IN the persecution of Decius, Nemesion, an Egyptian, was apprehended at Alexandria upon an indictment for theft. The servant of Christ easily cleared himself of that charge, but was immediately accused of being a Christian, and after being scourged and tormented more than the thieves, was condemned to be burnt with the robbers and other malefactors. There stood at the same time near the prefect's tribunal four soldiers and another person, who, being Christians, boldly encouraged a confessor who was hanging on the rack. They were taken before the judge, who condemned them to be beheaded, but was astonished to see the joy with which they walked to the place of execution. Heron, Ater, and Isidore, all Egyptians, with Dioscorus, a youth only fifteen years old, were committed at Alexandria in the same persecution. After enduring the most cruel rending and disjointing of their limbs, they were burnt alive, with the exception of Dioscorus, whom the judge discharged on account of the tenderness of his years.
Reflection. —Can we call to mind the fervor of the Saints in laboring and suffering cheerfully for God, and not feel a holy ardor glow in our own breasts, and our souls strongly affected with their heroic sentiments of virtue?
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Introit • Is. 45, 8
Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just; let the earth be opened and bud forth a Saviour. Ps. 18, 2. The heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of His Hands. Glory be …
Bestir, O Lord, Thy might, we beseech thee, and come; and with great power come to our aid, that, by the help of Thy grace, that which is hindered by our sins may be hastened by Thy merciful forgiveness. Who livest.
Epistle • 1 Cor. 4, 1-5
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians.
[God's ministers are not to be judged. He reprehends their boasting of their preachers and describes the treatment the apostles every where met with.]
BRETHREN, let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God. Here now it is required among the dispensers, that a man be found faithful. But to me it is a very small thing to be judged by you, or by man' s day; but neither do I judge my own self. For I am not conscious to myself of any thing, yet am I not hereby justified; but he that judgeth me, is the Lord. Therefore judge not before the time; until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise from God.
Gradual • Ps. 144, 18, 21
The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord; and let all flesh bless His holy name.
Alleluia, alleluia Come, O Lord, and do not delay; forgive the sins of Thy people Israel. Alleluia.
Gospel • Luke 3, 1-6
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[John's mission and preaching. Christ is baptized by him.]
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of Iturea, and the country of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilina; Under the high priests Annas and Caiphas; the word of the Lord was made unto John, the son of Zachary, in the desert. And he came into all the country about the Jordan, preaching the baptism of penance for the remission of sins; As it was written in the book of the sayings of Isaias the prophet: A voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled; and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight; and the rough ways plain; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
Offertory • Luke 1, 28
Hail, Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
Look with favor, we beseech Thee, O Lord upon these offerings here before Thee, that they may profit both for our devotion and for our salvation. Through our Lord.
Communion • Is. 7, 14
Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bring forth a son; and His name shall be called Emmanuel.
Having received Thy gifts, O Lord, we pray that the saving effect of the mystery may increase as we frequent it. Through our Lord.