INTROIT Ps. 69:2-3
O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me. Let my enemies who seek my life be put to shame and confounded.
Ps. 69:4. Let those who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace.
V. Glory be . . .
O Lord, help us by Your grace to be diligent in fasting and prayer, that we may be shielded against the enemies of our soul and body. Through our Lord . . .
Amid the luxuries of court life in 15th-century Poland, Prince Casimir managed to practice heroic virtue. Such was his love of the needy that the Polish people called him "the father and defender of the poor and unfortunate." He would neither break his vow of celibacy for marriage, nor accept the proffered throne of Hungary--much to the displeasure of his father, King Casimir IV. He also refused to bear arms, believing resolutely in the folly of war among Christians, and is thus referred to as the "Peacemaker." Devoting his days to contemplation and charity, he died at 23. "Being made perfect in a short space, he fulfilled a long time, for his soul pleased God" (Wisdom 4:13,14).
O God, You strengthened blessed Casimir to persevere in virtue even among royal surroundings and worldly pleasures. May all Your faithful despise earthly things and seek those of heaven through the intercession of this saint.
Commemoration of SAINT LUCIUS
Pope Lucius I was a true shepherd of his flock during a time of violent persecution. He laid down his life for Christ in the year 254.
O Eternal Shepherd, who appointed blessed Lucius shepherd of the whole Church, let the prayers of this martyr and supreme pontiff move You to look with favor upon Your flock and to keep it under Your continual protection. Through our Lord . . .
LESSON Jer. 17:5-10
Thus saith the Lord: "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like tamaric in the desert, and he shall not see when good shall come: but he shall dwell in dryness in the desert in a salt land, and not inhabited.
"Blessed be the man that trusteth in the Lord, and the Lord shall be his confidence. And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture: and it shall not fear when the heat cometh. And the leaf thereof shall be green, and in the time of drought it shall not be solicitous, neither shall it cease at any time to bring forth fruit.
"The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable, who can know it? I am the Lord who search the heart, and prove the reins: who give to every one according to his way, and according to the fruit of his devices."
GRADUAL Ps. 78:9-10
Pardon us our sins, O Lord, lest the nations ever say, "Where is their God?"
V. Help us, O God our Saviour, and for the glory of Your name, O Lord, deliver us.
GOSPEL Luke 16:19-31
At that time, Jesus said to the Pharisees, "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and feasted sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores, Desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table. And no one did give him: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. "And it came to pass that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell. And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom: And he cried and said: 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water to cool my tongue: for I am tormented in this flame.' And Abraham said to him: 'Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you, there is fixed a great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you cannot, nor from thence come hither.' And he said: 'Then, father, I beseech thee that thou wouldst send him to my father's house, for I have five brethren, That he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments.' And Abraham said to him: 'They have Moses and the prophets. Let them hear them.' But he said: 'No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance.' And he said to him: 'If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe, if one rise again from the dead.' "
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ex. 32:11, 13-14
Moses prayed before the Lord his God, saying, "Why, O Lord, should Your wrath blaze up against Your own people? Let Your anger die down. Remember Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, and how You swore to give them a land flowing with milk and honey." And the Lord relented in the punishment He had threatened to inflict on His people.
O Lord, may the fast we observe in Your name sanctify us through this Sacrifice, so that our acts of penance may accomplish within us the effects they outwardly signify. Through our Lord . . .
We offer You, O Lord, this Sacrifice of praise in memory of Your saints. Free us from evil now and in the future through their intercession.
Commemoration of SAINT LUCIUS
We have offered our gifts to You, O Lord. Let Your light graciously shine upon Your Church, so that this flock may everywhere prosper, and its pastors, under Your guidance, may be truly pleasing to You. Through our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON John 6:57
"He who eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, abides in me and I in him," said the Lord.
Let us not be wanting of Your grace, O Lord. May it fire us with devotion to Your service and bring us Your assistance. 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.
Commemoration of SAINT LUCIUS
O Lord, govern the Church, which You have been pleased to nourish with Your heavenly Food. Guide her by Your powerful direction, so that she may enjoy greater freedom and remain unshaken in the fullness of faith. Through our Lord . . .
PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
O Lord, come to the assistance of Your servants and be merciful to those who implore Your mercy. Bind up the wounds of sin in those who glory in You as their creator and ruler, and keep them whole and sinless. Through our Lord . . .