DOUBLE, SECOND CLASS / RED
In about the year 326, Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, discovered after many attempts and failures the cross on which the Saviour had died. The miraculous cure of a woman of Jerusalem authenticated the sacred tree of our salvation. Today's feast calls to mind that Christ said we cannot be His true disciples unless we share the burden of the cross. In imitation of our Lord, we must humble ourselves, "becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross"(Reading).
INTROIT Gal. 6:14
But it is fitting that we should glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is salvation, life, and resurrection for us, by whom we are saved and delivered, alleluia, alleluia!
Ps. 66:2. May God have mercy on us and bless us; may He let His face shine upon us; and may He have mercy on us.
V. Glory be . . .
O God, we were reminded again of the mystery of Your passion by the miraculous discovery of the cross of salvation. May we attain eternal happiness through the ransom price You paid for us on that tree of life; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .
Commemoration of Saints ALEXANDER, EVENTIUS, THEODULUS, AND JUVENAL
Under the Emperor Hadrian, in A.D. 117, Pope Alexander I suffered martyrdom, together with the priests Eventius and Theodulus. Juvenal, bishop of Narni, was executed on May 3, A.D. 377.
O Almighty God, today we are celebrating the birthday of Your saints Alexander, Eventius, Theodulus, and Juvenal. Hear their prayers and rescue us from all the dangers that threaten us. Through Our Lord . . .
EPISTLE Philipp. 2:5-11
Brethren: For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. For which cause, God also hath exalted him and hath given him a name which is above all names: That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, (here all kneel) of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.
Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 95:10
Announce among the nations that the Lord reigns upon a cross. Alleluia!
V. O sweet wood, O sweet nails! O precious the burden suspended thereon! You alone were worthy to bear the King and Lord of Heaven. Alleluia!
GOSPEL John 3:1-15
At that time, there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him: "Rabbi, we know that thou art come a teacher from God; for no man can do these signs which thou dost, unless God be with him." Jesus answered and said to him: "Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus saith to him: "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born again?" Jesus answered: "Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Wonder not that I said to thee: You must be born again. The Spirit breatheth where he will and thou hearest his voice: but thou knowest not whence he cometh and whither he goeth. So is every one that is born of the Spirit." Nicodemus answered and said to him: "How can these things be done?" Jesus answered and said to him: "Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things? Amen, amen, I say to thee that we speak what we know and we testify what we have seen: and you receive not our testimony. If I have spoken to you earthly things, and you believe not: how will you believe, if I shall speak to you heavenly things? And no man hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him may not perish, but may have life everlasting."
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 117:16, 17
The right hand of the Lord has exercised power, the right hand of the Lord has lifted me up. I shall not die, but live, and shall declare the works of the Lord, alleluia!
May the sacrifice we offer be pleasing to You, O Lord. Let it free us from all the evils of war and destroy the pitfalls prepared by our powerful enemy, so that we may be safely protected under the banner of Your Son's cross. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .
Commemoration of SAINT ALEXANDER AND HIS COMPANIONS
Pour out Your rich blessings, O Lord, upon this sacrifice, so that through it we may come closer to our sanctification and be made joyful on the feast of your saints. Through Our Lord . . .
By the sign of the cross deliver us from our enemies, You who are our God, alleluia!
We have been nourished by the Food of Heaven and refreshed by spiritual drink. Shield us from our evil enemies, O Almighty God, for You have commanded us to fight through to victory under the cross of Your Son, the weapon of justice that will save the world. Through Our Lord . . .
Commemoration of SAINT ALEXANDER AND HIS COMPANIONS
We are refreshed by the reception of Your sacred Gift, O Lord. May the prayers of Your saints Alexander, Eventius, Theodulus, and Juvenal make us feel the benefit of the sacred Rite we have performed. Through Our Lord . . .