Monday, February 01, 2010
Bishop and Martyr
Ignatius was the second bishop of Antioch after St. Peter. When Emperor Trajan tried to force the Christians of that region to worship the Roman gods, the greatest obstacle to his purpose proved to be the aged bishop of Antioch. Trajan ordered that the intrepid prelate be taken to Rome in the year 107 and then thrown to the lions in the arena. The magnificent letters Ignatius sent to several Christian communities during his journey recall the mysticism of St. Paul's Epistles. "My yearning is for death. My love has been crucified, and I am not on fire with the love of earthly things. I desire incorruptible love," he wrote.
INTROIT (Gal. 6:14)
God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.
Ps. 131:1. O Lord, remember David and all his meekness.
V. Glory be . . .
Almight God, look upon our weakness and the heavy burden we carry because of our own deeds. Let the prayers of Your blessed martyr bishop Ignatius in heaven be our protection. Through Our Lord . . .
EPISTLE (Rom. 8:35-39)
Brethren: Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? Or distress? Or famine? Or nakedness? Or danger? Or persecution? Or the sword? (As it is written: "For thy sake, we are put to death all the day long. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.") But in all these things we overcome, because of him that hath loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
GRADUAL (Eccli. 44:16, 20)
Behold a great priest, who pleased God in his life. V. There was none found like to him, who kept the law of the Most High.
Alleluia, alleluia! (V. Gal. 2:19, 20)
With Christ I am nailed to the cross. It is now no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me.
GOSPEL (John 12:24-26)
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, Itself remaineth alone. But if it die it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it and he that hateth his life in this world keepeth it unto life eternal. If any man minister to me, let him follow me: and where I am, there also shall my minister be. If any man minister to me, him will my Father honour."
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON (Ps. 8:6-7)
You have crowned him with glory and honor, and You have given him rule over the works of Your hands, O Lord.
O Lord, graciously accept the gifts we offer You in honor of Your blessed martyr bishop Ignatius and grant us Your unending assistance through these offerings. Through Our Lord . . .
I am the wheat of Christ; may I be ground by the teeth of beasts that I may be found pure bread.
We are refreshed by the reception of Your Sacred Gift, O Lord. May the prayers of Your blessed martyr bishop Ignatius make us feel the benefit of the sacred rite we have performed. Through Our Lord . . .