Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major
Our Lady of the Snows

O glorious Maid, exalted far
Beyond the light of burning star,
From him who made thee thou hast won
Grace to be Mother of his Son.

That which was lost in hapless Eve
Thy holy Scion did retrieve;
The tear-worn sons of Adam’s race
Through thee have seen the heavenly place.

Thou wast the gate of heaven’s high Lord,
The door through which the light hath poured.
Christians rejoice, for through a Maid
To all mankind is life conveyed!

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born to thee!
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete.



Tuesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

JER 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22

The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD:

For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel:
Write all the words I have spoken to you in a book.

For thus says the LORD:
Incurable is your wound,
grievous your bruise;
There is none to plead your cause,
no remedy for your running sore,
no healing for you.
All your lovers have forgotten you,
they do not seek you.
I struck you as an enemy would strike,
punished you cruelly;
Why cry out over your wound?
your pain is without relief.
Because of your great guilt,
your numerous sins,
I have done this to you.

Thus says the LORD:

See! I will restore the tents of Jacob,
his dwellings I will pity;
City shall be rebuilt upon hill,
and palace restored as it was.
From them will resound songs of praise,
the laughter of happy men.
I will make them not few, but many;
they will not be tiny, for I will glorify them.
His sons shall be as of old,
his assembly before me shall stand firm;
I will punish all his oppressors.
His leader shall be one of his own,
and his rulers shall come from his kin.
When I summon him, he shall approach me;
how else should one take the deadly risk
of approaching me? says the LORD.
You shall be my people,
and I will be your God.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 102:16-18, 19-21, 29 AND 22-23

R. The Lord will build up Zion again,
and appear in all his glory.

The nations shall revere your name, O LORD,
and all the kings of the earth your glory,
When the LORD has rebuilt Zion
and appeared in his glory;
When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute,
and not despised their prayer.

R. The Lord will build up Zion again,
and appear in all his glory.

Let this be written for the generation to come,
and let his future creatures praise the LORD:
“The LORD looked down from his holy height,
from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
to release those doomed to die.”

R. The Lord will build up Zion again,
and appear in all his glory.

The children of your servants shall abide,
and their posterity shall continue in your presence,
That the name of the LORD may be declared on Zion;
and his praise, in Jerusalem,
When the peoples gather together
and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.

R. The Lord will build up Zion again,
and appear in all his glory.

MT 14:22-36

Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side of the sea,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.

At once Jesus spoke to them,

“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”

He said,


Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him,
and said to him,

“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”

After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret.
When the men of that place recognized him,
they sent word to all the surrounding country.
People brought to him all those who were sick
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak,
and as many as touched it were healed.

MT 15:1-2, 10-14

Some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,
“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders?
They do not wash their hands when they eat a meal.”

He summoned the crowd and said to them,

“Hear and understand.
It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles the man;
but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.”

Then his disciples approached and said to him,
“Do you know that the Pharisees took offense
when they heard what you said?”

He said in reply,

“Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted
will be uprooted.
Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.
If a blind man leads a blind man,
both will fall into a pit."


August 5

Dedication of St. Mary Major Basilica

First raised at the order of Pope Liberius in the mid-fourth century, the Liberian basilica was rebuilt by Pope Sixtus III shortly after the Council of Ephesus affirmed Mary’s title as Mother of God in 431. Rededicated at that time to the Mother of God, St. Mary Major is the largest church in the world honoring God through Mary. Standing atop one of Rome’s seven hills, the Esquiline, it has survived many restorations without losing its character as an early Roman basilica. Its interior retains three naves divided by colonnades in the style of Constantine’s era. Fifth-century mosaics on its walls testify to its antiquity.

St. Mary Major is one of the four Roman basilicas known as patriarchal cathedrals in memory of the first centers of the Church. St. John Lateran (November 9) represents Rome, the See of Peter; St. Paul Outside the Walls, the See of Alexandria, allegedly the see presided over by Mark (April 25); St. Peter’s, the See of Constantinople; and St. Mary’s, the See of Antioch, 
where Mary is supposed to have spent most of her life.

One legend, unreported before the year 1000, gives another name to this feast: Our Lady of the Snows. According to that story, a wealthy Roman couple pledged their fortune to the Mother of God. In affirmation, she produced a miraculous summer snowfall and told them to build a church on the site. The legend was long celebrated by releasing a shower of white rose petals from the basilica’s dome every August 5.


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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 66 (67)

A mighty God is the Lord:
come, let us adore him.

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.

A mighty God is the Lord:
come, let us adore him.

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.

A mighty God is the Lord:
come, let us adore him.

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.

A mighty God is the Lord:
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.

A mighty God is the Lord:
come, let us adore him.


O God of truth and Lord of power,
whose word their course to things assigns,
whose splendour lights the morning hour,
whose fiery sun at noonday shines:
Within us quench the flames of strife,
the harmful heat of passion quell;
give health of body to our life
and give true peace of soul as well.
In this, most loving Father, hear,
and Christ, co-equal Son, our prayer:
with Holy Ghost, one Trinity,
you reign for all eternity.

Psalm 36 (37)
The fate of the evil and the righteous

Commit your life to the Lord,
and he will act on your behalf.

Do not envy the wicked;
do not be jealous of those that do evil.
They will dry up as quickly as hay;
they will wither like the grass.
Put your trust in the Lord and do good,
and your land and habitation will be secure.
Take your delight in the Lord,
and he will give you what your heart desires.
Entrust your journey to the Lord, and hope in him:
and he will act.
He will make your uprightness shine like the light,
your judgement like the sun at noon.
Take your rest in the Lord, and hope in him:
do not envy the one who thrives in his own way,
the man who weaves plots.
Abstain from wrath, abandon anger:
do not envy him who turns to evil,
for those who do evil will be destroyed,
but those on the side of the Lord
will inherit the earth.
A moment yet – and the sinner will be gone:
you will look where he was and find nothing.
But the needy will inherit the land
and delight in abundant peace.

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.

Commit your life to the Lord,
and he will act on your behalf.

Psalm 36 (37)

Turn away from evil and do good:
the Lord will support the just.

The wicked will plot against the righteous
and gnash his teeth at him;
but the Lord will deride him in his turn,
for the Lord has seen what awaits him.
The wicked have pulled out their swords,
the wicked have drawn their bows,
to throw down the poor and the destitute,
to murder whoever follows the straight path.
But their swords will enter their own hearts,
and their bows will splinter.
For the righteous, the little they have is better
than the abundant wealth of the wicked.
The limbs of the wicked will be broken
while the Lord gives his strength to the just.
The Lord knows when the day of the perfect will come;
and their inheritance will be eternal.
They will not be troubled in evil times,
and in times of famine they will have more than enough.
For the wicked will perish:
the enemies of the Lord will be like the flowers of the fields,
and like smoke they will vanish away.
The wicked man borrows and does not return;
but the righteous takes pity and gives.
The blessed ones of the Lord will inherit the earth,
but those whom he curses will be cut off.
It is the Lord who strengthens the steps of man
and chooses his path.
Even if he trips he will not fall flat,
for the Lord is holding his hand.
I was young and I have grown old,
but I have not seen the righteous man abandoned
nor his children seeking for bread.
All day long he takes pity and lends,
and his seed will be blessed.
Shun evil and do good,
and you will live for ever.
For the Lord loves right judgement,
and will not abandon his chosen ones.
The unjust will be destroyed for ever,
and the seed of the wicked will be cut off,
but the righteous will inherit the earth
and live there from age to age.

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.

Turn away from evil and do good:
the Lord will support the just.

Psalm 36 (37)

Wait for the Lord, keep to his way.

The mouth of the righteous will speak wisdom,
and his tongue will utter right judgement.
The law of his God is in his heart
and his steps will not stumble.
The wicked man watches the just
and seeks to kill him;
but the Lord will rescue the just man from his hands
and not condemn the just in the time of judgement.
Put your hope in the Lord and follow his paths,
and he will raise you up and make the land your inheritance,
let you watch as the wicked are cut off.
I have seen the sinner triumph,
flourish like a green cedar,
but he is gone, he is there no longer:
I have looked for him but have not found him.
Preserve innocence, follow uprightness:
for the future belongs to the man of peace.
The unrighteous will be destroyed altogether,
their posterity will be cut off.
The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord,
and their protection in time of trouble.
The Lord will come to their help and free them,
rescue them from the wicked and save them,
because they have put their trust in 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.

Wait for the Lord, keep to his way.

Teach me goodness and discernment and knowledge;
– for I trust in your commands.

First Reading
Amos 7:1-17

This is what the Lord showed me:
it was a swarm of locusts
at the time when the second crop was starting to grow,
a swarm of full-grown locusts, when the king’s cutting was over.
They were about to devour all the greenstuff in the land,
but I said, ‘O Lord, forgive, I beg you.
How can Jacob survive, being so small?’
And the Lord relented;
‘This shall not happen’ said the Lord.
This is what the Lord showed me:
the Lord himself summoning fire in punishment;
it had devoured the great Abyss
and was already encroaching on the land.
Then I said, ‘Stop, O Lord, I beg you.
How can Jacob survive, being so small?’
And the Lord relented;
‘This will not happen either’ said the Lord.
This is what the Lord showed me:
a man standing by a wall,
plumb-line in hand.
‘What do you see, Amos?’ the Lord asked me.
‘A plumb-line’ I said.
Then the Lord said to me,
‘Look, I am going to measure my people Israel by plumb-line;
no longer will I overlook their offences.
The high places of Isaac are going to be ruined,
the sanctuaries of Israel destroyed,
and, sword in hand, I will attack the House of Jeroboam.’

Amaziah the priest of Bethel then sent word to Jeroboam king of Israel as follows. ‘Amos is plotting against you in the heart of the House of Israel; the country can no longer tolerate what he keeps saying. For this is what he says, “Jeroboam is going to die by the sword, and Israel go into exile far from its country.”’ To Amos, Amaziah said, ‘Go away, seer;’ get back to the land of Judah; earn your bread there, do your prophesying there. We want no more prophesying in Bethel; this is the royal sanctuary, the national temple.’ ‘I was no prophet, neither did I belong to any of the brotherhoods of prophets,’ Amos replied to Amaziah ‘I was a shepherd, and looked after sycamores: but it was the Lord who took me from herding the flock, and the Lord who said, 
“Go, prophesy to my people Israel.” So listen to the word of the Lord.

‘You say:
“Do not prophesy against Israel,
utter no oracles against the House of Isaac.”
‘Very well, this is what the Lord says,
“Your wife will be forced to go on the streets,
your sons and daughters will fall by the sword,
your land be parcelled out by measuring line,
and you yourself die on unclean soil
and Israel will go into exile far distant from its own land.”’


Surely the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.
The Lord God has spoken: who can but prophesy?

He took me from following the flock and said to me:
Go, prophesy to my people Israel.
The Lord God has spoken: who can but prophesy?

Second Reading
The "Epistle of Barnabas"
The new creation

The Lord took on the burden of delivering up his flesh to corruption for this reason, that by his sprinkled blood we should receive the remission of sins and be made holy. For the scripture concerning him relates partly to Israel, partly to us, and it speaks thus: He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, by his stripes we were healed. He was brought as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb dumb before its shearer. Therefore we ought to give great thanks to the Lord that he has given us knowledge of the past, and wisdom for the present, and that we are not wholly without understanding for the future. Scripture also says, Not unjustly are the nets spread out for the birds. This means that if a man has a knowledge of the way of righteousness, 
but turns aside into the way of darkness, he deserves to perish.

Moreover, my brethren, if the Lord endured to suffer for our life, though he is the Lord of all the world, the one to whom God said before the foundation of the world, Let us make man in our image and likeness, how, then, did he endure to suffer at the hand of man? Learn: – The Prophets, who received grace and inspiration from him, made prophecies concerning him. He had to take on human flesh if he was to destroy death and make known the Resurrection from the dead; and so he took on this burden, to fulfil the promise made to the patriarchs, to prepare the new people for himself, and to show while he was on earth that he himself will raise the dead and judge the risen. Furthermore, by teaching Israel and working miracles he made known his message and showed his superabundant love.

By the remission of sins he re-made us in a completely different mould, giving us the souls of children, as though he were creating us afresh. It is about us that (as Scripture tells us) God speaks to his Son: Let us make man after our image and likeness, and let them rule the beasts of the earth, and the birds of heaven, and the fishes of the sea. Seeing the beauty of his creation, he adds Increase and multiply and fill the earth. He was speaking to his Son but I will show you that he speaks to us as well. In the last days he made a second creation; and the Lord says, See, I make the last things as the first. This is what the prophet was talking about when he proclaimed, Enter into a land flowing with milk and honey, and rule over it. See then, we have been created afresh, as he says again through another prophet, Behold, I will take the stony hearts out of the people (that is those people who were already being foreseen by the Spirit) and put hearts of flesh into them. He says this because he was going to appear in the flesh himself and dwell among us. So, my brethren, the habitation of our hearts is a shrine consecrated to the Lord. Moreover the Lord says I will proclaim you in the assembly of my brethren, I will sing hymns to you in the midst of the assembled people of God. 
We, then, are the people he has brought into the good land.


You are the heirs of the prophets,
the heirs of the covenant God made with our ancestors when he told Abraham:
In your offspring all the families of the earth will be blessed.

Scripture foresaw that God was going to use faith to justify the pagans,
and declared the gospel to Abraham beforehand:
In your offspring all the families of the earth will be blessed.

Let us pray.

We recognize with joy
that you, Lord, created us,
and that you guide us by your providence.
In your unfailing kindness, support us in our prayer:
renew your life within us,
guard it and make it bear fruit for eternity.
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.