St. John and St. Paul
THESE two Saints were both officers in the army under Julian the Apostate, and received the crown of martyrdom, probably in 362. They glorified God by a double victory; they despised the honors of the world, and triumphed over its threats and torments. They saw many wicked men prosper in their impiety, but were not dazzled by their example. They considered that worldly prosperity which attends impunity in sin is the most dreadful of all judgments; and how false and short-lived was this glittering prosperity of Julian, who in a moment fell into the pit which he himself had dug! But the martyrs, by the momentary labor of their conflict, purchased an immense weight of never-fading glory; their torments were, by their heroic patience and invincible virtue and fidelity, a spectacle worthy of God, Who looked down upon them from the throne of His glory, and held His arm stretched out to strengthen them, and to put on their heads immortal crowns in the happy moment of their victory.
Reflection. —The Saints always accounted that they had done nothing for Christ so long as they had not resisted to blood, and by pouring forth the last drop completed their sacrifice. Every action of our lives ought to spring from this fervent motive, and we should consecrate ourselves to the divine service with our whole strength; we must always bear in mind that we owe to God all that we are, and, after all
190 Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
we can do, are unprofitable servants, and do only what we are bound to do.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Ps. 33, 20, 21
Many were the afflictions of the just, and out of all these the Lord delivered them: the Lord keepth all their bones, not one of them shall be broken. Ps. 33, 2. I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall be ever in my mouth. Glory be …
We beseech Thee, O almighty God, that the double joy of this day’s festival, which proceedeth from the glory of blessed John and Paul, kindred through the one faith and the one martyrdom, may take possession of us. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Ecclus. 44, 10-15
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom.
[The praises of the holy fathers, in particular of Enoch, Noe, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.]
These are men of mercy, whose godly deeds have not failed: Good things continue with their seed, Their posterity are a holy inheritance, and their seed hath stood in the covenants. And their children for their sakes remain for ever: their seed and their glory shall not be forsaken. Their bodies are buried in peace, and their name liveth unto generation and generation. Let the people shew forth their wisdom, and the church declare their praise.
Gradual • 132, 1, 2
Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. It is like the precious ointment on the head, that ran down upon the beard, the beard of Aaron.Alleluia, alleluia. This is the true brotherhood, which overcame the wickedness of the world: it followed Christ, attaining the noble kingdom of heaven. Alleluia.
Gospel • Luke 12, 1-8
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[Christ warns us against the fear of the world, and covetousness: and admonishes all to watch.]
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed: nor hidden that shall not be known. For whatsoever things you have spoken in darkness shall be published in the light: and that which you have spoken in the ear in the chambers, shall be preached on the housetops.
And I say to you, My friends: Be not afraid of them who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you shall fear: Fear ye him who, after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you: Fear him.
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? Yea, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows. And I say to you: Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of Man also confess before the Angels of God.
Offertory • Ps. 5, 12, 13
All they that love Thy name shall glory in Thee, for Thou, O Lord, wilt bless the just: O Lord. Thou hast crowned us as with a shield of Thy good will.
Graciously receive, O Lord, the sacrifices consecrated to Thee for the merits of Thy saints, John and Paul, and grant that they may profit of our everlasting helps. Through our Lord.
Communion • Wis. 3, 4, 6
Though in the sight of men they suffered torments, God hath tried them: as gold in the furnace He hath proved them, and as a holocaust He hath received them.
We have partaken of thy heavenly sacrament, O Lord, celebrating the feast of Thy holy martyrs, John and Paul; grant, we beseech Thee, that what we do in this life may have its consequences in everlasting joys. Through our Lord.