Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost [Sixth Sunday after Epiphany]
Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Guéranger  (1841-1875)

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The number of the Sundays after Pentecost may exceed twenty-four, and go up as far as twenty-eight, according as Easter is each Year, more or less near to the vernal equinox. But the Mass here given is always reserved for the last; and the intervening ones, be their number what it may, are taken from the Sundays after the Epiphany, which in that case were not used at the beginning of the year. This, however, does not apply to the Introit, Gradual, Offertory, and Communion, which, as we have already said, are repeated from the twenty-third Sunday.

We have seen how that Mass of the twenty-third Sunday was regarded by our forefathers as really the last of the Cycle. Abbot Rupert has given us the profound meaning of its several parts. According to the teaching we have already pondered over, the reconciliation of Juda was shown us as being, in time, the term intended by God: the last notes of the sacred Liturgy blended with the last scene of the world’s history, as seen and known by God. The end proposed by eternal Wisdom, in the world’s creation, and mercifully continued after the Fall by the mystery of Redemption, has now (we speak of the Church’s Year and God’s workings) been fully carried out—this end was no other than that of divine Union with Human Nature, making it one in the unity of one only body. (Ephesians 2:16) Now that the two antagonist-people, gentile and jew, are brought together in the one same New Man in Christ Jesus their Head, (Ephesians 2:15) the Two Testaments, which so strongly marked the distinction between the ages of time, the one called the Old, the other the New—yes, these Two Testaments fade away and give place to the glory of the Eternal Alliance.

It was here, therefore, that Mother Church formerly finished her Liturgical Year. She was delighted at what she had done during all the past months; that is, at having led her children not only to have a thorough appreciation of the divine plan, which she had developed before then in her celebrations, but moreover, and more especially, to unite them themselves by a veritable Union to their Jesus, by a real communion of views and interests and loves. On this account, she used not to revert again to the second Coming of the God-Man and the Last Judgment, two great subjects which she had proposed for her children’s reflections, at the commencement of the Purgative Life, that is, her season of Advent. It is only since a few centuries that, with a view of giving to her Year a conclusion more defined and intelligible to the Faithful of these comparatively recent times, she closes the Cycle with the prophetic description of the dread Coming of her Lord, which is to put an end to Time and open Eternity. From time immemorial, St. Luke had had the office of announcing, in Advent, the approach of the Last Judgment; (Gueranger, First Sunday of Advent) the Evangelist St. Matthew was selected for this its second, and more detailed, description, on the last Sunday after Pentecost.

Mass of the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany
[w/ the Introit, Gradual, Offertory, and Communion repeated from the twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost]

The Introit, which we have just had explained to us by Rupert, it taken from the Prophet Jeremias, as was the ancient Epistle.

Dicit Dominus: Ego cogito cogitationes pacis, et non afflictionis: invocabitis me, et ego exaudiam vos: et reducam captivitatem vestram de cunctis locis.
The Lord saith: I think thoughts of peace, and not of affliction; ye shall call upon me, and I will hear you: and bring back your captive people from all places.

Ps. Benedixisti, Domine, terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob. Gloria Patri. Dicit Dominus.
Ps. Thou, O Lord, hast blessed thy land: thou hast brought back the captive children of Jacob. Glory, &c. The Lord.

Prayer for pardon is continually on the lips of the Christian people, because the weakness of human nature is, here below, ever making itself felt, even by the just man. God knows our frailty, and he is always ready to pardon us; but it is on the condition, that we humbly acknowledge our faults, and have confidence in his mercy. These are the sentiments which suggest to the Church the words of the Collect.

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that ever fixing our thoughts on such things as are reasonable, we may both in our words and works do what is pleasing in Thy sight. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle, I. Thess. I. 2-10.

Brethren, we give thanks to God for you all, making a remembrance of you in our prayers without ceasing; being mindful of the work of your faith, and labor, and charity, and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ before God and our Father: knowing, brethren, beloved of God, your election: for our gospel hath not been unto you in word only, but in power also, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much fullness, as you know what manner of men we have been among you for your sakes. And you became followers of us and of the Lord, receiving the word in much tribulation, with joy of the Holy Ghost: so that you were made a pattern to all that believe, in Macedonia and in Achaia. For from you was spread abroad the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but also in every place, your faith, which is towards God, is gone forth; so that we need not to speak anything. For they themselves relate of us what manner of entering in we had unto you; and how ye turned, to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven (whom he raised from the dead), Jesus, who both delivered us from the wrath to come.

Quote:The praise which the apostle here gives to the Thessalonians for their fervor in the faith they had embraced, conveys a reproach to the Christians of our own times. These neophytes of Thessalonica, who, a short time before, were worshippers of idols, had become so earnest in the practice of the Christian religion, that even the apostle is filled with admiration.

We are the descendants of countless Christian ancestors; we received our regeneration by Baptism at our first coming into the world; we were taught the doctrine of Jesus Christ from our earliest childhood: and yet, our faith is not so strong, or our lives so holy, as were those of the early Christians. Their main occupation was serving the living and true God, and waiting for the coming of their Savior. Our hope is precisely the same as that which made their hearts so fervent; how comes it that our faith is not like theirs in its generosity? We love this present life, as though we had not the firm conviction that it is to pass away.

As far as depends upon us, we are handing down to future generations a Christianity very different from that which our Savior established, which the apostles preached, and which the pagans of the first ages thought they were bound to purchase at any price or sacrifice.

Liberasti nos, Domine, ex affligentibus nos: et eos qui nos oderunt, confudisti.
Thou hast saved us, O Lord, from them that afflict us: and hast put them to shame that hate us.

℣. In Deo laudabimur tota die, et in nomine tuo confitebimur in sæcula.
℣. In God shall we glory all the day long; and, in thy name, we will give praise for ever.

Alleluia, alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia.

℣. De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine: Domine exaudi orationem meam. Alleluia.
℣. Out of the depths I have cried unto thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my prayer. Alleluia.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. XIII. 31-35

At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to the multitudes: The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard-seed, which a man took and sowed in his field: which is the least indeed of all seeds; but when it is grown up, it is greater than all herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come, and dwell in the branches thereof. Another parable he spoke to them: The kingdom of heaven is like to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened. All these things Jesus spoke in parables to the multitude, and without parables he did not speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.

De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine: Domine, exaudi orationem meam: de profundis clavi ad te, Domine.
Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my prayer: out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord!

The service we pay to God is, of itself, far beneath what his sovereign Majesty deserves; but the Sacrifice, which, every day, constitutes part of our service, ennobles it even to an infinite worth, and supplies all our own deficiencies of merit. This is what we are told in this Sunday’s Secret.

Hæc nos oblátio, Deus, mundet, quǽsumus, et rénovet, gubérnetet prótegat. Per Dóminum nostrum …
May this offering, O God, we beseechThee, cleanse and renew us, guide and protect us. Through our Lord …

Having, by thse sacred Mysteries, entered into a participation of divine life, let us beseech our Lord, that we may no longer be subject to the dangers of this world. Let us say with the Church:

Amen dico vobis, quidquid orantes petitis, credite quia accipietis, et fiet vobis.
Amen I say unto you,—all things whatsoever ye ask for when ye pray, believe that ye shall receive, and it shall be done unto you.

Cœléstibus, Dómine, pastidelíciis: quǽsumus: ut semper éadem, per quæ veráciter vívimus, appetámus. Per Dominum...
We have been fed, O Lord, with heavenly delights, and beseech Thee, that we may ever hunger after those things by which we truly live. Through our Lord …

The other Postcommunions, as in the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre

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