DOUBLE / WHITE
Today's Mass has a touch of Good Friday, a sense of loss, a note of resignation that Christ's visible presence was not meant to continue. There was also a brave facing of the real world of Christian mystery, wherein charity is a constant need and violent opposition is a possible threat. But grace in the human heart is divine life shared with men: it is the seed of glory, the beginning of heaven. Mysteriously, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- tabernacled in every soul that is alive with grace -- are with every Christian as he goes on his missionary way to heaven.
INTROIT Ps. 26:7, 8, 9
Hear, O Lord, my voice as I cry to You, alleluia! my heart has spoken to You; I have sought You. Your presence, O Lord, I will seek; hide not Your face from me, alleluia, alleluia!
Ps. 26:1. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? V. Glory be . . .
O Almighty and Eternal God, make our wills devoted to You so that our hearts may sincerely serve Your majesty. Through Our Lord . . .
Commemoration APPARITION OF SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL
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: Be prudent therefore and watch in prayers. But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves: for charity covereth a multitude of sins. Using hospitality one towards another, without murmuring, As every man hath received grace, ministering the same one to another: as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak, as the words of God. If any minister, let him do it, as of the power which God administereth: that in all things God may be honoured through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 46:9
God reigns over all the nations, God sits on His holy throne. Alleluia!
V. John 14:18. I will not leave you orphans; I go away, but I will come to you, and your heart shall rejoice. Alleluia!
GOSPEL John 15:26-27; 16:1-4
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "When the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall give testimony of me. And you shall give testimony, because you are with me from the beginning."These things have I spoken to you things have I spoken to you that you may not be scandalized. They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doth a service to God. And these things will they do to you; because they have not known the Father nor me. But these things I have told you, that when the hour shall come, you may remember that I told you of them."
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 46:6
God ascends His throne amid shouts of joy, the Lord is taken up with the sound of trumpets, alleluia!
Cleanse us through this spotless offering, O Lord, and let our souls be made strong by Your heavenly grace. Through Our Lord . . .
O Lord, graciously accept the Sacrifice of praise we offer You. May it bring us closer to our salvation through the Angels' prayers of intercession. Through our Lord . . .
Father, while I was with them, I kept them whom You gave Me, alleluia! but now I am coming to You; I do not pray that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from evil, alleluia, alleluia!
Grant, O Lord, that we may always be grateful for the Sacramental Gift that we have just received. Through Our Lord . . .