Sunday, May 13, 2018

Dominica post Ascensionem: "He is with us alway even unto the end of the world"


John 15:26-27; 16:1-4
At that time, Jesus said unto His disciples: When the Comforter is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, Which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me. And so on.

Homily by St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo.
Tract 92 John.
The Lord Jesus, in that discourse which He addressed to His disciples after the Last Supper, when He was on the very eve of the Passion, when He was, as it were, about to go away and leave them as touching His bodily Presence, albeit as touching His spiritual Presence, He is with us alway even unto the end of the world, Matth. xxviii. 20, in that discourse He exhorted them to bear patiently the persecution of wicked men, of whom He speaketh as "the world", out of which world, nevertheless, He saith that He hath chosen even His disciples themselves, xv. 19, that they might know that it was by the grace of God that they were what they were, 1 Cor. xv. 10, whereas it was by their own sins that they had been what they had been.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Ascension: "the disciples' slowness to believe that the Lord had indeed risen from the dead, was not so much their weakness as our strength"

From the Holy Gospel according to Mark
Mark 16:14-20
At that time, Jesus appeared unto the eleven disciples as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen. And so on.

Homily by Pope St. Gregory the Great
29th on the Gospels
I may be allowed to say that the disciples' slowness to believe that the Lord had indeed risen from the dead, was not so much their weakness as our strength. In consequence of their doubts, the fact of the Resurrection was demonstrated by many infallible proofs. These proofs we read and acknowledge. What then assureth our faith, if not their doubt? For my part, I put my trust in Thomas, who doubted long, much more than in Mary Magdalene, who believed at once. Through his doubting, he came actually to handle the holes of the Wounds, and thereby closed up any wound of doubt in our hearts.

Now confirm to our minds the trustworthiness of the fact that our Lord did indeed rise again from the dead, it is well for us to remark one of the statements of Luke Acts i. 4. "Eating together with them, He commanded them that they should not 1 John xiv. 16, 17 xvi. 7. depart from Jerusalem and a little afterward: "While they beheld, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight." Consider these words, note well these mysteries. After "eating together with them He was taken up." He ate and ascended: that the fact of His eating might show the reality of the Body in Which He went up. But Mark telleth us that before the Lord ascended into heaven, He upbraided His disciples; with their unbelief and hardness of heart. From this I know not why we should gather, but that the Lord then upbraided His disciples, for whom He was about to be parted in the body, to the end that the words which He spoke unto them as He left them might be the deeper imprinted on their hearts.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Dominica V post Pascha: "whatsoever is asked, which tendeth not to salvation, is not asked in the Name of the Saviour"

From the Holy Gospel according to John
John 16:23-3
At that time, Jesus said unto His disciples: Amen, Amen, I say unto you: Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you. And so on.

Homily by St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo.
102nd Tract on John.
We have now to consider these words of the Lord "Amen, Amen, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you." It hath already been said in the earlier part of this discourse of the Lord, for the sake of some who ask the Father in Christ's Name and receive not, that whatsoever is asked, which tendeth not to salvation, is not asked in the Name of the Saviour. By the words "In My Name" we must not understand the vocalization of letters and syllables, but the meaning of what is said, the honest and true meaning.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Dominica III post Pascha: "I go to the Father"

From the Holy Gospel according to John
John 16:16-22
At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: A little while, and now you shall not see me; and again a little while, and you shall see me: because I go to the Father. And so on.

Homily by St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo.
Tract 101 of John
This little while is the whole duration of this present world. In the same sense this same Evangelist saith in his Epistle ii. 18: It is the last time. The words, because I go to the Father, refer to the first clause of the text, namely, A little while and ye shall not see Me, and not to the latter clause, that is, and again a little while, and ye shall see Me. By His going to the Father He was about to bring it to pass that they should see Him no more. And thus it was that He said, not that He was about to die, and that after His death they should not see Him until He rose again, but that He was going to the Father, which He did when, after that He was risen again and had manifested Himself to them for forty days, He ascended up into heaven. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Dominica II post Pascha: "I am the Good Shepherd"


From the Holy Gospel according to John
John 10:11-16
At that time, Jesus said unto the Pharisees: "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd giveth His life for His sheep." And so on.

Homily by Pope St. Gregory the Great.
14th on the Gospels
Dearly beloved brethren, ye have heard from the Holy Gospel what is at once your instruction, and our danger. Behold, how He Who, not by the varying gifts of nature, but of the very essence of His being, is Good, behold how He saith: I am the Good Shepherd. And then He saith what is the character of His goodness, even of that goodness of His which we must strive to copy: The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the Sheep. As He had foretold, even so did He; as He had commanded, so gave He example. The Good Shepherd gave His life for the sheep, and made His Own Body and His Own Blood to be our Sacramental Food, pasturing upon His Own Flesh the sheep whom He had bought.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Dominica in Albis: "That Body of the Lord, Which came into the assembly of the disciples through closed doors, was the Same, Which at Its birth, had become manifest to the eyes of men by passing out of the cloister of the Virgin's womb"

"When we hear this passage of the Gospel read, a question straightway knocketh at the door of our mind. How was it that the Body of the Risen Lord was a real Body, if It was able to pass through closed doors into the assembly of His disciples? But we ought to know that the works of God are no more wonderful when they can be understood by man's reason, and faith has lost her worth when her subject-matter is the subject-matter of human demonstration. Nevertheless, those very works of our Redeemer which are in themselves impossible to be understood, must be thought over in connection with other of His works, that we may be led to believe in things wonderful, by mean of things more wonderful still. That Body of the Lord, Which came into the assembly of the disciples through closed doors, was the Same, Which at Its birth, had become manifest to the eyes of men by passing out of the cloister of the Virgin's womb without breaking the seal thereof. What wonder is it if that Body Which had come out of the Virgin's womb, without opening the matrix, albeit It was then on Its way to die, now that It was risen again from the dead and instinct for ever with undying life, what wonder is it, I say, if that Body passed through closed doors? "

- Homily by Pope St Gregory 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday: "Jesus has died for me."


"Jesus has died for me. He loves me so much that he sacrificed his life for me. Yet, so that I might not lose the memory of his love, he has willed to institute the Eucharistic Sacrifice, by which Calvary is commemorated and all its merits are applied to me. For this reason the Church celebrates every day the death of Jesus, as She, in the same way that as Eve came forth from the side of Adam while sleeping, springs forth from the adorable Heart of Jesus on the Cross. What profound mysteries are hidden in today's liturgy! Jesus dies and the Church is born. He breathes his last, naked, and pours forth his blood to the last drop to clothe the Church with the stole of immortality and to fill it with the joy of an everlasting youth. In response to Jesus’ excess of love we should profess a tender devotion to the Eucharistic Sacrifice, as well as to the image of the Divine Crucifix, which we should never heed without letting it soften our hearts unto tears of gratitude for so many blessings. Every time we behold the effigy of the Cross, the Eternal Father, as was revealed by St. Gertrude, is moved to great pity for us sinners."

Source: pre1955holyweek.com