The First Hermit
ST. PAUL was born in Upper Egypt, about the year 230, and became an orphan at the age of fifteen. He was very rich and highly educated. Fearing lest the tortures of a terrible persecution might endanger his Christian perseverance, he retired into a remote village. But his pagan brother-in-law denounced him, and St. Paul, rather than remain where his faith was in danger, entered the barren desert, trusting that God would supply his wants. And his confidence was rewarded; for on the spot to which Providence led him he found the fruit of the palm-tree for food, and its leaves for clothing, and the water of a spring for drink. His first design was to return to the world when the persecution was over; but, tasting great delights in prayer and penance, he remained the rest of his life, ninety years, in penance, prayer, and contemplation. God revealed his existence to St. Antony, who sought him for three days. Seeing a thirsty she-wolf run through an opening in the rocks, Antony followed her to look for water, and found Paul. They knew each other at once, and praised God together. When St. Antony visited him, a raven brought him a loaf, and St. Paul said, "See how good God is! For sixty years this bird has brought me half a loaf every day; now thou art come, Christ has doubled the provision for His servants." Having passed the night in prayer, at dawn of day Paul told Antony that he was about to die, and asked to be buried in the cloak given to Antony by St. Athanasius. Antony hastened to fetch it, and on his way back saw Paul rise to heaven in glory. He found his dead body kneeling as if in prayer, and two lions came and dug his grave. Paul died in his one hundred and thirteenth year.
Reflection. —We shall never repent of having trusted in God, for He cannot fail those who lean on Him; nor shall We ever trust in ourselves without being deceived.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Second Sunday After the Epiphany
Introit • Ps. 65, 4
Let all the earth adore Thee, O God, and sing to Thee: let it sing a psalm to Thy name, O Thou most high. Ps. 65, 1, 2. Shout with joy to God all the earth, sing ye a psalm to His name, give glory to His praise. Glory be …
Almighty, eternal God, Who dost govern all things in heaven and on earth, of Thy mercy hear the supplications of Thy people, and grant Thy peace in our times.. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Rom. 12, 6-16
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Romans.
[Lessons of Christian virtues.]
BRETHREN, having different gifts, according to the grace that is given us, either prophecy, to be used according to the rule of faith; Or ministry, in ministering; or he that teacheth, in doctrine; He that exhorteth, in exhorting; he that giveth, with simplicity; he that ruleth, with carefulness; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Hating that which is evil, cleaving to that which is good. Loving one another with the charity of brotherhood, with honour preventing one another.
In carefulness not slothful. In spirit fervent. Serving the Lord. Rejoicing in hope. Patient in tribulation. Instant in prayer. Communicating to the necessities of the saints. Pursuing hospitality. Bless them that persecute you: bless, and curse not.  Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep. Being of one mind one towards another. Not minding high things, but consenting to the humble
Gradual • Ps. 106, 20, 21
The Lord sent His word, and healed them: and delivered them out of their destresses. Let the mercies of the Lord give glory to Him; and His wonderful works to the children of men.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 148, 2. Praise ye the Lord, all His angels: praise ye Him, all His hosts. Alleluia.
Gospel • John 2, 1-11
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. John.
[Christ changes water into wine. He casts the sellers out of the temple.]
At that time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come. His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.
Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece. Jesus saith to them: Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And Jesus saith to them: Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast. And they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water; the chief steward calleth the bridegroom, And saith to him: Every man at first setteth forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse. But thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee; and manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him.
Offertory • Ps. 65, 1, 2, 16
Shout with joy to God, all the earth: sing ye a psalm to His name: come and hear, and I will tell you, all ye that fear God, what great things the Lord hath done for my soul. Alleluia.
Sanctify, O Lord, the gifts we offer, and purify us from the stains of our sins. Through our Lord.
Communion • John 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
The Lord saith: Fill the water pots with water, and carry to the chief steward of the feast. When the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, he saith to the bridegroom: thou hast kept the good wine until now; this first miracles did Jesus before His disciples.
May the working of Thy power, we beg Thee, O Lord, be increased in us, that, being nourished by divine sacraments, we may by Thy grace be prepared to obtain that which they promise. Through our Lord.