The point at which we most quickly become Pharisees is in refusing forgiveness. Failing often in greater or lesser ways, everyone must constantly ask forgiveness of God and men. Besides, the duty of forgiveness is binding upon all souls, and in regard to all. Only when fraternal correction fails and the common good requires, does authority step in to heal the damage of scandal by corrective action. Everyone else must forgive and love and keep stron the bond of brotherhood. United in love and in worship, especially at Mass and Holy Communion, we are one in Christ and sure to be heard by His Father when we pray.
INTROIT (Ps. 16:6, 8)
I cry to You, for You will answer me, O God. Incline Your ear and hear my words. Keep me as the apple of Your eye, O Lord; protect me under the shadow of Your wings.
Ps. 16:1. Hear, O Lord, a just cause; hearken to my supplication.
V. Glory be . . .
O Almighty and merciful God, hear our prayers, and in Your kindness grant us Your grace as a result of our self-denial. Through Our Lord . . .
Commemoration of THE FORTY HOLY MARTYRS
The Forty Martyrs were soldiers belonging to various nationalities, who were quartered at Sebaste, Armenia, in A.D. 320. According to tradition, these Christians were condemned to lie naked on the frozen surface of a pond until they should die of exposure. The forty witnesses to Christ united in prayer, asking God that all of them might persevere to the end. Then one soldier weakened. But a pagan guard was inspired to confess Christ and take the place of the apostate, and again the number of forty martyrs was complete.
We pay honor to the bravery of Your glorious martyrs in bearing witness to You, O Almighty God. Grant that we may feel the power of their intercession with You. Through Our Lord . . .
LESSON (IV Kings 4:1-7)
In those days, a certain woman of the wives of the prophets, cried to Eliseus, saying: "Thy servant, my husband, is dead, and thou knowest that thy servant was one that feared God, and behold the creditor is come to take away my two sons to serve him." And Eliseus said to her: "What wilt thou have me do for thee? Tell me, what hast thou in thy house?" And she answered: "I, thy handmaid, have nothing in my house but a little oil, to anoint me." And he said to her: "Go, borrow of all thy neighbours empty vessels, not a few. And go in, and shut thy door, when thou art within, and thy sons: and pour out thereof into all those vessels: and when they are full, take them away."
So the woman went, and shut the door upon her, and upon her sons: they brought her the vessels, and she poured in. And when the vessels were full, she said to her son: "Bring me yet a vessel." And he answered: "I have no more." And the oil stood. And she came, and told the man of God. And he said: "Go, sell the oil, and pay thy creditor: and thou and thy sons live of the rest."
GRADUAL (Ps. 18:13-14)
Cleanse me from my hidden faults, O Lord, and spare Your servant from those of others. V. If they be not master of me, then I shall be blameless, and I shall be free of the most serious sin.
GOSPEL (Matt. 18:15-22)
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "But if thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father who is in heaven. For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
Then came Peter unto him and said: "Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?" Jesus saith to him: "I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times."
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 declare the works of the Lord.
O Lord, may this Sacrament bestow on us the effects of redemption by restraining our human passions and bringing us always closer to our salvation. Through Our Lord . . .
Commemoration of THE FORTY MARTYRS
Look favorably on the prayers and offerings of Your people, O Lord. May this celebration of the feast of Your saints please You and bring us Your merciful help. Through Our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON (Ps. 14:1-2)
Lord, who shall abide in Your dwelling place? Who shall dwell on Your holy mountain? He who walks blamelessly and does justice.
O Lord, cleanse us by this sacred Rite and grant us Your pardon and grace. Through Our Lord . . .
Commemoration of THE FORTY MARTYRS
May the prayers of Your saints win forgiveness for us, O Lord. Grant that the Sacrifice we offer in this life may be our everlasting possession in the life to come. Through Our Lord . . .
PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
O Lord, shield us by Your protection and keep us always from committing sin. Through Our Lord . . .