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 the Mass today is taken from the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Galatians, Chapter 3, Verses 16 to 22.
To Abraham were the promises made and to his seed.
He saith not,
And to his seeds,as of many: but as of one,
And to thy seed,which is [the Mystical Body of] Christ.
Now this I say, that the Testament which was confirmed by God, the Law which was made after four hundred and thirty years, doth not disannul, to make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise. But God gave it to Abraham by promise.
Why then was the law? It was set because of transgressions, until the seed should come, to whom He made the promise, being ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator.
Now a Mediator is not of one: but God is one.
Was the Law then against the promises of God? God forbid. For if there had been a Law given which could give Life, verily justice should have been by the Law. But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise, by the faith of Jesus Christ, might be given to them that believe.
Please stand for the Holy Gospel.
The Gospel for today is taken from the Holy Gospel of Saint Luke, Chapter 17, Verses 11 to 19.
At that time as Jesus:
was going to Jerusalem, He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered into a certain town, there met Him ten men that were lepers, who stood afar off; And lifted up their voice, saying:
Jesus, master, have mercy on us.Whom when He saw, He said:
Go, shew yourselves to the priests.And it came to pass, as they went, they were made clean. And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God. And he fell on his face before His feet, giving thanks: and this was a Samaritan.
And Jesus answering, said,
Were not ten made clean? and where are the nine? There is no one found to return and give glory to God, but this stranger.And He said to him:
Arise, go thy way; for thy faith hath made thee whole.
In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Just as in the Gospel for last Sunday, where the Good Samaritan displayed his spirit of true love for his neighbor, once again in today's Gospel you again find another foreigner - this time it is yet another Samaritan who gives gratitude to Christ for healing him. Of the ten men that were lepers, the context of the text seems to suggest that the other nine men were ungrateful Jews?
This lack of gratitude by the apparently nine ungrateful Jews was an adumbration, i.e. a foreshadowing, of the gross ingratitude that Christ was about to experience from His own people in Jerusalem.
The Gospel text tells us that Christ met ten men that were lepers.
What is frequently forgotten in today's modern age is that 2,000 years ago, medicine was very primitive. About 1900 years before the discovery of penicillin by the Scottish scientist and nobel laureate, Alexander Fleming, in 1928 who showed that if Penicillium notatum was grown in the appropriate substrate, it would exude a substance with antibiotic properties, which he dubbed penicillin, there was not much that doctors back then could do for many diseases, including leprosy for which no cure was found until the development of dapsone in the 1940's, which today is combined with two other drugs, clofazimine and rifampicin, which were discovered in the 1960's and 1970's respectively.
Because untreated leprosy is highly contagious, the Old Testament gives various regulations concerning it, e.g. Chapter 13 of the Book of Leviticus gives the law concerning leprosy in men, and in garments, while Chapter 14 of Leviticus gives the law concerning the rites of sacrifices in the cleansing of leprosy, and also concerning leprosy in houses.
Chapter 13 of the Book of Leviticus gives one a glimpse of some of these laws such as the following:
13:44. Now whosoever shall be defiled with the leprosy, and is separated by the judgment of the priest:But Leviticus 13:46 was difficult to observe in Palestine because, based upon rabbinical writings, lepers were not permitted to enter the city of Jerusalem, but were allowed to live in various towns of Palestine, provided that they kept together and lived in places away from the rest of the population.
13:45. Shall have his clothes hanging loose, his head bare, his mouth covered with a cloth: and he shall cry out that he is defiled and unclean.
13:46. All the time that he is a leper and unclean he shall dwell alone without the camp.
13:47. A woollen or linen garment that shall have the leprosy
13:48. In the warp, and the woof: or skin, or whatsoever is made of a skin:
13:49. If it be infected with a white or red spot, it shall be accounted the leprosy, and shall be shewn to the priest.
13:50. And he shall look upon it and shall shut it up seven days.
This explains why these ten men that were lepers... stood afar off when they cried out to Christ in a loud voice, saying: Jesus, Master, have mercy on us...
And Christ indeed had mercy on them and told them to go, shew yourselves to the Priests...
The ten lepers obviously had sufficient faith in Christ to know that He would cure them. So when Christ told them to go, shew yourselves to the Priests..., what happened?
For example, did any of them complain to Christ and ask Him:
"Why can't you just heal us now?", or, "Why should we go to the Priests?No, they obeyed Him and left to go to show themselves to the Priests.
So what is the big deal about going to the Priests?
According to the Law, at the outbreak of the sickness and also at its cessation, the Jewish Priest was to examine the patient. It was part of the office of the Jewish Priest to officially declare when a person was cleansed and to see to it that the required Levitical Rites were observed as found in the Book of Leviticus, where in Chapter 14 you begin to read what is required:
14:1. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:And so it continues.
14:2. This is the rite of a leper, when he is to be cleansed. He shall be brought to the priest:
14:3. Who going out of the camp, when he shall find that the leprosy is cleansed,
14:4. Shall command him that is to be purified, to offer for himself two living sparrows, which it is lawful to eat, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop.
14:5. And he shall command one of the sparrows to be immolated in an earthen vessel over living [i.e. flowing, e.g. a river] waters.
14:6. But the other that is alive, he shall dip, with the cedar wood, and the scarlet and the hyssop, in the blood of the sparrow that is immolated:
14:7. Wherewith he shall sprinkle him that is to be cleansed seven times, that he may be rightly purified. And he shall let go the living sparrow, that it may fly into the field.
14:8. And when the man hath washed his clothes, he shall shave all the hair of his body, and shall be washed with water: and being purified he shall enter into the camp, yet so that he tarry without his own tent seven days.
14:9. And on the seventh day he shall shave the hair of his head, and his beard and his eyebrows, and the hair of all his body. And having washed again his clothes, and his body,
14:10. On the eighth day, he shall take two lambs without blemish, and an ewe of a year old without blemish, and three tenths of flour tempered with oil for a sacrifice, and a sextary of oil apart.
14:11. And when the priest that purifieth the man, hath presented him, and all these things before the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of the testimony:
14:12. He shall take a lamb, and offer it for a trespass offering with the sextary of oil. And having offered all before the Lord,
14:13. He shall immolate the lamb, where the victim for sin is wont to be immolated, and the holocaust, that is, in the holy place. For as that which is for sin, so also the victim for a trespass offering pertaineth to the priest: it is holy of holies.
14:14. And the priest taking of the blood of the victim that was immolated for trespass, shall put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand and the great toe of his right foot.
Please note that these ceremonies used in the cleansing of a leper, were both mysterious and very significative.
For example: the sprinkling seven times with the blood of the little bird, the washing himself and his clothes, the shaving his hair and his beard, signify the means which are to be used in the reconciliation of a sinner, and the steps by which he is to return to God, i.e. by the repeated application of the Blood of Christ: the washing his conscience with the waters of compunction: and retrenching all vanities and superfluities, by employing all that is over and above what is necessary in alms deeds.
Consider how the sin offering, and the holocaust or burnt offering, which he was to offer at his cleansing, signified the sacrifice of a contrite and humble heart, and that of adoration in spirit and truth, with gratitude for the forgiveness of sins, with which we are ever to appear before Almighty God.
The touching the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the great toe of the right foot, first with the blood of the victim, and then with the remainder of the oil, which had been sprinkled seven times before the Lord, signify the application of the Blood of Christ, and the unction of the Sevenfold Grace of the Holy Ghost; to the sinner's right ear, that he may duly hearken to and obey the laws of God; and to his right hand and foot, that the works of his hands, and all the steps or affections of his soul, signified by the feet, may be rightly directed to God, etc.
In the Gospel, you find that, as their reward for their faith in Him and their obedience to Him, as they went, they were made clean.
One, and only one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God. And he fell on his face before His [Christ's] feet, giving thanks: and this was a Samaritan.”
Then what happened? The Gospel tells us that:
17:17 And Jesus answering, said, Were not ten made clean? and where are the nine?Here it is important to realize that although all ten were made clean - physically - only one was made clean Spiritually, i.e. all of his sins were forgiven because he returned in the joyful spirit of gratitude and with a loud voice he glorified God and he fell on his face before His [Christ's] feet, giving thanks to Christ for curing him of such a horrible disfiguring disease.
17:18 There is no one found to return and give glory to God, but this stranger.
17:19 And He said to him: Arise, go thy way; for thy faith hath made thee whole.
“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 to take to heart the lessons for us today. All of us are, as it were, Spiritual lepers, because who is there among us who is not guilty of sin? Just as the physical lepers of the Old Testament were sent to the Jewish Priest to be officially declared to be cleansed of the physical leprosy.
During his Ordination to the Holy Priesthood,
The New Priest is Given the Power to Forgive Sins as in the Above Photo
So also all sinners today, i.e. Spiritual lepers, need to go to the Sacrament of Penance (a.k.a. Confession) to a .valid. Catholic Priest of the New and Eternal Testament who was Ordained to the Sacrament of the Holy Priesthood before 1968 when this Sacrament was destroyed.
A .validly.Ordained Catholic Priest of the New and Eternal Testament, unlike his counterparts in the Old Testament, and also today, unlike his counterparts in the .anti-Catholic. Satanic. Synod. Vatican 2. pseudo-church. of .automatically. excommunicated. Apostate. and. Modernist. Heretics, and .NEW. Theology. Heretics, has the power of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, specifically the Most Holy Priesthood, to clean the Souls of sinners from sin by administering Absolution in the Sacrament of Penance and thus the Spiritual lepers of the New Testament can thereby be made clean.
In addition, let none of us underestimate the power of gratitude, of thanking the good God for everything He has given to us. Reflect back, for a moment, upon your lives and how, over the years, in various ways, sometimes more evident than others, God has helped you in so many different ways; how God has pulled you out of the pit of worry, the pit of despair, the pit of anxiety, the pit of negativity, and so many other pits, but most especially, the pit of sin!
Let the gratitude we give to God far exceed the gratitude of the thankful Samaritan in today's Gospel! Be sure to thank the good God everyday, your Guardian Angel, Our Blessed Mother, your Patron Saint(s), etc., but also remember to thank your family members, friends, bosses, co-workers, store clerks, etc., etc. with a happy disposition and try to forgive the hurt and pain others inflict on you - sometimes they might not even be aware of what they have done. But there is also more that you can do to surpass the gratitude of the thankful Samaritan.
By performing Acts of Supererogation.
What are Acts of Supererogation?
Things we do that we are not strictly required to do but your motivation is to do them only for the love of God. St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, a.k.a. the Little Flower, would pick up a piece of thread off the floor in the hallway of her monastery, and put it in the trash, not because that was one of her assigned chores - it was not - but she did it as an act of love for God.
Everyone can do Acts of Supererogation because there are many more opportunities to do them out in the world than in a monastery.
Here are a few examples:
1) Perform all kinds of Acts of Charity, e.g. doing both the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy, for others, when you have the opportunity to do so. When you are driving, if you are in a line of traffic that is stopped for a red light and there is a parking lot exit to your right ahead of you and someone in a vehicle is trying to exit, after the light turns green, wait a moment to let that vehicle exit onto the street in front of you - this only adds a few extra seconds to your drive time. But be careful of anyone behind you, lest that person be impatient and hit the back of your car.By doing these and/or similar things, you become one of God's favorities, as one classical author of the Catholic Spiritual Life writes in part:
2) When you are in a grocery parking lot, or another place like Wal-Mart, push the empty grocery or shopping cart someone left by your vehicle into the store with you instead of waiting to get inside to get a shopping cart.
3) Do a favor for someone which favor you are not required to do, irregardless whether or not that other person would appreciate it.
4) Try to be joyful and to smile so that you may give your joy to others, whether to a Parent, a Spouse, a Child, a boss, a co-worker, a store clerk, or whoever.
5) When someone else does a good job, tell that person, whether it is someone with whom you are speaking on the telephone, or in person.
6) Get into the habit of thanking others if they are trying to help you with a problem, e.g. customer service or technical service people on the telephone, whether at your bank, utility company, telephone/internet/television company, etc., etc.
7) Pray to the Holy Ghost for guidance to see such opportunities and to learn how to take advantage of them.
3. But to come to our point. This second aid and special superabundant and efficacious succor is not given by God to all, nor on all occasions, since it is a liberality and a most particular grace of His own bestowal; and so God will give it to whom He pleases; He will give it to those who have been liberal with Him. So the prophet says: With the holy, Lord, Thou wilt be holy; and with the benign, benign; and with the liberal and sincere, Thou wilt be sincere and liberal; and with him that shall not be such, Thou wilt pay him in the same coin (Psalm 17:26-27). This is what our Father puts in his Rules: “The closer one shall bind himself to God our Lord, and the more liberal he shall show himself to His Divine Majesty, the more liberal he will find God to him; and the better shall he be disposed to receive every day greater graces and spiritual gifts.” This is the doctrine of Saint Gregory Nazianzen and other saints.
4. What it is to be liberal to God may be well understood from what it is to be liberal to men. In this world to be liberal to another is to give him, not his due and bonded right, but more than his due and bonded right. That is liberality; the other is not liberality, but justice and obligation. Now in the same manner, he who is very careful and diligent to please God, not only in matters of obligation, but also in those of supererogation and perfection, and not only in greater, but also in lesser things, is liberal to God. Now to those who are thus liberal, God is also very liberal. These are God’s favorites to whom He shows His bounties; to these He gives not only those general aids which are sufficient to resist and overcome temptations, but also those special and superabundant and efficacious aids wherewith they will nowise fall when they are tempted.
5. But if you are not liberal to God, how can you expect God to be liberal to you? If you are niggardly with God, you deserve that God should be niggardly with you. If you are so mean and close as to go sounding and measuring as with rule and compass--“Am I bound or not bound? Am I bound under sin or not bound under sin? Does it amount to a mortal sin or to no more than a venial?” --all this is being niggardly with God, since you want to give Him no more than you are obliged, and even in that possibly you fail. God then will be niggardly with you and give you no more than He is obliged by His word; He will give you those general and necessary aids which He gives to all, which are enough and sufficient to enable you to resist temptations and not fall in them; but you will have much reason to fear that He will not give you that special superabundant and efficacious aid which He is wont to give to such as are liberal to Him; and so you will come to be vanquished by temptation and fall into sin. (Father Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J., a.k.a. Alonso Rodriguez, S.J. [b. at Valladolid, Spain, in 1526 A.D. - d. at Seville, Spain on Sunday, February 21, 1616 A.D.], Practice of Perfection and Christian Virtues, Volume I, Chapter X, Another Weighty Reason for Setting Great Store by Little Things.)