All men are vain in whom there is not the knowledge of God; and who by these good things that are seen, could not understand Him that is, neither by attending to the works have acknowledged who was the workman. (Wisdom 13:1)
March 10, 2018 ~ Forty Holy Martyrs, opn!
1. Mary as Co-Redemptrix
2. Laetare Sunday
3. Saint Eulogius
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
Is ringing the bell when the priest removes the chalice veil a Novus Ordo introduction? No, when one reads the rubrics, there is special mention of the ringing of the bell at the lifting of the chalice veil (cf. Wuest’s Matters Liturgical, 1956, 160). Jungmann talks of the ringing of the bell at the minor elevation (The Mass of the Roman Rite, 1951, p 461. As the priests came here from Europe they brought with them their various customs and nobody complained since they didn’t change the Mass and the essential rubrics were followed. I must say this because lay people who comment on rubrics, theology and canon law without a proper training throw out things that they may not be accustomed to or understand, but which are actually customs that are allowed or prescribed or at least tolerated. When this happens, that is, someone says it is Novus Ordo, it causes confusion among the laity who are already skeptical. When one uses it as a foundation for furthering their rejection of the Novus Ordo, it becomes silly and invites those in the Conciliar Church to point to these accusations that are baseless rather than the reality. For example, saying Mass must be in Latin when in reality, as they (the Conciliarists) remind us, that it has been said in Greek, Coptic, Slavonic, Aramaic, etc., they thus convince the ignorant and weak that it can also be said in any language. But they fail to address the fact that it is only with the Roman Rite we are concerned; and that it is not just that the Novus Ordo is in the vernacular, but that it was changed to a Protestantized meal service. Therefore, if we do read commentaries by the laity, let us keep in mind it is their opinion and experience and not necessarily the teaching or practice of the Church, and when one of the servers rings the bell at the lifting of the chalice veil we mistakingly accuse the priest of being Novus Ordo. Remember, also, in Holy Week (Triduum sanctum) we will hear the use of clappers in place of the bells.
This week half of the Lenten season will have gone by. Sunday we celebrate our faithfulness to our penances and eradication of sin and then we will continue to perform the fasting as we soon approach Holy Week.
As always, enjoy the readings and commentaries provided for your benefit. —The Editor
Mary as Co-Redemptrix
By Rev. Courtney Edward Krier
Mary as Co-Redemptrix as found in the Old Testament
As soon as one opens the New Testament with Matthew, even though the attempts by this Evangelist to keep to the Hebrew tradition of patriarchal lineage are outlined, he cannot avoid recognizing that everything centers on Mary and Jesus: And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. . . (1:16). The Christ is the promised Son to Abraham, the promised Son of King David, but the Son of Mary, being the fulfillment of Isaias 7:14: Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel. This prophecy was given just as the Davidic kingdom would seemingly end with the Babylonian exile. As Matthew presents Joseph, it is only in the role of safeguarding the mother and her child. All the requests made of Joseph are only in this capacity as Matthew continues: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. (Matt. 1:20. In chapter 2 Matthew seems reluctant to separate the child from the mother, for in verse 11 the child is found by the Wisemen with Mary his mother. In verse 13, Joseph is told to take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt. He repeats in the next verse (14): Who arose, and took the child and his mother by night. . . . For a third time, in verse 20, Matthew, in speaking of the return from Egypt, has Joseph take the child and his mother. Despite the relentless repetition, again Matthew writes that Joseph took the child and his mother. Again, it appears that Joseph’s only function was to care for the child and his mother as no more mention of Joseph is found in Matthew in another role. The stress cannot be overlooked when one returns to Genesis and reads: Male and female (Gen. 1:27; Adam and Eve), but also the repetitive Adam and his wife (cf. 2:25; 3:8, 21).
From Matthew, we turn to the Gospel of Mark. Since there is nothing of the infancy or childhood of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, the omission cannot be interpreted as a denial, but the stress of the eternal kingship promised to David fulfilled in Christ. Still, Mark does provide a singular reference of the association of Mary with Christ that is very significant in the public life of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The much-referenced passage is of Mark providing the scene of Jesus’ relatives waiting for Him while He was teaching that shows an exaltation of His family members who did follow Him and an invitation for His hearers to join them—not a rejection:
And his mother and his brethren came; and standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him; and they say to him: Behold thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And answering them, he said: Who is my mother and my brethren? And looking round about on them who sat about him, he saith: Behold my mother and my brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of God, he is my brother, and my sister, and mother. (Mark 3:31-35; cf. Matt. 12:46f)
Later Mark writes that when Jesus returned to his own country and preached in the synagogue, the listeners were very skeptical. Mark indicates that their refusal to accept the Christ according to prophecy was because they saw Him grow up amongst them and it disturbed them that He would now rule them. The retort of the listeners, Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joseph, and Jude, and Simon? are not also his sisters here with us? And they were scandalized in regard of him. (Mark 6:3) Mark leaves out Joseph not simply because Joseph had died, but because leaving out Joseph is Mark’s way of pointing to the virgin birth of Christ. It also joins Christ to his Mother, Mary. The allusion to his brothers and sisters is to his relatives; but that Jesus did not stand out from them previously shows they, with Him, were not considered highly educated—yet Jesus now showed knowledge that could not have come from His early upbringing in the local synagogue or community. It carries one back, again, to that of the prophesy of Isaias 7:14; and to that of David, who lived a hidden life until called to be anointed by Samuel—his brothers being preferred before him (cf. 1 Kings 16:6-13). It also points to the Son of Man found in Daniel 7:13—a title Christ would frequently claim.
In Luke, which one may also call the Gospel of Mary (that is, most biblical commentators claim Luke interviewed Mary to record her account and provides us the most intimate insight into the life of Mary), one is given a lengthy introduction to the fulfilment of the prophecies found in Mary in the selection of words. Even though Matthew may add, for so it is written by the prophet (cf. Matt. 2:5, 15, 23) to verify the fulfilment of prophecy, Luke wants to tell the story without constant interjections, so it gives the wording that points to the Old Testament types.
Luke begins with the annunciation of the precursor, John the Baptist. As Scripture says: This is he of whom it is written: Behold I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee (Luke 7:27; cf. Matt. 11:10; Mark 1:2). This fulfils the prophecy, among others, that of Malachias: Behold I send my angel, and he shall prepare the way before my face. And presently the Lord, whom you seek, and the angel of the testament, whom you desire, shall come to his temple. Behold he cometh, saith the Lord of hosts. (3:1) Therefore, placing the precursor first fits in with Luke showing this fulfilment from the beginning. It also gives a better understanding of the Annunciation and Visitation
Passing from the conception of John, Luke proceeds to the annunciation of the archangel Gabriel to Mary.
And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.
Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: Because no word shall be impossible with God. And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. (1:26-38)
It is the archangel Gabriel who appeared to Daniel and announced the coming Messias (9:21ff). Providing the name of Archangel brings the reader to the prophecies of Daniel being now fulfilled.
One can notice that Luke is also stressing Isaias 7:14, mention that Mary was a virgin twice in verse 27. This introduces the reader also to Rebecca, a prefigure of Mary. The messenger is also looking for the mother of the promised Messias, i.e., a wife for Isaac from whom the Messias would stem:
Behold I stand by the well of water, and the virgin, that shall come out to draw water, who shall hear me say: Give me a little water to drink of thy pitcher: And shall say to me: Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman, whom the Lord hath prepared for my master’s son. (Gen. 24:43-44)
He had not yet ended these words within himself, and behold Rebecca came out . . . having a pitcher on her shoulder: An exceeding comely maid, and a most beautiful virgin, and not known to man (ibid. 24:15, 16).
Genesis, chapter 24, has the angel sent before (v. 7) and the decision resting upon the woman: But if the woman will not follow thee, thou shalt not be bound by the oath; only bring not my son back thither again (v. 8) This expresses the future redemption is dependent upon the woman. It may be true that one could write a book and point out all the prophecies expressed in Luke concerning Mary, here I want only to provide a foundation that is unshakeable, just as Luke was delivering to those who would read his Gospel. Going to the words, blessed art thou among women, the words point to the book of Ruth: Whence cometh this to me, that I should find grace before thy eyes, and that thou shouldst vouchsafe to take notice of me a woman of another country? (2:10; cf. also v. 13) And [Booz] said: Blessed art thou of the Lord, my daughter. . . . (Ruth 3:10) In placing it in connection with the words of Noemi: Blessed be he of the Lord: because the same kindness which he shewed to the living, he hath kept also to the dead. And again she said: The man is our kinsman [redeemer]. the Hebrew kinsman is the word redeemer when referring to God. Ruth, because of her “grace” or kindness, finds blessing from the Lord and is chosen because she is able to uncover the foot of Boaz, that is, the handmaid (cf. v. 9). As Rahab saves the Israelite spies and is named in the lineage of Matthew, and Salmon begot Booz of Rahab, so Ruth is also mentioned: and Booz begot Obed of Ruth. The first mention of a woman in the lineage is Thamar. Juda had three sons, all who were wicked—two God put to death, the more famous being Onan for spilling his seed rather than give issue to Thamar (cf. Gen. 38:6ff). Since the Redeemer would come from Juda, Thamar saved Juda from death (of his posterity) giving salvation (cf. Gen. 38:15ff). And Judas begot Phares and Zara of Thamar (Matt. 1:3) Joseph is of the house of David, but Mary gives the world the Saviour: And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. (v. 16).
Judith was also praised with these words: And Ozias the prince of the people of Israel, said to her: Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth . . . Then Achior . . . reverenced her and said: Blessed art thou by thy God in every tabernacle of Jacob, for in every nation which shall hear thy name, the God of Israel shall be magnified on occasion of thee [Judith 13:23, 29-31]. The correlation with Judith has already been touched upon. In conclusion, all these words Luke chooses to employ reflect those women who had a hand in the salvation history; and in Mary, Luke shows she fulfils that role of being the daughter of Sion:
Give praise, O daughter of Sion: shout, O Israel: be glad, and rejoice with all thy heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord hath taken away thy judgment, he hath turned away thy enemies: the king of Israel the Lord is in the midst of thee, thou shalt fear evil no more. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Fear not: to Sion: Let not thy hands be weakened. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty, he will save: he will rejoice over thee with gladness, he will be silent in his love, he will be joyful over thee in praise. (Sophonias 3:14-17)
Mary is shown by Luke in the Annunciation passage to be the woman who is to bring into the world the Saviour by being the virgin who shall conceive and bear a son (Isa. 7:14)—for no word shall be impossible with God (Luke 1:37), and showing the dependence upon Mary’s decision through the suspense of waiting for her answer—just as one, not knowing the story, waited in suspense the answer Eve would give to the tempter. The Fiat of Mary decided our salvation according as God willed.
(To be continued)
Dr. Pius Parsch
The Church’s Year of Grace (1953)
FOURTH WEEK OF LENT
Easter is coming! With childlike joy the Church begins to count the days. Just as on the third Sunday of Advent we felt the thrill and happiness of Christmas, so now we anticipate the joy of Easter. Herein lies the whole significance of Laetare Sunday. It brings to the catechumens a foretaste of the good things they will receive at Easter; e.g., the grace of divine sonship, a new spiritual mother in holy Church, the Eucharist as the true manna. And we, the faithful, awaken in our breasts a new consciousness of these tremendous blessings.
There exists a certain similarity between this Sunday and the second Sunday of Lent (just as the first and third show certain affinities). Two weeks ago the transfiguration of Christ was an anticipation of Easter glory, and during the ensuing days the ferial Masses emphasized the theme of suffering. A similar stress on suffering is noticeable during the coming week. As a title for the liturgy of Lent’s fourth week we suggest, “The Sufferings of Christ and Baptism.”
The dominant theme. Sunday: holy spring. Monday: the Jews destroy the Temple, Christ. Tuesday: Moses and Jesus. Wednesday: our Savior gives sight to the blind. Thursday and Friday: Christ awakens the catechumens and penitents from spiritual death. Saturday: the Light of the world leads us to fountains of waters.
FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT
Station at Holy Cross in Jerusalem
Jerusalem, our Mother
Easter will soon be here! That is the new theme which permeates and dominates this Sunday’s liturgy. From it all other motifs and topics take their inspiration. Christ, the new Moses, provides heavenly manna, the Eucharist, for His disciples. He leads them to the heavenly Jerusalem, the Church, and makes them God’s free children.
Pictured are the day’s leading thoughts. We see the Holy City Jerusalem with gates and turrets, and a woman seated at the entrance dressed in priestly and royal apparel. Both woman and city are symbols of Holy Church. In today’s liturgy the Church is spoken of as a city and as a mother. Children surround her, i.e., catechumens and the baptized. They are bringing roses; and their mother is not without a return gift. From her breast there beams like a sun a holy symbol: two fish and a basket with bread—the holy Eucharist. From holy Mother Church we receive the light of faith and the Bread of heaven.
1. A Day of Joy. This Sunday has a unique distinction in the Church year—a day of joy in the season of penance and sorrow! The priest may wear a rose-colored chasuble, the organ may play, deacon and subdeacon are clothed in festive vestments. All the Mass texts ring with joy; the entrance song is a joyous shout, “Laetare—rejoice!” The Church has the following reasons for the happiness in her soul.
a) In the oldest period the Lenten fast at Rome did not begin until Monday of the third week preceding Easter; today then was a kind of Mardi Gras. Later, when the observance was extended to forty days, this Sunday became Mid-Lent—again reason for a pause and relaxation.
b) The ancient Church rejoiced in her catechumens, whose rebirth was close at hand. She was filled with maternal joy at the prospect of a large family. It is this spirit which gives a joyful coloring to all the older liturgy of Lent.
c) Today’s celebration is a preview of Easter, we can not quell our joyous expectation as we anticipate the sacred feast. The Gospel says, emphatically: “Easter is near!”
d) This Sunday has also a Eucharistic character—an ancient Corpus Christi. Christ is about to establish His family; through blood and sweat He obtains our daily Bread, the fruit of His suffering. The Gospel makes this clear. Christ is the new Moses who in the desert of life gives us heavenly manna.
e) Finally, this Sunday is a nature feast. It is springtime and we are happy over the resurrection of nature. The heavenly Father is about to effect the multiplication of bread upon our fields. In the liturgy, however, springtime in nature is merely a figure of the holy spring that with Easter comes into the land of the baptized. The sign of the Church’s ver sacrum is the rose, the golden rose blessed today by the Holy Father. Surely there are many and good reasons for the joy surging through Christendom today.
2. Stational Theme. An intelligent appreciation of today’s liturgy must take into account the stational church, “Holy Cross at Jerusalem” (in ancient times called simply “Jerusalem”). In the mind of the Christians at Rome, this church symbolized the Messianic and heavenly Jerusalem. Today the catechumens were led solemnly, as it were, into the Jerusalem of Christianity.
The station exercised a profound influence upon the formation of the Mass formulary. All the chants are concerned with Jerusalem. The key psalm (121), “I rejoiced because they said to me, ‘We will go up to the house of the Lord!’,” expressed well the jubilant spirit of catechumens and Christians. With the two wives of Abraham as types, the Epistle compares the Church with the synagogue, the heavenly Jerusalem with the Jewish Jerusalem. The station reminds Christians and catechumens that in Holy Church they have a good mother. Over the portal of our parish church, let us imagine these words in golden letters, “Jerusalem, our Mother!”
3. Holy Mass (Laetare). Clear and loud like a bugle call, the Introit heralds its message to rejoice because the “mourning” of Lent will soon be over. New children will soon be born (through baptism) and nourished “at the breast of Mother Church” (the Eucharist). Psalm 121 is an excellent song for a procession approaching the altar, its sentiments will be on the lips of the white-robed catechumens on Holy Saturday, and on ours when at death we pass into the heavenly Jerusalem.
This Sunday is like breathing space in life’s Lent, and a “consoling” word (Coll.) is very welcome. In the mystic types of Abraham’s two wives, Sara and Agar, the Church wishes to show us how our good fortune as Christians shines even brighter when contrasted with Israel’s lot. We are God’s free sons, heirs of heaven. Jerusalem is our mother, we her children, to Christ we owe this heritage, this freedom! (Epistle). The Gradual is another joyful song to our mother who acts as a protecting wall in all our troubles.
In sign and symbol the Gospel readies us for the Eucharistic sacrifice, “Now the Pasch is near at hand”—for every Mass is Easter. For us, the assembled congregation, Christ will work the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (two primary symbols of the Eucharist) and give us a foretaste of Easter. An occasion to thank God, the kind Giver of the “sweet” bread which is Christ, comes at the Offertory (the full text also mentions Jerusalem).
On the way to the sacrificial banquet we sing a third time Psalm 121, the pilgrim’s song of longing for the Messianic and heavenly Jerusalem (Comm.). The verse, “There stand the chairs of judgment, and the throne of the house of David,” catches our attention because David’s throne is the altar upon which Christ, his Son and King, is now immolated. The Postcommunion is a genuine Corpus Christi prayer since it enjoins reverence for the holy Eucharist and inculcates its frequent reception.
4. The Golden Rose. It may perhaps seem strange to find the Church in a mood so devoid of sadness and penance during this season of austerity and mortification. Nevertheless today, the fourth Sunday of Lent, the last before Passiontide, she is ringingly jubilant. “Laetare,” as the Sunday is called, means “rejoice.” Nor is this in any way unnatural because joy and sorrow so often are very close together in the human heart! How frequently joy is born of suffering, how frequently bitter grief crushes out joy! Think, for example, of a mother’s pain and happiness, of her joys and worries.
This intricate rhythm of suffering and joy is pointed out for us today by the symbol of the rose. In ancient times Christians brought roses for each other as gifts. Today the Pope blesses the golden rose and delivers a discourse on its symbolism.
a) First of all, I see in the rose a beautiful indication of the closeness between joy and suffering; for with roses come thorns. Should it not fill us with wonder that nature adds thorns to the most beautiful flower of all, the queen of flowers? Do not overlook the great lesson God is hereby teaching.
b) The rosebush is a beautiful representation for the Easter cycle with its two extremes, sorrow over sin and fervent paschal joy. First the thorns grow, then the roses bloom. First we must pass through the thorny period of Lent, first we must hear that sin has banished us to a thorny earth; then, at Easter, the Church opens for us the door of paradise, lush with roses.
c) It was the same for our blessed Savior whose life was very much like the rose. His public career was a thorny bush; yes, in His passion a pricking, piercing wreath was entwined about His sacred head. Along the trunk of the Cross this thorn-bush grew and its buds did not break open before the stone was rolled back. But suffering was not an end in itself; for Jesus it was only the means of redemption, the sharp point to lance the swell of mankind’s guilt, the dark gate to resurrection—His own and that of all God’s children. The rosebush, then, tells us of our Savior’s passion and glory.
d) Christ leads, we follow. Christ first, Christians immediately after. Human life is a thorny bush climbing up the tree of the Cross. Self-denial is one sharp thorn, taking up your cross, i.e., embracing all the sorrows and duties and burdens of life, is another. But God promises you roses in return, “Whoever loses his life on earth, will find true, divine life.”
The rose is the harbinger of holy spring which now has come to our souls. As springtime in nature awakens life, so the Church’s spring awakens a God-filled life of grace in all Christ’s members. Catechumens, penitents, and faithful are desiring “life in abundance.” And its realization brings unspeakable joy!
5. Moses. Today the Church introduces the sixth and last of the patriarchs, Moses. We need not hesitate in ranking him with the greatest men of all times. Friend of God, lawgiver, and leader of the Jews through the desert, he stands as a type of Christ. Particularly today, the Sunday of the multiplication of the loaves, does Moses prefigure the Giver of heavenly manna. Throughout the coming week the Church wishes us to keep in mind the life and work of this great patriarch.
The second nocturn of Matins contains a sermon on fasting by the holy doctor, St. Basil.
“We know that Moses ascended the mountain (Sinai) fasting. For had he not been fortified by fasting, he would never have dared to approach its smoking summit. Because he had fasted, he received the tables of the law written by the finger of God. Fasting, therefore, made possible the creation of the Old Law upon the mountain; but gluttony on the plain below seduced the people to the worship of idols.
“The labor and persevering effort of forty days, during which the servant of God fasted and prayed, was rendered void by a single act of immoderation on the part of the people. How easy it is to see, if the two are compared, that fasting leads to God and gluttony to the loss of salvation.
“Fasting produces men of God, it strengthens and invigorates the strong. Fasting confers wisdom upon the lawgiver; it is excellent protection for the soul. It banishes temptations, arms the pious, supports the temperate. By fasting soldiers become brave, and peacemakers gain their ends. It perfects the priest, for he is forbidden to approach the altar except when fasting.”
Moses’ significance in the liturgy of Lent can be seen from the fact that he is the object of fifteen responsories this week. He was called by God to be the savior, leader, provider and teacher of the Chosen People. After many rebuffs from Pharao, he led his people out of bondage on the night of the Passover. Under his direction they slaughtered and ate the paschal lamb. With them he passed dry-shod through the Red Sea; in the desert he provided manna, obtained the law and the commandments upon Sinai, spoke most intimately with God, mediated and interceded for his people. Their shortcomings he bore with incomparable patience. On all these points Moses prefigured Christ.
Sent by the Father into the world, Christ wrestled with hell’s pharao, led His people out of Egypt on Passover night, and offered Himself as the paschal lamb to be immolated and consumed by all. He guides His people through the Red Sea of baptism after He Himself blazed the way through the Red Sea of suffering. And now He accompanies us through life’s desert, feeds us with manna, and gives us the fountain of the Eucharist from which to drink. And with ineffable patience He leads us to the Promised Land of heaven.
Christians, Easter is near! The divine Moses is leading us out of Egypt.
ST EULOGIUS OF CORDOVA, MARTYR (A.D. 859)
[Message clipped] View entire message