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Lent: March 27th

Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent

MASS READINGS

March 27, 2019 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Grant, we pray, O Lord, that, schooled through Lenten observance and nourished by your word, through holy restraint we may be devoted to you with all our heart and be ever united in prayer. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Old Calendar: St. John Damascene, confessor and doctor

"There were many lepers in Israel at the time of Eliseus the prophet, and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian." Naaman's cure, an anticipatory figure of baptism, also declares in advance the universality of salvation. Naaman was the Syrian general who, in obedience to the commands of Eliseus, was cured of leprosy by bathing in the Jordan. At a later date Jesus Himself was to receive in the waters of the Jordan the baptism of John the Baptist. Let us always keep in mind that repentance and a humble confession of our guilt will draw upon us the mercy of God and infuse into our hearts the hope of pardon.

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. John Damascene whose feast is celebrated in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite on December 4.

Stational Church


The Need for Mortification Today
Lent is essentially a time of prayer and mortification. The body which has been indulged for so many months must now be denied. Even though fasting and abstinence are impossible for some of us, the penitential spirit may not be shirked. Modern creeds approximate more and more the pagan conception of man, and the penitential spirit is, of course, unbearable to those whose only philosophy of life is the song of the banqueter: "Let us eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die."

Modern civilization scoffs at the notion of doing penance as if it were a vice of the pietist who wants to exalt one side of his nature at the expense of the other, although it is no small thing that the soul should be king of the body. Penance has a deeper significance than that, as I have pointed out. But, says the modern scoffer, "a man is no better and no worse than God made him. God who gave him impulses cannot be angry if he obeys them. Let a man snatch the passing pleasure."

In the Cathedral of Lubeck in Germany is a Lenten Monitory which may be taken as God's answer to such blasphemy:

Ye call Me Master, and obey Me not:
Ye call Me Light, and see Me not;
Ye call Me Way, and walk Me not;
Ye call Me Life, and desire Me not;
Ye call Me Wise, and follow Me not:
Ye call Me Fair, and love Me not;
Ye call Me Rich, and ask Me not:
Ye call Me Eternal, and seek Me not;
Ye call Me Gracious, and trust Me not;
Ye call Me Noble, and serve Me not;
Ye call Me God, and fear Me not;
If I condemn you—blame Me not. Amen

Excerpted from Message of the Gospels


Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent
Station at St. Sisto (San Sisto il vecchio):

This church was called "San Sisto il vecchio" because it is the oldest convent in Rome of the sons of the Saint of Callaroca. The current construction is quite recent; in fact it was built in 1700 by the Dominican Pope Benedict XIII (1724-1730). He certainly did it to honor the memory of the Founder of the Order, San Domenico, who had his first Roman residence here; Honorius III, after having approved the Order of Preachers, gave him this temple. Tradition has it that at this church Pope Sixtus II met with San Lorenzo to whom he predicted the martyrdom which, moreover, happened after three days.