Saturday, April 5, 2014


Novena to St. Vincent Ferrer

O my protector,
St. Vincent Ferrer,
as the eternal God has deposited in you an inexhaustible treasurer of grace and of supernatural virtues,
hear my earnest petition,
and help me with your intercession,
more powerful now even than when you were on earth.
Hence with blind confidence do I cast myself at your feet,
there to place my requests for all those in whom I am concerned but more particularly for
(special favor).
O glorious saint,
let not my confidence in you be deceived.
Present for me,
to the Divine Majesty,
your suppliant prayers and watch over my soul.
Should sorrow and trials increase,
so also will my rejoicing increase,
and may my patience grow with each day,
that I may thus save my soul.



Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent

JER 11:18-20

I knew their plot because the LORD informed me;
at that time you, O LORD, showed me their doings.

Yet I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter,
had not realized that they were hatching plots against me:
“Let us destroy the tree in its vigor;
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will be spoken no more.”

But, you, O LORD of hosts, O just Judge,
searcher of mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause!

Responsorial Psalm
PS 7:2-3, 9BC-10, 11-12

R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.

O LORD, my God, in you I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers and rescue me,
Lest I become like the lion’s prey,
to be torn to pieces, with no one to rescue me.

R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.

Do me justice, O LORD, because I am just,
and because of the innocence that is mine.
Let the malice of the wicked come to an end,
but sustain the just,
O searcher of heart and soul, O just God.

R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.

A shield before me is God,
who saves the upright of heart;
A just judge is God,
a God who punishes day by day.

R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.

JN 7:40-53

Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
“This is truly the Prophet.
Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him.

So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees,
who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?”
The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.”
So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,
“Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?”
They answered and said to him,
“You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

Then each went to his own house.


April 5

St. Vincent Ferrer (1350?-1419)

The polarization in the Church today is a mild breeze compared with the tornado that ripped the Church apart during the lifetime of this saint. If any saint is a patron of reconciliation, Vincent Ferrer is.

Despite parental opposition, he entered the Dominican Order in his native Spain at 19. 
After brilliant studies, he was ordained a priest by Cardinal Peter de Luna—who would figure tragically in his life.

Of a very ardent nature, Vincent practiced the austerities of his Order with great energy. 
He was chosen prior of the Dominican house in Valencia shortly after his ordination.

The Western Schism divided Christianity first between two, then three, popes. Clement VII lived at Avignon in France, Urban VI in Rome. Vincent was convinced the election of Urban was invalid though Catherine of Siena (April 29) was just as devoted a supporter of the Roman pope. In the service of Cardinal de Luna, Vincent worked to persuade Spaniards to follow Clement. 
When Clement died, Cardinal de Luna was elected at Avignon and became Benedict XIII.

Vincent worked for him as apostolic penitentiary and Master of the Sacred Palace. But the new pope did not resign as all candidates in the conclave had sworn to do. He remained stubborn despite being deserted by the French king and nearly all of the cardinals.

Vincent became disillusioned and very ill, but finally took up the work of simply "going through the world preaching Christ," though he felt that any renewal in the Church depended on healing the schism. An eloquent and fiery preacher, he spent the last 20 years of his life spreading the Good News in Spain, France, Switzerland, the Low Countries and Lombardy, 
stressing the need of repentance and the fear of coming judgment. 
(He became known as the "Angel of the Judgment.")

He tried, unsuccessfully, in 1408 and 1415, to persuade his former friend to resign. He finally concluded that Benedict was not the true pope. Though very ill, he mounted the pulpit before an assembly over which Benedict himself was presiding and thundered his denunciation of the man who had ordained him a priest. Benedict fled for his life, 
abandoned by those who had formerly supported him. 
Strangely, Vincent had no part in the Council of Constance, which ended the schism.


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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us.
Come, let us adore him.

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

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us.
Come, let us adore him.

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

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us.
Come, let us adore him.

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.

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us.
Come, let us adore him.

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.

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us.
Come, let us adore him.


Lord, who throughout these forty days
for us didst fast and pray,
teach us with thee to mourn our sins,
and close by thee to stay.
As thou with Satan didst contend
and didst the victory win,
O give us strength in thee to fight,
in thee to conquer sin.
As thou didst hunger bear, and thirst,
so teach us, gracious Lord,
to die to self, and chiefly live
by thy most holy word.
And through these days of penitence,
and through thy Passiontide,
yea, evermore in life and death,
Jesus, with us abide.
Abide with us, that so, this life
of suffering overpast,
an Easter of unending joy
we may attain at last.

Psalm 77 (78)
The history of salvation:
the Lord's goodness,
his people's infidelity

The Lord saved them from their foe.

How often they rebelled in the wilderness!
How often they grieved him in the desert!
Again and again they put God to the test
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
They forgot his strength, they forgot the time
when he saved them from the oppressor’s power.
When he showed his signs in Egypt,
his wonders in the plain of Tanis,
he turned their rivers into blood
and the streams: there was nothing they could drink.
He sent biting flies to eat them up,
and frogs to bring devastation.
He gave their fruit to the caterpillar,
the fruit of their labours to the locust.
He killed their vines with hail,
he killed their sycamores with frost.
He gave their herds as victims to hail;
their flocks, to lightning.
He loosed upon them the heat of his anger:
rage, fury, and destruction;
he sent his destroying angels among them.
He cleared a path for his anger:
he did not spare them from death,
but cut off their lives in pestilence.
He struck down all the first-born in the land of Egypt,
the first-fruits of their strength in the tents of Ham.

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 saved them from their foe.

Psalm 77 (78)

The Lord brought them to his holy mountain.

He led his people away like sheep,
like a flock through the wilderness.
They were led in hope, they did not fear –
and the sea covered up their enemies.
He brought them within the borders he had sanctified,
to the mountain that his right hand had conquered.
He drove out the nations before them
divided their land, to be an inheritance,
and made Israel dwell in their tents.
Still they tested and angered God, the Most High,
and would not keep his decrees.
They went back to their unfaithfulness,
like their fathers before them:
they twisted round, like a crooked bow.
They stirred him to anger by their worship in high places:
they provoked him to jealousy with their idols.
God heard, and burned with anger:
then truly he spurned Israel.
He abandoned his dwelling-place in Shiloh,
the tent where he had lived among men.
He gave up his power to captivity,
his glory to the hands of the enemy.
He gave up his people to the sword,
he burned hot against his own inheritance.
Fire burned up their youths,
and their maidens remained unwed.
Their priests fell to the sword,
and their widows died unmourned.

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 brought them to his holy mountain.

Psalm 77 (78)

He chose the tribe of Judah and David his servant to be shepherd of Israel,
his own possession.

The Lord awoke as a sleeper awakes,
like a warrior fuddled with wine.
He attacked his foes from behind,
he put them to everlasting shame.
He rejected the tents of Joseph,
he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
but the tribe of Judah he chose,
and his beloved mountain of Zion.
He built his sanctuary as a high place,
firm as the earth he had founded for ever.
He chose David for his servant
and raised him up from his flocks.
He took him from following the pregnant ewes
to be the shepherd of Jacob, his people,
and of Israel, his inheritance.
He pastured them with a pure heart
and led them with skilful hands.

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.

He chose the tribe of Judah and David his servant to be shepherd of Israel,
his own possession.

He who lives by the truth comes to the light
– and whatever he does is seen by all.

First Reading
Numbers 20:1-13,21:4-9

The waters of Meribah and the bronze serpent

The sons of Israel, the whole community, arrived in the first month at the desert of Zin.
The people settled at Kadesh.
It was there that Miriam died and was buried.

There was no water for the community, and they were all united against Moses and Aaron. The people challenged Moses: ‘We would rather have died,’ they said ‘as our brothers died before the Lord! Why did you bring the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, only to let us die here, ourselves and our cattle? Why did you lead us out of Egypt, only to bring us to this wretched place? It is a place unfit for sowing, it has no figs, no vines, no pomegranates, and there is not even water to drink!’

Leaving the assembly, Moses and Aaron went to the door of the Tent of Meeting. They threw themselves face downward on the ground, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘Take the branch and call the community together, you and your brother Aaron. Then, in full view of them, order this rock to give water. 
You will make water flow for them out of the rock, and provide drink for the community and their cattle.’

Moses took up the branch from before the Lord, as he had directed him. Then Moses and Aaron called the assembly together in front of the rock and addressed them, ‘Listen now, you rebels. Shall we make water gush from this rock for you?’ And Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the branch; water gushed in abundance, and the community drank and their cattle too.

Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 
‘Because you did not believe that I could proclaim my holiness in the eyes of the sons of Israel, 
you shall not lead this assembly into the land I am giving them.’

These are the waters of Meribah, where the sons of Israel challenged the Lord and he proclaimed his holiness.

They left Mount Hor by the road to the Sea of Suph, to skirt the land of Edom. On the way the people lost patience. They spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? 
For there is neither bread nor water here; we are sick of this unsatisfying food.’

At this God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel. The people came and said to Moses, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede for us with the Lord to save us from these serpents.’ Moses interceded for the people, and the Lord answered him, ‘Make a fiery serpent and put it on a standard. If anyone is bitten and looks at it, he shall live.’ So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived.


The Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.

God sent his Son into the world,
not to condemn the world but so that through him the world might be saved,
so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.

Second Reading
Vatican II: 
"Gaudium et Spes" on the Church in the modern world

All human activity is to find its purification in the Paschal mystery

Holy Scripture, with which the experience of the ages is in agreement, teaches the human family that human progress, though it is a great blessing for man, brings with it a great temptation. When the scale of values is disturbed and evil becomes mixed with good, individuals and groups consider only their own interests, not those of others.

The result is that the world is not yet a home of true brotherhood, 
while the increased power of mankind already threatens to destroy the human race itself.

If it is asked how this unhappy state of affairs can be set right, Christians state their belief that all human activity, in daily jeopardy through pride and inordinate self-love, is to find its purification and its perfection in the cross and resurrection of Christ.

Man, redeemed by Christ and made a new creation in the Holy Spirit, can and must love the very things created by God. 
For he receives them from God, and sees and reveres them as coming from the hand of God,

As he gives thanks for them to his Benefactor, and uses and enjoys them in a spirit of poverty and freedom, he enters into true possession of the world, as one having nothing and possessing all things. For all things are yours, and you are Christ’s, 
and Christ is God’s.

The Word of God, through whom all things were made, himself became man and lived in the world of men. As perfect man he has entered into the history of the world, taking it up into himself and bringing it into unity as its head. He reveals to us that God is love, and at the same time teaches us that the fundamental law of human perfection, 
and therefore of the transformation of the world, is the new commandment of love.

He assures those who have faith in God’s love that the way of love is open to all men, and that the effort to restore universal brotherhood is not in vain. At the same time he warns us that this love is not to be sought after only in great things but also, 
and above all, in the ordinary circumstances of life.

He suffered death for us all, sinners as we are, and by his example he teaches us that we also have to carry that cross which the flesh and the world lay on the shoulders of those who strive for peace and justice.

Constituted as the Lord by his resurrection, Christ, to whom all power in heaven and on earth has been given, is still at work in the hearts of men through the power of his Spirit. Not only does he awaken in them a longing for the world to come, but by that very fact he also inspires, purifies and strengthens those generous desires by which the human family seeks to make its own life more human and to achieve the same goal for the whole world.

The gifts of the Spirit are manifold. He calls some to bear open witness to the longing for a dwelling place in heaven, and to keep this fresh in the minds of all mankind; he calls others to dedicate themselves to the service of men here on earth, 
preparing by this ministry the material for the kingdom of heaven.

Yet he makes all free, so that, by denying their love of self and taking up all earth’s resources into the life of man, 
all may reach out to the future, when humanity itself will become an offering acceptable to God.


Christ died for all,
so that living men should live no longer for themselves,
but for him who died and was raised to life for them.

He was put to death for our sins and raised to life to justify us,
so that living men should live no longer for themselves,
but for him who died and was raised to life for them.

Let us pray.

In your gentle mercy, Lord,
guide our wayward hearts,
for we know that left to ourselves
we cannot do your will.
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.