanctifying Grace we receive by assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Roman Catholic Traditional Rite of the Mass, and by our reverent reception of the Sacraments, including Penance and the Holy Eucharist, as well as Actual Graces, all of which vivify one’s immortal Soul, to live a rock-solid Spiritual Life of Virtue, of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost, a balanced prayer life, a life of the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy - a life by which we imitate Christ, Our Blessed Mother, and our Patron Saints.
All of these things help to strengthen us to overcome all obstacles to salvation, and enable us to walk with constancy on the straight and narrow path to Heaven as Christ reminds us: “How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!” (Matthew 7:14).
But, do not despair, your very presence here at this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Offered using a Roman Catholic Traditional 1940 Missale Romanum, proves that YOU have found it! Pray that others will also find it!
Therefore, Jesus Christ really IS the Prince of Peace, foretold by the Prophets, because He has offered all of us that peace which the anti-God world can never give.
“It can neither profit me, the speaker, to speak, nor you, the hearers, to hear, unless we comply with the things which are spoken, ...so let us not limit the display of our zeal to hearing only, but let us observe what is said in our deeds. For it is indeed a good thing to spend time continually in hearing the Divine oracles: but this good thing becomes useless when the benefit to be derived from hearing is not linked with it.” (Patriarch Saint John Chrysostom [b. Antioch, c. 347 A.D. - d. at Commana in Pontus on Friday, September 14, 407 A.D.], Patriarch of Constantinople [Thursday, February 26, 398 A.D. - Thursday, June 24, 404 A.D.], exiled from his See the 2nd time on Thursday, June 24, 404 A.D., Father and Doctor of the Catholic Church. Sermon on Romans 12:20; emphasis added.)
For our resolutions, let all of us, by the Grace of God, firmly resolve, during this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, to thank God the Father for sending us His Divine Son Who redeemed us and Who instituted the one and only unchangeable, true Church in which the means of salvation are found - the fruits of His priceless redemption - the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Seven Sacraments.
Also, thank our Dear Lord for the many sacrifices He made for you at His birth such as enduring the bitter freezing cold which chilled the night air, the drafty, dark, stinky stable-cave, His being laid in a feeding trough for animals, etc.
Because at Fatima Our Lady said that “War is a punishment from God for sin”, this means peace is attained by living a good and virtuous life in the imitation of Christ in order to avoid sin. Pray for the Graces you need to control the passions, conquer temptations, and subject the appetites and sinful propensities to the dictates of a reason obedient to God’s laws.
Unite and conform your will to God’s Will by which, along with everyone else of good will, you receive that peace which the world can not give, the peace of the Prince of Peace!
May each of you have a most Blessed Christmas today
filled to overflowing with God’s Peace and Joy during this Holy Sacrifice
of the Mass and thank God the Father for sending us His Divine Son Who
redeemed us and Who instituted the one and only unchangeable, true Church
in which the means of salvation are found - the fruits of His priceless
redemption - the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Seven Sacraments.