Man's cleverest technique cannot synthesize life nor restore it. Man can frustrate life or destroy it but he cannot compound it. Life's mystery escapes human genius. Only God is the author and lord of life. From Him it comes; to Him it returns. He alone can give or restore human life, either directly or, more commonly, through human agents. He alone gives and restores the supernatural life of the soul. As shared divine life surpasses human life, so the marvel of restoring a soul, through the sacraments of Baptism or Penance from the death of sin to the life of grace surpasses the miracle of restoring physical life. It is the mission of the Church to give soul-life to all men.
INTROIT Ps. 104:3-4
Let every heart that seeks the Lord rejoice. Seek the Lord and find strength; seek the Lord evermore.
Ps. 104:1. Give glory to the Lord and invoke His Name; make known His deeds among the nations.
V. Glory be . . .
O Almighty God, grant that we may be happy in chastising our bodies through fasting. May we bring our passions under control, and thus more easily attain the rewards of heaven. Through Our Lord . . .
LESSON IV Kings 4:25-38 [2 Kings 4:25-38]
In those days, a Sunamite woman came to Eliseus to mount Carmel: and when the man of God saw her coming towards, he said to Giezi, his servant: "Behold that Sunamitess. Go, therefore, to meet her, and say to her: Is all well with thee, and with thy husband, and with thy son?" And she answered: "Well."
And when she came to the man of God, to the mount, she caught hold on his feet: and Giezi came to remove her. And the man of God said: "Let her alone for her soul is in anguish, and the Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me." And she said to him: "Did I ask a son of my lord? did I not say to thee: 'Do not deceive me?' "
Then he said to Giezi: "Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thy hand, and go. If any man meet thee, salute him not: and if any man salute thee, answer him not: and lay my staff upon the face of the child." But the mother of the child said: "As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee." He arose, therefore, and followed her. But Giezi was gone before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child, and there was no voice nor sense: and he returned to meet him, and told him, saying: "The child is not risen."
Eliseus, therefore, went into the house, and behold the child lay dead on his bed: And going in, he shut the door upon him, and upon the child, and prayed to the Lord. And he went up, and lay upon the child: and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he bowed himself upon him, and the child's flesh grew warm. Then he returned and walked in the house, once to and fro: and he went up, and lay upon him: and the child gaped seven times, and opened his eyes. And he called Giezi, and said to him: "Call this Sunamitess." And she being called, went in to him: and he said: "Take up thy son." She came and fell at his feet, and worshiped upon the ground: and took up her son, and went out. And Eliseus returned to Galgal.
GRADUAL Ps. 73:20, 19, 22
Be mindful of Your covenant, O Lord, and forget not forever the lives of Your poor.
V. Arise, O Lord, defend Your own cause; remember the abuse hurled against Your servants.
GOSPEL Luke 7:11-16
At that time, Jesus went into a city that is called Naim: and there went with him his disciples and a great multitude. And when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold a dead man was carried out, the only son of his mother: and she was a widow. And a great multitude of the city was with her. Whom when the Lord had seen, being moved with mercy towards her, he said to her: "Weep not." And he came near and touched the bier. And they that carried it stood still. And he said: "Young man, I say to thee, arise." And he that was dead sat up and begun to speak. And he gave him to his mother. And there came a fear upon them all: and they glorified God saying: "A great prophet is risen up among us: and, God hath visited his people."
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 69:2, 3, 4
O Lord, make haste to help me. Let all be put to shame who plot evil against Your servants.
Cleanse us, O merciful God. Let the prayers of the Church, which are so pleasing to You when they are accompanied by this offering, be even more acceptable to You because our souls are free from sin. Through Our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Ps. 70:16, 17, 18
O Lord, I will be mindful of Your singular justice. O God, You have taught me from my youth, and when I am old and gray, O God, forsake me not.
O Lord, let us not be condemned by unworthily receiving this Gift of Heaven which was instituted for the spiritual health of Your faithful. Through Our Lord . . .
PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
O God, Creator and Ruler of Your people, free Your own from the temptations assailing them, so that they may please You and be protected by You. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ . . .