Confessor, Doctor of the Church
Saint BEDE, the illustrious ornament of the Anglo-Saxon Church and the first English historian, was consecrated -to God at the age of seven, and intrusted to the care of St. Benedict Biscop at Wearmouth. He became a monk in the sister-house of Jarrow, and there trained no less than six hundred scholars, whom his piety, learning, and sweet disposition had gathered round him. To the toils of teaching and the exact observance of his rule he added long hours of private prayer, and the study of every branch of science and literature then known. He was familiar with Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. In the treatise which he compiled for his scholars, still extant, he threw together all that the world had then stored in history, chronology, physics, music, philosophy, poetry, arithmetic, and medicine. In his Ecclesiastical History he has left us beautiful lives of Anglo-Saxon Saints and holy Fathers, while his commentaries on the Holy Scriptures are still in use by the Church. It was to the study of the Divine Word that he devoted the whole energy of his soul, and at times his compunction was so overpowering that his voice would break with weeping, while the tears of his scholars mingled with his own. He had little aid from others, and during his later years suffered from constant illness; yet he worked and prayed up to his last hour.
The Saint was employed in translating the Gospel of St. John from the Greek up to the hour of his death, which took place on Ascension Day, 735. "He spent that day joyfully," writes one of his scholars. And in the evening the boy who attended him said, "Dear master, there is yet one sentence unwritten." He answered, "Write it quickly." Presently the youth said, "Now it is written" He replied, "Good! thou hast said the truth—consummatum est; take my head into thy hands, for it is very pleasant to me to sit facing my old praying-place, and there to call upon my Father." And so on the floor of his cell he sang, "Glory be to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost;" and just as he said "Holy Ghost," he breathed his last, and went to the realms above.
Reflection. —"The more," says the Imitation of Christ, "a man is united within himself and interiorly simple, so much the more and deeper things doth he understand without labor; for he receiveth the light of understanding from on high."
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Ecclus. 15, 5
In the midst of the church the Lord opened his mouth: and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory. (P.T. Alleluia, alleluia.) Ps. 91, 2. It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy name, O Most High. Glory be …
O God, Who dost enlighten They Church with the learning of blessed Bede, Thy confessor and doctor, mercifully grant Thy servants ever to be illuminated by his wisdom and assisted by his merits. Through our Lord.
Commemoration of St. John 1.
O eternal shepherd, do Thou look favorably upon Thy flock, which we beseech Thee to guard and keep for evermore through the Blessed John 1, Thy Martyr and Supreme Pontiff, whom Thou didst choose to be the chief shepherd of the whole Church. Through our Lord.
Epistle • 2 Tim. 4, 1-8
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to Timothy.
[His charge to Timothy. He tells him of his approaching death and desires him to come to him.]
Dearly beloved, I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom: Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober. For I am even now ready to be sacrificed: and the time of my dissolution is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love his coming.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ecclus. 45, 9. The Lord loved him. And adorned him: He clothed him with a robe of glory. Alleluia. Osee 14, 6. The just shall spring as the lily; and shall flourish forever before the Lord. Alleluia.
Gospel • Matt. 5, 13-19
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[Christ's sermon upon the mount. The eight beatitudes.]
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men. You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.
So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Offertory • Ps. 91, 13
The just shall flourish like the palm-tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus. (P.T. alleluia.)
May the loving prayers of St. Bede, Thy bishop, not be wanting to us, O Lord, to commend our gifts and ever to obtain pardon for us. Through our Lord.
Commemoration of St. John 1.
In thy loving kindness, we beseech Thee, Lord, be moved by the offering of our gifts and enlighten Thy Church: that Thy flock may prosper everywhere and the shepherds, under Thy guidance, may be rendered acceptable to Thee. Through our Lord.
Communion • Luke 12, 42
A faithful and wise steward, whom the Lord set over His family; to give them their measure of wheat in due season. (P.T. Alleluia.)
That Thy sacrifices may give us health, O Lord, may blessed Bede, Thy bishop and illustrious doctor, we beseech Thee, act as our intercessor. Through our Lord.
Commemoration of St. John 1.
Since Thy Church has been nourished by the sacred repast, govern her in Thy clemency, we beseech Thee, O Lord, so that under the guidance of Thy mighty rule she may enjoy greater freedom and abiding integrity of religion. Through our Lord.