Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Prayer to the Sacred Heart

Hail! O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and quickening source of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, and burning furnace of divine love. Thou art my refuge and my sanctuary, O my amiable Savior. Consume my heart with that burning fire with which Thine is ever inflamed. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Thy love, and let my heart be so united with Thine, that our wills may be one, and mine in all things, be conformed to Thine. May Thy divine will be equally the standard and rule of all my desires and of all my actions.


St. Gertrude the Great (1256-1302)

Wednesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
2 Tm 1:1-3, 6-12

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God
for the promise of life in Christ Jesus,
to Timothy, my dear child:
grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father
and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am grateful to God,
whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did,
as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day.

For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame
the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands.
For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice
but rather of power and love and self-control.
So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord,
nor of me, a prisoner for his sake;
but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel
with the strength that comes from God.

He saved us and called us to a holy life,
not according to our works
but according to his own design
and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began,
but now made manifest
through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus,
who destroyed death and brought life and immortality
to light through the Gospel,
for which I was appointed preacher and Apostle and teacher.
On this account I am suffering these things;
but I am not ashamed,
for I know him in whom I have believed
and am confident that he is able to guard
what has been entrusted to me until that day.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 123:1b-2ab, 2cdef

R. To you, O Lord, I lift up my eyes.

To you I lift up my eyes
who are enthroned in heaven.
Behold, as the eyes of servants
are on the hands of their masters.

R. To you, O Lord, I lift up my eyes.

As the eyes of a maid
are on the hands of her mistress,
So are our eyes on the LORD, our God,
till he have pity on us.

R. To you, O Lord, I lift up my eyes.

Mk 12:18-27

Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection,
came to Jesus and put this question to him, saying,
“Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers.
The first married a woman and died, leaving no descendants.
So the second brother married her and died, leaving no descendants,
and the third likewise.
And the seven left no descendants.
Last of all the woman also died.
At the resurrection when they arise whose wife will she be?
For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them,

“Are you not misled
because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?
When they rise from the dead,
they neither marry nor are given in marriage,
but they are like the angels in heaven.
As for the dead being raised,
have you not read in the Book of Moses,
in the passage about the bush, how God told him,
I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac,
and the God of Jacob?
He is not God of the dead but of the living.
You are greatly misled.”


June 2

Sts. Marcellinus and Peter (d. 304)

Marcellinus and Peter were prominent enough in the memory of Church to be included among the saints of the Roman Canon. Mention of their names is optional in our present Eucharistic Prayer I.
Marcellinus was a priest and Peter was an exorcist, that is, someone authorized by the Church to deal with cases of demonic possession. They were beheaded during the persecution of Diocletian. Pope Damasus wrote an epitaph apparently based on the report of their executioner, and Constantine erected a basilica over the crypt in which they were buried in Rome. Numerous legends sprang from an early account of their death.


O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 66 (67)

Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.

– Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.

O God, take pity on us and bless us,
and let your face shine upon us,
so that your ways may be known across the world,
and all nations learn of your salvation.

– Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.

Let the peoples praise you, O God,
let all the peoples praise you.
Let the nations be glad and rejoice,
for you judge the peoples with fairness
and you guide the nations of the earth.

– Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.

Let the peoples praise you, O God,
let all the peoples praise you.
The earth has produced its harvest:
may God, our God, bless us.
May God bless us,
may the whole world revere him.

– Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

– Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.


Thou madest all and dost control,
Lord, with thy touch divine.
Cast out the slumbers of the soul,
The rest that is not thine.
Look down, Eternal Holiness,
And wash the sins away,
Of those, who, rising to confess,
Outstrip the lingering day.
Our hearts and hands by night, O Lord,
We lift them in our need;
As holy Psalmist gives the word,
And holy Paul the deed.
Each sin to thee of years gone by,
Each hidden stain lies bare;
We shrink not from thine awful eye,
But pray that thou wouldst spare.
Grant this, O Father, Only Son
And Spirit, God of grace,
To whom all worship shall be done
In every time and place.

Thanksgiving for salvation and victory
Psalm 17 (18)

I will love you, O Lord, my strength.

I will love you, Lord, my strength:
Lord, you are my foundation and my refuge,
you set me free.
My God is my help: I will put my hope in him,
my protector, my sign of salvation,
the one who raises me up.
I will call on the Lord – praise be to his name –
and I will be saved from my enemies.
The waves of death flooded round me,
the torrents of Belial tossed me about,
the cords of the underworld wound round me,
death’s traps opened before me.
In my distress I called on the Lord,
I cried out to my God:
from his temple he heard my voice,
my cry to him came to his ears.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

I will love you, O Lord, my strength.
Psalm 17 (18)

The Lord was my deliverance, for he held me in favour.

The earth moved and shook,
at the coming of his anger the roots of the mountains rocked
and were shaken.
Smoke rose from his nostrils,
consuming fire came from his mouth,
from it came forth flaming coals.
He bowed down the heavens and descended,
storm clouds were at his feet.
He rode on the cherubim and flew,
he travelled on the wings of the wind.
He made dark clouds his covering;
his dwelling-place, dark waters and clouds of the air.
The cloud-masses were split by his lightnings,
hail fell, hail and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered from the heavens,
the Most High let his voice be heard,
with hail and coals of fire.
He shot his arrows and scattered them,
hurled thunderbolts and threw them into confusion.
The depths of the oceans were laid bare,
the foundations of the globe were revealed,
at the sound of your anger, O Lord,
at the onset of the gale of your wrath.
He reached from on high and took me up,
he lifted me from the many waters.
He snatched me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me.
They attacked me in my time of trouble,
but the Lord was my support.
He led me to the open spaces,
he was my deliverance, for he held me in favour.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

The Lord was my deliverance, for he held me in favour.
Psalm 17 (18)

Light my lamp, O Lord, bring light into my darkness.

The Lord rewards me according to my uprightness,
he repays me according to the purity of my hands,
for I have kept to the paths of the Lord
and have not departed wickedly from my God.
For I keep all his decrees in my sight,
and I will not reject his judgements;
I am stainless before him,
I have kept myself away from evil.
And so the Lord has rewarded me according to my uprightness,
according to the purity of my hands in his sight.
You will be holy with the holy,
kind with the kind,
with the chosen you will be chosen,
but with the crooked you will show your cunning.
For you will bring salvation to a lowly people
but make the proud ashamed.
For you light my lamp, O Lord;
my God brings light to my darkness.
For with you I will attack the enemy’s squadrons;
with my God I will leap over their wall.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Light my lamp, O Lord, bring light into my darkness.
All were astonished by the gracious words
– that came from his lips.

Job 32:1-6,33:1-22

These three men said no more to Job, because he was convinced of his innocence. But another man was infuriated – Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite, of the clan of Ram. He fumed with rage against Job for thinking that he was right and God was wrong; and he was equally angry with the three friends for giving up the argument and thus admitting that God could be unjust. While they were speaking, Elihu had held himself back, because they were older than he was; but when he saw that the three men had not another word to say in answer, his anger burst out. Thus Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite spoke next. He said:

I am still young,
and you are old,
so I was shy, afraid,
to tell you what I know.
Now, Job, be kind enough to listen to my words,
and attend to all I have to say.
Now as I open my mouth,
and my tongue shapes words against my palate,
my heart shall utter sayings full of wisdom,
and my lips speak the honest truth.
Refute me, if you can.
Prepare your ground to oppose me.
See, I am your fellow man, not a god;
like you, I was fashioned out of clay.
God’s breath it was that made me,
the breathing of Shaddai that gave me life.
Thus, no fear of me need disturb you,
my hand will not lie heavy over you.
How could you say in my hearing –
for the sound of your words did not escape me –
‘I am clean, and sinless,
I am pure, free of all fault.
Yet he is inventing grievances against me,
and imagining me his enemy.
He puts me in the stocks,
he watches my every step’?
In saying so, I tell you, you are wrong:
God does not fit man’s measure.
Why do you rail at him
for not replying to you, word for word?
God speaks first in one way,
and then in another, but no one notices.
He speaks by dreams, and visions that come in the night,
when slumber comes on mankind,
and men are all asleep in bed.
Then it is he whispers in the ear of man,
or may frighten him with fearful sights,
to turn him away from evil-doing,
and make an end of his pride;
to save his soul from the pit
and his life from the pathway to Sheol.
With suffering, too, he corrects man on his sick-bed,
when his bones keep trembling with palsy;
when his whole self is revolted by food,
and his appetite spurns dainties;
when his flesh rots as you watch it,
and his bare bones begin to show;
when his soul is drawing near to the pit,
and his life to the dwelling of the dead.


How rich are the depths of God, how deep his wisdom and knowledge, how inscrutable are his judgements!

Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counsellor? How inscrutable are his judgements!

The Moral Reflections on Job by Pope St Gregory the Great

Sound teaching avoids pride

Now, Job, listen to my words, and attend to all I have to say. It is characteristic of the way that arrogant people teach, that they do not know how to convey their knowledge humbly and cannot express straightforward truths straightforwardly. When they teach, it is clear from their words that they are placing themselves on a pinnacle and looking down on their pupils somewhere in the depths – pupils unworthy to be informed and scarcely even worth the bother of dominating.

The Lord rightly admonished such people through the mouth of the prophet Ezekiel, saying You have ruled your flock cruelly and with violence. For they rule with cruelty and violence when they do not try to correct those under them with rational arguments but try to dominate them and crush them.

On the other hand, sound teaching is eager to avoid this sin of pride manifested in thought: just as eager as it is to attack with words the teacher of pride himself. Sound teaching does not promote him by imitating his arrogance but uses pious words to attack him in its hearers’ hearts. Instead it promotes humility, the mother and teacher of all virtues. It preaches humility in words and manifests humility in its actions. It commends humility to its pupils more by conduct than by speech.

This is why Paul seems to have forgotten his exalted status as an apostle when writing to the Thessalonians: We were babes among you. So also Peter: Always have your answer ready for people who ask the reason for the hope you all have, adding, to emphasize that the teaching must be presented in the proper way, But give it with respect and with a clear conscience.

When Paul says to Timothy Command these things and teach them with all authority, he is not calling for a domination born of power but an authority that comes from a way of life. “Teaching with authority” here means living something first before preaching it; for when speech is impeded by conscience, the hearer will find it harder to trust what is being taught. So Paul is not commending the power of proud and exalted words, but the trustworthiness that comes from good behaviour. This, indeed, is why it is said of the Lord, Unlike the scribes and pharisees, he taught them with authority. He alone spoke with unique authority because he had never, through weakness, done evil. What he had from the power of his divinity, he taught to us through the innocence of his humanity.


All wrap yourselves in humility to be servants of each other, because God refuses the proud and will always favour the humble.
Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, because God refuses the proud and will always favour the humble.
O God, your providence is unerring. Hear our prayer:
protect us from all harm
and bestow on us everything that we need.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.