St. John of the Cross
THE father of St. John was discarded by his kindred for marrying a poor orphan, and the Saint, thus born and nurtured in poverty, chose it also for his portion. Unable to learn a trade, he became the servant of the poor in the hospital of Medina, while still pursuing his sacred studies. In 1563, being then twenty-one, he humbly offered himself as a lay-brother to the Carmelite friars, who, however, knowing his talents, had him ordained priest. He would now have exchanged to the severe Carthusian Order, had not St. Teresa, with the instinct of a Saint, persuaded him to remain and help her in the reform of his own Order. Thus he became the first prior of the Barefooted Carmelites. His reform, though approved by the general, was rejected by the elder friars, who condemned the Saint as a fugitive and apostate, and cast him into prison, whence he only escaped, after nine months' suffering, at the risk of his life. Twice again, before his death, he was shamefully persecuted by his brethren, and publicly disgraced. But his complete abandonment by creatures only deepened his interior peace and devout longing for heaven.
Reflection. —"Live in the world," said St. John, "as if God and your soul only were in it; so shall your heart be never made captive by any earthly thing."
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Saint Chrysogonus, a Roman, was martyred under Emperor Diocletian. His name is mentioned in the canon of the Mass. From the Fourth Century, a basilica was dedicated to him at Rome in Trastevere.
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 didst make Thy holy confessor and doctor, John, a man of perfect self-denial and an eminent lover of the cross, grant that, continually applying ourselves to imitating him, we may attain unto everlasting glory. Through our Lord.
Commemoration of St. Chrysogonus.
Give ear, O Lord, to our supplications, that we, who know ourselves to be guilty by reason of our own iniquity, may be delivered by the intercession of blessed Chrysogonus, Thy martyr. 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.
Gradual • Ps. 36, 30, 31
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgment. The law of his God is in his heart: and his steps shall not be supplanted.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ecclus. 45, 9. The Lord loved him, and adorned him: He clothed him with a robe of glory. 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.)
Be appeased, O Lord, with the gifts offered Thee, and, by the intercession of blessed Chrysogonus, Thy martyr, defend us from all dangers. 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.)
By the participation of Thy sacraments, O Lord, may we be cleansed from our hidden sins and delivered from the snares of our enemies. Through our Lord.