Show me, O Lord, a sign of Your beneficence, that my enemies may see, to their confusion, that You, O Lord, have helped and comforted me. Ps. 85:1. Incline Your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am needy and poor. V. Glory Be . . .
May our Lenten fast please You, O Lord. May we keep our minds free from sin as we deprive our bodies of food. Through our Lord . . .
Commemoration of SAINT GABRIEL
Gabriel the Archangel announced to Daniel the time of the coming of the Messias (Dan. 9:21), and to Zachary the future birth of the Precursor of the Word Incarnate (Luke 1:10). Then came the sublime message to Mary at Nazareth and the God-inspired salutation, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women" (Luke 1:28).
In the "Hail Mary," the words of the Angel of the Annunciation have been repeated through the centuries by countless millions of human beings. Thrice daily the church bells ring the "Angelus" to recall through the ages how the strong angel who stands before God bowed in reverence to a humble Jewish virgin, soon to become the Mother of Christ and the Queen of heaven and earth.
O God, from among all the angels You chose the archangel Gabriel as the messenger of the mystery of Your Incarnation. May his intercession in heaven help us as we celebrate his feast on earth; who lives and rules with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.
LESSON (Num. 20:1-3, 6-13)
In those days, the children of Israel, and all the multitude came into the desert of Sin, in the first month: and the people abode in Cades. And Mary died there, and was buried in the same place.
And the people wanting water, came together against Moses and Aaron: And making a sedition, they said: "Would God we had perished among our brethren before the Lord." And Moses and Aaron leaving the multitude, went into the tabernacle of the covenant, and fell flat upon the ground, and cried to the Lord, and said. "O Lord God, hear the cry of this people, and open to them thy treasure, a fountain of living water, that being satisfied, they may cease to murmur." And the glory of the Lord appeared over them. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: "Take the rod, and assemble the people together, thou and Aaron thy brother, and speak to the rock before them, and it shall yield waters. And when thou hast brought forth water out of the rock, all the multitude and their cattle shall drink."
Moses therefore took the rod, which was before the Lord, as he had commanded him, And having gathered together the multitude before the rock, he said to them: "Hear, ye rebellious and incredulous: Can we bring you forth water out of this rock?" And when Moses bad lifted up his hand, and struck the rock twice with the rod, there came forth water in great abundance, so that the people and their cattle drank, And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron: "Because you have not believed me, to sanctify me before the children of Israel, you shall not bring these people into the land, which I will give them." This is the Water of contradiction, where the children of Israel strove with words against the Lord, and he was sanctified in them.
GRADUAL (Ps. 27:7, 1)
My heart has trusted in God, and I have found help. I have thrived once again, and with all my will I shall give praise to Him. V. To You, O Lord my God, I cry; be not deaf to me, nor depart from me.
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 names sake.
GOSPEL (John 4:5-42)
At that time, Jesus cometh therefore to a city of Samaria, which is called Sichar, near the land which Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well. It was about the sixth hour.
There cometh a woman of Samaria, to draw water. Jesus saith to her: "Give me to drink." For his disciples were gone into the city to buy meats. Then that Samaritan woman saith to him: "How dost thou, being a Jew; ask of me to drink, who am a Samaritan woman? For the Jews do not communicate with the Samaritans." Jesus answered and said to her: "If thou didst know the gift of God and who he is that saith to thee: Give me to drink; thou perhaps wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water."
The woman saith to him: "Sir, thou hast nothing wherein to draw, and the well is deep. From whence then hast thou living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank thereof, himself and his children and his cattle?" Jesus answered and said to her: "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but he that shall drink of the water that I will give him shall not thirst for ever. But the water that I will give him shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into life everlasting."
The woman said to him: "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come hither to draw." Jesus saith to her: "Go, call thy husband, and come hither." The woman answered and said: "I have no husband." Jesus said to her: "Thou hast said well: I have no husband. For thou hast had five husbands: and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband. This, thou hast said truly."
The woman saith to him: "Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers adored on this mountain: and you say that at Jerusalem is the place where men must adore." Jesus saith to her:"Woman, believe me that the hour cometh, when you shall neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, adore the Father. You adore that which you know not: we adore that which we know. For salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeketh such to adore him. God is a spirit: and they that adore him must adore him in spirit and in truth." The woman saith to him: "I know that the Messias cometh (who is called Christ): therefore, when he is come, he will tell us all things." Jesus saith to her: "I am he, who am speaking with thee."
And immediately his disciples came. And they wondered that he talked with the woman. Yet no man said: "What seekest thou?" Or: "Why talkest thou with her?" The woman therefore left her waterpot and went her way into the city and saith to the men there: "Come, and see a man who has told me all things whatsoever I have done. Is not he the Christ?" They went therefore out of the city and came unto him.
In the mean time, the disciples prayed him, saying: "Rabbi, eat." But he said to them: "I have meat to eat which you know not." The disciples therefore said one to another: "Hath any man brought him to eat?" Jesus saith to them: "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, that I may perfect his work. Do not you say: There are yet four months, and then the harvest cometh? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and see the countries. For they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto life everlasting: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. For in this is the saying true: 'That it is one man that soweth, and it is another that reapeth.' I have sent you to reap that in which you did not labour. Others have laboured: and you have entered into their labours."
Now of that city many of the Samaritans believed in him, for the word of the woman giving testimony: "He told me all things whatsoever I have done." So when the Samaritans were come to him, they desired that he would tarry there. And he abode there two days. And many more believed in him, because of his own word. And they said to the woman: "We now believe, not for thy saying: for we ourselves have heard him and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world."
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON (Ps. 5:3-4)
Hearken to the voice of my prayer, O my King and my God; for to You I pray, O Lord.
Commemoration of SAINT GABRIEL
Accept the offering of our gift and the prayers of the blessed archangel Gabriel, O Lord. May he whom we venerate on earth be our advocate before You in heaven. Through Our Lord . . .
"He who drinks of the water that I will give him," said the Lord, "it shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up unto life everlasting."
Commemoration of SAINT GABRIEL
We have received the Sacrament of Your Body and Blood, O Lord our God. may Gabriel, who brought us the news of Your Incarnation, help us to obtain the benefits of it; who lives and rules with God . . .
PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
O Almighty God, we trust in Your protection. Help us to overcome all the difficulties that face us. Through Our Lord . . .