God will not force His grace upon anyone. He insists only that every person accept His ordinary channels of grace: the Sacraments, sacramentals, people, circumstances, events, things. When a man does not believe in God's power to use anything or anybody as His instrument, God gives His grace to other men who do so believe. To disbelieve, and to reject God's way and time for answering prayer, is to be like the Nazarene's who rejected Christ. Souls in mission lands, as well as thousands everywhere, await the faith to see God at work in everything, especially through the Sacraments and the Mass.
INTROIT Ps. 55:5
Through God I will glory in this word, through the Lord I will praise this speech: in God I trust, and I will not fear what man can do to me.
Ps. 55:2. Have pity on me, O God, for men trample upon me; all the day they press their attack against me.
V. Glory be . . .
O Lord, mercifully fill our hearts with Your grace. We mortify our bodies by abstaining from food; may we also guard our senses from the danger of unbridled pleasures. Through Our Lord . . .
At the age of 40, John of God (1495-1550) reformed his undisciplined life, obtained alms for the erection of two large hospitals at Granada, and staffed them with a new order, the Brothers Hospitallers. Successors of the first Brothers have continued to the present time their apostolic work of healing bodies and souls. The Prayer recalls how when a neighboring hospital was on fire, John of God passed miraculously through the flames until he had rescued all the poor sufferers.
O God, You brought blessed John unharmed through fire, burning only with love of You. You also enriched Your Church by his establishment of a new religious order. May the fire of Your love burn away our sins and heal us for eternal life through his merits. Through Our Lord . . .
LESSON IV Kings 5:1-15 [2 Kings]
In those days, Naaman, general of the army, of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable: for by him the Lord gave deliverance to Syria: and he was a valiant man, and rich, but a leper.
Now there had gone out robbers from Syria, and had led away captive out of the land of Israel, a little maid, and she waited upon Naaman's wife. And she said to her mistress: I wish my master had been with the prophet that is in Samaria: he would certainly have healed him of the leprosy which he hath.
Then Naaman went in to his lord, and told him, saying: Thus and thus said the girl from the land of Israel. And the king of Syria said to him: Go; and I will send a letter to the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment; And brought the letter to the king of Israel, in these words: When thou shalt receive this letter, know that I have sent to thee Naaman, my servant, that thou mayst heal him of his leprosy.
And when the king of Israel had read the letter, he rent his garments, and said: Am I God, to be able to kill and give life, that this man hath sent to me to heal a man of his leprosy? mark, and see how he seeketh occasions against me.
And when Eliseus, the man of God, had heard this, to wit, that the king of Israel had rent his garments, he sent to him, saying: Why hast thou rent thy garments? let him come to me, and let him know that there is a prophet in Israel.
So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and stood at the door of the house of Eliseus: And Eliseus sent a messenger to him, saying: Go, and wash seven times in the Jordan, and thy flesh shall recover health, and thou shalt be clean. Naaman was angry, and went away, saying: I thought he would have come out to me, and standing, would have invoked the name of the Lord his God, and touched with his hand the place of the leprosy, and healed me. Are not the Abana, and the Pharphar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel, that I may wash in them, and be made clean? So as he turned, and was going away with indignation, His servants came to him, and said to him: Father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, surely thou shouldst have done it: how much rather what he now hath said to thee: Wash, and thou shalt be clean?
Then he went down, and washed in the Jordan seven times, according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored, like the flesh of a little child: and he was made clean. And returning to the man of God, with all his train, he came, and stood before him, and said: In truth, I know there is no other God, in all the earth, but only in Israel: I beseech thee, therefore, take a blessing of thy servant.
GRADUAL Ps. 55:9 2
O God, I have recounted my life to You; You have placed my tears before You.
V. Have pity on me, O God, for men trample upon me; all the day they press their attack against me.
TRACT Ps. 102:10; 78:8-9
O Lord, repay us not according to the sins we have committed, nor according to our iniquities.
V. O Lord, remember not our iniquities of the past; let Your mercy come quickly to us, for we are being brought very low. (All kneel.)
V. Help us, O God our Savior, and for the glory of Your name. O Lord, deliver us; and pardon us our sins for Your name's sake.
GOSPEL Luke 4:23-30
At that time, Jesus said to the Pharisees: "Doubtless you will say to me this similitude: 'Physician, heal thyself. As great things as we have heard done in Capharnaum, do also here in thy own country.' " And he said: "Amen I say to you that no prophet is accepted in his own country. In truth I say to You, there were many widows in the days of Elias in Israel, when heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there was a great famine throughout all the earth. And to none of them was Elias sent, but to Sarepta of Sidon, to a widow woman. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet: and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian."
And all they in the synagogue, hearing these things, were filled with anger. And they rose up and thrust him out of the city: and they brought him to the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them, went his way.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 54:2-3
Hearken, O Lord, to my prayer and turn not away from my pleading; give heed to me, and answer me.
O Lord, transform this gift we offer You in worship into the Sacrament of our salvation. Through Our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Ps. 13:7
Who shall bring out of Sion the salvation of Israel? When the Lord shall have restored His people from captivity, then shall Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.
Almighty and merciful God, may we cherish with our hearts the Sacrament we have received with our lips. Through Our Lord . . .
Refreshed with Heavenly Food and Drink we humbly pray You, our God, that we may be strengthened by the prayers of Your Saint, in whose memory we have received this Sacrament. Through our Lord . . .
PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
O Lord, aid us by Your mercy. Protect us from the dangers that threaten us because of our sins, and lead us to salvation. Through our Lord . . .