SIMPLE / PURPLE
Souls are bought dearly. They never come cheaply. There is always enough human weakness and malice at hand to blind men to the need of repentance. The same forces oppose, even violently at times, any attempt to change people. Envy is sometimes the reason for the opposition, as in the cases of Joseph and Jesus.
If consistent Christian integrity and a zealous apostolate seem unreasonably difficult, a meditation on the crucifix should recall that the death of the God-man was not considered too high a price to pay for the redemption and winning of souls.
INTROIT Ps. 16:15
But I shall appear before you in justice; I shall be content when your glory shall be made manifest.
Ps. 16:1. Hear, O Lord, a just cause; hearken to my supplication.
V. Glory be . . .
O Almighty God, cleanse us by this holy fast, so that we may celebrate the coming feast with pure hearts. Through our Lord . . .
Frances was born in Rome in 1384. When she was thirteen years of age, her parents married her to Lorenzo Ponziano, a man of outstanding virtue. Frances brought up her children in the love and fear of God. She was zealous in the performance of every household duty, saying, "A married woman must often leave God at the altar to find Him in her domestic cares." While her husband was still living, she founded an order of Oblates affiliated with the Benedictines; and when she became a widow she was elected superior of those religious women. Frances died on March 9, 1440, her face radiant with an unearthly glory.
O God, among the many gifts of grace You bestowed on Your blessed servant Frances, You granted her an intimate friendship with an angel. May we be worthy of fellowship with the angels through her intercession. Through Our Lord . . .
LESSON Gen. 37:6-22
In those days, Joseph said to his brethren, "Hear my dream which I dreamed. I thought we were binding sheaves in the field: and my sheaf arose as it were, and stood, and your sheaves standing about bowed down before my sheaf." His brethren answered: "Shalt thou be our king? or shall we be subject to thy dominion?" Therefore this matter of his dreams and words ministered nourishment to their envy and hatred.
He dreamed also another dream, which he told his brethren, saying: "I saw in a dream, as it were the sun, and the moon, and eleven stars worshipping me." And when he had told this to his father, and brethren, his father rebuked him and said: "What meaneth this dream that thou hast dreamed? shall I and thy mother, and thy brethren worship thee upon the earth?" His brethren therefore envied him: but his father considered the thing with himself.
And when his brethren abode in Sechem, feeding their father's flocks, Israel said to him: "Thy brethren feed the sheep in Sichem: come, I will send thee to them." And when he answered: "I am ready:" he said to him: "Go, and see if all things be well with thy brethren, and the cattle: and bring me word again what is doing." So being sent from the vale of Hebron, he came to Sichem:
And a man found him there wandering in the field, and asked what he sought. But he answered: "I seek my brethren, tell me where they feed the flocks." And the man said to him: "They are departed from this place: for I heard them say: Let us go to Dothain." And Joseph went forward after his brethren, and found them in Dothain.
And when they saw him afar off, before he came nigh them, they thought to kill him: And said one to another: "Behold the dreamer cometh. Come, let us kill him, and cast him into some old pit: and we will say: 'Some evil beast hath devoured him:' and then it shall appear what his dreams avail him:" And Ruben hearing this, endeavoured to deliver him out of their hands, and said: "Do not take away his life, nor shed his blood: but cast him into this pit, that is in the wilderness, and keep your hands harmless": now he said this, being desirous to deliver him out of their hands and to restore him to his father.
GRADUAL Ps. 119:1-2
In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me.
V. O Lord, deliver me from lying lips and from a treacherous tongue.
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 Matt. 21:33-46
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to the multitude of the Jews and the chief priests, "There was a man, an householder, who planted a vineyard and made a hedge round about it and dug in it a press and built a tower and let it out to husbandmen and went into a strange country. And when the time of the fruits drew nigh, he sent his servants to the husbandmen that they might receive the fruits thereof. And the husbandmen laying hands on his servants, beat one and killed another and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the former; and they did to them in like manner. And last of all he sent to them his son, saying: 'They will reverence my son.' But the husbandmen seeing the son, said among themselves: 'This is the heir: come, let us kill him, and we shall have his inheritance.' And taking him, they cast him forth out of the vineyard and killed him.
"When therefore the lord of the vineyard shall come, what will he do to those husbandmen?" They say to him: "He will bring those evil men to an evil end and let out his vineyard to other husbandmen that shall render him the fruit in due season." Jesus saith to them: "Have you never read in the Scriptures: 'The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? By the Lord this has been done; and it is wonderful in our eyes.'
"Therefore I say to you that the kingdom of God shall be taken from you and shall be given to a nation yielding the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it shall grind him to powder."
And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they knew that he spoke of them. And seeking to lay hands on him, they feared the multitudes, because they held him as a prophet.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 39:14, 15
Look down, O Lord, to help me. Let them be put to shame and confusion who seek to snatch away my life. Look down, O Lord, to help me.
O God, may this sacrifice remain in us, and may it increase the good effect it has accomplished. Through our Lord . . .
Commemoration of SAINT FRANCES OF ROME
Accept this gift, O Lord, from a people dedicated to You. We offer it in honor of Your saints for the help we have received from them when we were in trouble. Through our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Ps. 11:8
O Lord, You will keep us, and preserve us always from this generation.
O Lord, may our lives always be guided by this promise of eternal salvation, so that we may eventually attain our goal. Through our Lord . . .
Commemoration of SAINT FRANCES OF ROME
O Lord, You have feasted Your family with the Food of heaven. May we always be refreshed through the intercession of Your saint whose feast we celebrate this day. Through our Lord . . .
PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
O Lord, grant Your people health of soul and body. May we be fervent in doing good and so deserve to be protected by Your mighty power. Through our Lord . . .