Thursday, February 20, 2014


To Our Lady of Fatima

Queen of the Rosary,
sweet Virgin of Fatima,
who hast deigned to appear in the land of Portugal and hast brought peace,
both interior and exterior,
to that once so troubled country,
we beg of thee to watch over our dear homeland and to assure its moral and spiritual revival.

Bring back peace to all nations of the world,
so that all,
and our own nation in particular,
may be happy to call thee their Queen and the Queen of Peace.

Our Lady of the Rosary,
pray for our country.
Our Lady of Fatima,
obtain for all humanity a durable peace.



Thursday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

JAS 2:1-9

My brothers and sisters, show no partiality
as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.
For if a man with gold rings and fine clothes
comes into your assembly,
and a poor person with shabby clothes also comes in,
and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes
and say, “Sit here, please,”
while you say to the poor one, “Stand there,” or “Sit at my feet,”
have you not made distinctions among yourselves
and become judges with evil designs?

Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters.
Did not God choose those who are poor in the world
to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom
that he promised to those who love him?
But you dishonored the poor.
Are not the rich oppressing you?
And do they themselves not haul you off to court?
Is it not they who blaspheme the noble name that was invoked over you?
However, if you fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture,
You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well.
But if you show partiality, you commit sin,
and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

MK 8:27-33

Jesus and his disciples set out
for the villages of Caesarea Philippi.
Along the way he asked his disciples,

“Who do people say that I am?”

They said in reply,
“John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others one of the prophets.”

And he asked them,

“But who do you say that I am?”

Peter said to him in reply,
“You are the Christ.”
Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.

He began to teach them
that the Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed, and rise after three days.
He spoke this openly.
Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples,
rebuked Peter and said,

“Get behind me, Satan.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”


February 20

Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco Marto (1910-1920; 1908-1919)

Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three children, Portuguese shepherds from Aljustrel, received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria, near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. At that time, Europe was involved in an extremely bloody war. 
Portugal itself was in political turmoil, having overthrown its monarchy in 1910; 
the government disbanded religious organizations soon after.

At the first appearance, Mary asked the children to return to that spot on the thirteenth of each month for the next six months. She also asked them to learn to read and write and to pray the rosary “to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.” They were to pray for sinners and for the conversion of Russia, which had recently overthrown Czar Nicholas II and was soon to fall under communism. Up to 90,000 people gathered for Mary’s final apparition on October 13, 1917.

Less than two years later, Francisco died of influenza in his family home. He was buried in the parish cemetery and then re-buried in the Fatima basilica in 1952. Jacinta died of influenza in Lisbon, offering her suffering for the conversion of sinners, peace in the world and the Holy Father. She was re-buried in the Fatima basilica in 1951. Their cousin, Lucia dos Santos, became a Carmelite nun and was still living when Jacinta and Francisco were beatified in 2000. Sister Lucia died five years later. 
The shrine of Our Lady of Fatima is visited by up to 20 million people a year.


O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim Your Praise!

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

Come before the Lord, singing with joy.

Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.

Come before the Lord, singing with joy.

Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
– his people, the sheep of his flock.

Come before the Lord, singing with joy.

Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts forever,
his faithfulness through all the ages.

Come before the Lord, singing with joy.

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.

Come before the Lord, singing with joy.


Where true love is dwelling, God is dwelling there:
Love’s own loving Presence love does ever share.
Love of Christ has made us out of many one;
In our midst is dwelling God’s eternal Son.
Give him joyful welcome, love him and revere:
Cherish one another with a love sincere.

Psalm 43 (44)
In time of defeat

It was you who saved us, Lord:
we will praise your name without ceasing.

Our own ears have heard, O God,
and our fathers have proclaimed it to us,
what you did in their days, the days of old:
how with your own hand you swept aside the nations
and put us in their place,
struck them down to make room for us.
It was not by their own swords that our fathers took over the land,
it was not their own strength that gave them victory;
but your hand and your strength,
the light of your face,
for you were pleased in them.
You are my God and my king,
who take care for the safety of Jacob.
Through you we cast down your enemies;
in your name we crushed those who rose against us.
I will not put my hopes in my bow,
my sword will not bring me to safety;
for it was you who saved us from our afflictions,
you who set confusion among those who hated us.
We will glory in the Lord all the day,
and proclaim your name for all ages.

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.

It was you who saved us, Lord:
we will praise your name without ceasing.

Psalm 43 (44)

Spare us, Lord,
do not let your people be put to shame.

But now, God, you have spurned us and confounded us,
so that we must go into battle without you.
You have put us to flight in the sight of our enemies,
and those who hate us plunder us at will.
You have handed us over like sheep sold for food,
you have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for no money,
not even profiting by the exchange.
You have made us the laughing-stock of our neighbours,
mocked and derided by those who surround us.
The nations have made us a by-word,
the peoples toss their heads in scorn.
All the day I am ashamed,
I blush with shame
as they reproach me and revile me,
my enemies and my persecutors.

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.

Spare us, Lord,
do not let your people be put to shame.

Psalm 43 (44)

Arise, Lord!
Redeem us because of your love.

All this happened to us,
but not because we had forgotten you.
We were not disloyal to your covenant;
our hearts did not turn away;
our steps did not wander from your path;
and yet you brought us low,
with horrors all about us:
you overwhelmed us in the shadows of death.
If we had forgotten the name of our God,
if we had spread out our hands before an alien god —
would God not have known?
He knows what is hidden in our hearts.
It is for your sake that we face death all the day,
that we are reckoned as sheep to be slaughtered.
Awake, Lord, why do you sleep?
Rise up, do not always reject us.
Why do you turn away your face?
How can you forget our poverty and our tribulation?
Our souls are crushed into the dust,
our bodies dragged down to the earth.
Rise up, Lord, and help us.
In your mercy, redeem 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.

Arise, Lord!
Redeem us because of your love.

Lord, to whom shall we go?
– You have the words of eternal life.

First Reading
Proverbs 10:6-32

The blessings of the Lord are on the head of the virtuous man,
premature mourning stops the mouths of the wicked.
The virtuous man is remembered with blessings,
the wicked man’s name rots away.
The heart that is wise is obedient to instruction,
the gabbling fool is heading for ruin.
He walks secure whose ways are honourable,
but he who follows crooked ways is soon discovered.
A wink of the eye, and a man makes trouble,
a bold rebuke, and a man makes peace.
The mouth of the virtuous man is a life-giving fountain,
violence lurks in the mouth of the wicked.
Hatred provokes disputes,
love covers over all offences.
On the lips of a discerning man is wisdom found,
on the back of a fool, the stick.
Wise men store up knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool makes ruin imminent.
The rich man’s wealth is his stronghold,
poverty is the poor man’s undoing.
The virtuous man’s wage affords him life,
but destruction is all the wicked man earns.
The path of life is to abide by discipline,
and he who ignores correction goes astray.
The lips of just men silence hatred,
he who voices slander is a fool.
A flood of words is never without its fault,
he who has his lips controlled is a prudent man.
The virtuous man’s tongue is purest silver,
the heart of the wicked is of trumpery value.
The lips of the virtuous man nourish a multitude,
but fools die in poverty.
The blessing of the Lord is what brings riches,
to this hard toil has nothing to add.
The joy of the fool lies in doing wrong,
but the joy of the man of discernment in acquiring wisdom.
What the wicked man fears overtakes him,
what the virtuous desires comes to him as a present.
When the storm is over, the wicked man is no more,
but the virtuous stands firm for ever.
As vinegar to the teeth, smoke to the eyes,
so the sluggard to the one who sends him.
The fear of the Lord adds length to life,
the years of the wicked will be cut short.
The hope of virtuous men is all joy,
the expectations of the wicked are frustrated.
The Lord is a stronghold for the man of honest life,
for evildoers nothing but ruin.
The virtuous man will never be moved from his own place,
but the land will offer no home for the wicked.
The mouth of the virtuous man utters wisdom,
the deceitful tongue shall be torn out.
The lips of the virtuous man drip with kindness,
the mouth of the wicked with deceit.


The just man’s mouth utters wisdom and his lips speak what is right;
the law of his God is in his heart.

The just man will be remembered for ever; he has no fear of evil news.
The law of his God is in his heart.

Second Reading
From the Explanations of the Psalms
by Saint Ambrose, bishop

Open your lips, and let God's word be heard

We must always meditate on God’s wisdom, keeping it in our hearts and on our lips. Your tongue must speak justice, the law of God must be in your heart. Hence Scripture tells you: You shall speak of these commandments when you sit in your house, and when you walk along the way, and when you lie down, and when you get up. Let us then speak of the Lord Jesus, for he is wisdom, he is the word, the Word indeed of God.

It is also written: Open your lips, and let God’s word be heard. 
God’s word is uttered by those who repeat Christ’s teaching and meditate on his sayings. 
Let us always speak this word. 
When we speak about wisdom, we are speaking of Christ. 
When we speak about virtue, we are speaking of Christ. 
When we speak about justice, we are speaking of Christ. 
When we speak about peace, we are speaking of Christ. 
When we speak about truth and life and redemption, we are speaking of Christ.

Open your lips, says Scripture, and let God’s word be heard. It is for you to open, it is for him to be heard. So David said: I shall hear what the Lord says in me. The very Son of God says: Open your lips, and I will fill them. Not all can attain to the perfection of wisdom as Solomon or Daniel did, but the spirit of wisdom is poured out on all according to their capacity, 
that is, on all the faithful. If you believe, you have the spirit of wisdom.

Meditate, then, at all times on the things of God, and speak the things of God, when you sit in your house. By house we can understand the Church, or the secret place within us, so that we are to speak within ourselves. Speak with prudence, so as to avoid falling into sin, as by excess of talking. When you sit in your house, speak to yourself as if you were a judge. When you walk along the way, speak, so as never to be idle. You speak along the way if you speak in Christ, for Christ is the way. When you walk along the way, speak to yourself, speak to Christ. Hear him say to you: I desire that in every place men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarrelling. When you lie down, speak so that the sleep of death may not steal upon you. Listen and learn how you are to speak as you lie down; I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids until I find a place for the Lord, 
a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.

When you get up or rise again, speak of Christ, so as to fulfil what you are commanded. Listen and learn how Christ is to awaken you from sleep. Your soul says: I hear my brother knocking at the door. Then Christ says to you: Open the door to me, my sister, my spouse. Listen and learn how you are to awaken Christ. Your soul says: 
I charge you, daughters of Jerusalem, awaken or reawaken the love of my heart. Christ is that love.


God gave us all Christ Jesus to be our wisdom,
our justification, our sanctification, and our atonement,
so that the scripture might be fulfilled.
If anyone boasts, let him make his boast in the Lord.

We have all received something out of his abundance,
grace answering to grace,
so that the scripture might be fulfilled.
If anyone boasts, let him make his boast in the Lord.

Let us pray.

To those who love you, Lord,
you promise to come with your Son
and make your home within them.
Come, then, with your purifying grace
and make our hearts a place where you can dwell.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.