SERVULUS was a beggar, and had been so afflicted with palsy from his infancy that he was never able to stand, sit upright, lift his hand to his mouth, or turn himself from one side to another. His mother and brother carried him into the porch of St. Clement's Church at Rome, where he lived on the alms of those that passed by. He used to entreat devout persons to read the Holy Scriptures to him, which he heard with such attention as to learn them by heart. His time he consecrated by assiduously singing hymns of praise and thanksgiving to God. After several years thus spent, his distemper having seized his vitals, he felt his end was drawing nigh. In his last moments he desired the poor and pilgrims, who had often shared in his charity, to sing sacred hymns and psalms for him. While he joined his voice with theirs, he on a sudden cried out: "Silence! do you not hear the sweet melody and praise which resound in the heavens?" Soon after he spoke these words he expired, and his soul was carried by angels into everlasting bliss, about the year 590.
Reflection. —The whole behaviour of this poor sick beggar loudly condemns those who, when blessed with good health and a plentiful fortune, neither do good works nor suffer the least cross with tolerable patience.
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.