Saturday, August 23, 2014



Prayer to St. Rose of Lima

Admirable Saint Rose,
you were truly a sweet flower blooming on a rugged soil;
you were indeed a rose among thorns,
bearing with meekness and patience the stings of envious tongues,
and preserving perfect purity and modesty amid the alluring blandishments of a deceitful world.
To the sufferings inflicted on you by others you added the voluntary tortures of fasting and watching,
of the discipline, of the crown of thorns and of the hair shirt,
to subdue the flesh and to make yourself like to your heavenly Spouse.
By the merits which you have thus gained with your divine Bridegroom,
obtain for me the grace to bear my afflictions with patience,
to remain pure and modest,
to be meek and humble, to be faithful to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit,
and so to mortify my passions that I may be ever more pleasing and acceptable in the sight of my dear Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ,
Who liveth and reigneth world without end.



Saturday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

EZ 43:1-7AB

The angel led me to the gate which faces the east,
and there I saw the glory of the God of Israel
coming from the east.
I heard a sound like the roaring of many waters,
and the earth shone with his glory.
The vision was like that which I had seen
when he came to destroy the city,
and like that which I had seen by the river Chebar.
I fell prone as the glory of the LORD entered the temple
by way of the gate which faces the east,
but spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner court.
And I saw that the temple was filled with the glory of the LORD.
Then I heard someone speaking to me from the temple,
while the man stood beside me.
The voice said to me:
Son of man, this is where my throne shall be,
this is where I will set the soles of my feet;
here I will dwell among the children of Israel forever.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 85:9AB AND 10, 11-12, 13-14

R. The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.

I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD –for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.

R. The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.

Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.

R. The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.

The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.

R. The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.

MT 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,

“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”


August 23

St. Rose of Lima (1586-1617)

The first canonized saint of the New World has one characteristic of all saints—the suffering of opposition—
and another characteristic which is more for admiration than for imitation—excessive practice of mortification.

She was born to parents of Spanish descent in Lima, Peru, at a time when South America was in its first century of evangelization. She seems to have taken Catherine of Siena (April 29) as a model, in spite of the objections and ridicule of parents and friends.

The saints have so great a love of God that what seems bizarre to us, and is indeed sometimes imprudent, is simply a logical carrying out of a conviction that anything that might endanger a loving relationship with God must be rooted out. So, because her beauty was so often admired, Rose used to rub her face with pepper to produce disfiguring blotches. 
Later, she wore a thick circlet of silver on her head, studded on the inside, like a crown of thorns.

When her parents fell into financial trouble, she worked in the garden all day and sewed at night. Ten years of struggle against her parents began when they tried to make Rose marry. They refused to let her enter a convent, and out of obedience she continued her life of penance and solitude at home as a member of the Third Order of St. Dominic. 
So deep was her desire to live the life of Christ that she spent most of her time at home in solitude.

During the last few years of her life, Rose set up a room in the house where she cared for homeless children, the elderly and the sick. This was a beginning of social services in Peru. Though secluded in life and activity, 
she was brought to the attention of Inquisition interrogators, who could only say that she was influenced by grace.

What might have been a merely eccentric life was transfigured from the inside. If we remember some unusual penances, we should also remember the greatest thing about Rose: a love of God so ardent that it withstood ridicule from without, violent temptation and lengthy periods of sickness. When she died at 31, the city turned out for her funeral. 
Prominent men took turns carrying her coffin.


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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

Let us listen for the voice of the Lord
and enter into his peace.

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

Let us listen for the voice of the Lord
and enter into his peace.

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

Let us listen for the voice of the Lord
and enter into his peace.

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.

Let us listen for the voice of the Lord
and enter into his 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.

Let us listen for the voice of the Lord
and enter into his peace.


Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, thy great Name we praise.
Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
Thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.
To all life thou givest, to both great and small;
In all life thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish, like leaves on the tree,
Then wither and perish; but naught changeth thee.
Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
All laud we would render: O help us to see
‘Tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.

Psalm 49 (50)
True reverence for the Lord

The Lord has summoned heaven and earth 
to witness his judgement of his people.

The Lord, the God of gods has spoken:
he has summoned the whole earth, from east to west.
God has shone forth from Zion in her great beauty.
Our God will come, and he will not be silent.
Before him, a devouring fire;
around him, a tempest rages.
He will call upon the heavens above, and on the earth, to judge his people.
“Bring together before me my chosen ones, who have sealed my covenant with sacrifice.”
The heavens will proclaim his justice; for God is the true judge.

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 has summoned heaven and earth 
to witness his judgement of his people.

Psalm 49 (50)

Call on me in the day of trouble,
and I will come to free you.

Listen, my people, and I will speak;
Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God.
I will not reproach you with your sacrifices,
for your burnt offerings are always before me.
But I will not accept calves from your houses,
nor goats from your flocks.
For all the beasts of the forests are mine,
and in the hills, a thousand animals.
All the birds of the air – I know them.
Whatever moves in the fields – it is mine.
If I am hungry, I will not tell you;
for the whole world is mine, and all that is in it.
Am I to eat the flesh of bulls,
or drink the blood of goats?
Offer a sacrifice to God – a sacrifice of praise;
to the Most High, fulfil your vows.
Then you may call upon me in the time of trouble:
I will rescue you, and you will honor me.

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.

Call on me in the day of trouble,
and I will come to free you.

Psalm 49 (50)

A sacrifice of thanksgiving will honor me.

To the sinner, God has said this:
Why do you recite my statutes?
Why do you dare to speak my covenant?
For you hate what I teach you,
and reject what I tell you.
The moment you saw a thief, you joined him;
you threw in your lot with adulterers.
You spoke evil with your mouth,
and your tongue made plans to deceive.
Solemnly seated, you denounced your own brother;
you poured forth hatred against your own mother’s son.
All this you did, and I was silent;
so you thought that I was just like you.
But I will reprove you –
I will confront you with all you have done.
Understand this, you who forget God;
lest I tear you apart, with no-one there to save you.
Whoever offers up a sacrifice of praise gives me true honour;
whoever follows a sinless path in life will be shown the salvation of God.

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 sacrifice of thanksgiving will honor me.

We ceaselessly pray to God for you.
– For you to have the fullest knowledge of God’s will.

First Reading
Isaiah 37:21-35

Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah.
‘This’ he said ‘is what the Lord, the God of Israel, 
says in answer to the prayer you have addressed to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria.
Here is the oracle that the Lord has pronounced against him:

“She despises you, she scorns you,
the virgin, daughter of Zion;
she tosses her head behind you,
the daughter of Jerusalem.
Whom have you insulted, whom did you blaspheme?
Against whom raised your voice
and lifted your insolent eyes?
Against the Holy One of Israel.
Through your minions you have insulted the Lord;
you have said: With my many chariots
I have climbed the tops of mountains,
the utmost peaks of Lebanon.
I have felled its tall forest of cedars,
its finest cypresses.
I have reached its furthest recesses,
its forest garden.
Yes I have dug wells and drunk
of alien waters;
I have put down my feet, and have dried up
all the rivers of Egypt.
“Do you hear? Long ago
I planned for it,
from days of old I designed it,
now I carry it out.
Your part was to bring down in heaps of ruins
fortified cities.
Their inhabitants, hands feeble,
dismayed, discomfited,
were like plants of the field,
like tender grass,
like grass of housetop and meadow,
under the east wind.
I know whenever you rise and whenever you sit,
your going out, your coming in.
Because you have raved against me
and your insolence has come to my ears,
I will put my ring through your nostrils,
my bit between your lips,
to make you return by the road
on which you came.
“This shall be the sign for you:
This year will be eaten the self-sown grain,
next year what sprouts in the fallow,
but in the third year sow and reap,
plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
The surviving remnant of the House of Judah shall bring forth
new roots below and fruits above.
For a remnant shall go out from Jerusalem,
and survivors from Mount Zion.
The jealous love of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.
‘This, then, is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:
“He will not enter this city,
he will let fly no arrow against it,
confront it with no shield,
throw up no earthwork against it.
By the road that he came on he will return;
he shall not enter this city. It is the Lord who speaks.
I will protect this city and save it
for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”’


The Lord has comforted his people:
he has redeemed Jerusalem,
and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

Second Reading
St Ambrose on Psalm 48

Through his blood Christ reconciled the world to God

When Christ reconciled the world to God he himself was certainly not in need of reconciliation. What sin could he do penance for, when he had no sin in him? Moreover, when the Jews were asking for the half-shekel, the offering given for sin according to the Law, he said to Peter: ‘Simon, what is your opinion? From whom do the kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from foreigners?’ And when Peter replied, ‘From foreigners’, Jesus said, ‘Well then, the sons are exempt. However, so as not to offend these people, go to the lake and cast a hook; take the first fish that bites, open its mouth and there you will find a shekel; take it and give it to them for me and for you.’

He showed that he does not owe an offering for any sin of his own, for he was not a slave of sin: the Son of God was free from all fault. For the son gives freedom; it is the slave who is guilty. So Jesus is completely free, and he does not make payment to redeem his soul. The price of his blood was more than enough to redeem all the sins of the entire world. 
It is right that he who owes nothing for himself should be able to give freedom to others.

Let me say more. Christ owes nothing for his own redemption and owes nothing as propitiation for sin. But more than that, if you consider any one of us then you will see that none of us owes anything as a propitiatory offering, 
because Christ himself is that offering, the offering for all and the redemption of all.

What man’s blood now has the power to redeem him, when Christ has shed his own blood for the redemption of all? Is there anyone whose blood could be compared to Christ’s? Or what man is so powerful that his could make an offering of propitiation greater than the offering that Christ made of himself when he alone reconciled the world to God by his blood? What greater sacrificial victim can there be, what superior sacrifice, what better advocate could there be than Christ, 
who became the atonement for the sins of all, who gave his life for our redemption?

Individual propitiation, individual redemption is not needed, because the blood of Christ is the price of all. By that blood the Lord Jesus redeemed us, and he alone has reconciled us to the Father. He labored at this to the end, 
for he took our own burdens on himself when he said, 
Come to me, all you who labor and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.


You were estranged from God,
you were his enemies in heart and mind,
and your deeds were evil.
But now, by Christ’s death in his earthly body,
God has reconciled you to himself,
in order to bring you holy,
pure and faultless into his presence.

God offered him so that by his death he should become the means by which men’s sins are forgiven,
through their faith in him,
in order to bring you holy,
pure and faultless into his presence.

Let us pray.

Lord God,
you have prepared for those who love you
what no eye has seen, no ear has heard.
Fill our hearts with your love,
so that, loving you above all and in all,
we may attain your promises
which the heart of man has not conceived.
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.