DOUBLE / WHITE
With the memory of Christ's death still vivid in our minds and daily renewed with the renewal of His death in each Mass, we know the price of shepherding souls. That divine and dangerous leadership began with Christ. By His command, it must reach across the world to embrace all men, until there shall be but one flock and one shepherd. The inspiring leadership of each successive Pope is the living voice and power of Jesus to each generation. The Pope's commands and admonitions require reverent acceptance. The closer men are to the mind and will of the Vicar of Christ, the closer they are to Christ Himself.
INTROIT Ps. 32:5-6The earth is full of the mercy of the Lord, alleluia! By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, alleluia, alleluia!
Ps. 32:1. Rejoice in the Lord, you just; praise befits the upright.
V. Glory Be . . .
You raised up our fallen world, O God, by the humiliation of Your own Son. May we, Your faithful people, be always joyful on earth, and, by being rescued from the danger of eternal death, come to everlasting happiness in heaven. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .
Commemoration APPARITION OF SAINT MICHAEL
In that year, a man named Gargan was pasturing his large herds in the countryside. One day a bull fled to the mountain, where at first it could not be found. When its refuge in a cave was discovered, an arrow was shot into the cave, but the arrow returned to wound the one who had sent it. Faced with so mysterious an occurrence, the persons concerned decided to consult the bishop of the region. He ordered three days of fasting and prayers. After three days, the Archangel Saint Michael appeared to the bishop and declared that the cavern where the bull had taken refuge was under his protection, and that God wanted it to be consecrated under his name and in honor of all the Holy Angels.
Accompanied by his clergy and people, the pontiff went to that cavern, which he found already disposed in the form of a church. The divine mysteries were celebrated there, and there arose in this same place a magnificent temple where the divine Power has wrought great miracles. To thank God’s adorable goodness for the protection of the holy Archangel, the effect of His merciful Providence, this feast day was instituted by the Church in his honor.
This mighty leader of the heavenly host, the vanquisher of Lucifer and his followers, has appeared on other occasions during the Christian ages; for example, it was he who summoned St. Joan of Arc from the care of her flocks to the command of armies. We may mention his apparition in Rome, where Saint Gregory the Great saw him in the air sheathing his sword, to signal the cessation of a pestilence and the appeasement of God’s wrath. Another apparition to Saint Ausbert, bishop of Avranches in France, led to the construction of Mont-Saint-Michel in the sea, a famous pilgrimage site. The angelic visitor has always been honored by the Church as her guardian under God, and as the protector of the faithful.
It is said of this special guardian and protector of the Church that, during the final persecution of Antichrist, he will powerfully defend it: “At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince who protects the children of thy people.” (Dan. 12:1) Compare this text with Chapter 10 of the Apocalypse of Saint John.
O God, who wondrously directs the services of angels and men, grant that our lives on earth may be guarded by the angels who stand ever before Your face ministering to You in heaven. Through Our Lord . . .
Beloved: Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. "He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth." When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. Luke 24:33
The disciples recognized the Lord Jesus in the breaking of the bread. Alleluia!
V. John 10:14. I am the good shepherd, and I know my sheep, and mine know me. Alleluia!
GOSPEL John 10:11-16.
At that time, Jesus said to the Pharisees: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
"I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd."
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 62:2, 5
O God, my God, for You do I watch at the break of day; and I lift up my hands in Your name, alleluia!
May this holy offering bring us the blessing of salvation, O Lord, and may the mystery of the sacrifice which we here perform, work its effect in us. Through Our Lord . . .
Commemoration APPARITION OF SAINT MICHAEL
I am the good shepherd, alleluia!
And I Know my sheep, and mine know me, alleluia, alleluia!
O Almighty God, may we always proudly rejoice in Your Gift of grace, which has brought us back to life again. Through Our Lord . . .